If you’re a new vape shop owner, you’ve embarked on a journey that’s entirely unique in the business world. Even if you have a background of business ownership, you’ll find that there is nothing quite like operating a vape shop. Do you feel as though you’re in over your head? Are you at your wit’s end trying to figure out how to turn the corner into profitability?
We’re going to begin this article with a bit of a letdown: There’s no way to explain in a 1,000-word article exactly what you need to do to make your vape shop successful. When you think about it, though, that’s entirely logical. There is no single step to running a successful business in any industry. Running a profitable vape shop is the end result of doing many small things right. In this article, we’re going to describe just a few highly actionable steps that you can implement right away to get your vape shop on the right track.
Control Your Product Costs
Stocking your vape shop with products from a domestic distributor has its benefits. Using a domestic distributor, for example, minimizes the time that you spend waiting to receive inventory – an especially important benefit for those times when you run out of products unexpectedly. The one problem with sourcing your products from domestic distributors, though, is that they’re essentially middlemen who buy products from the original Chinese manufacturers and resell them to you at a profit.
Did you know that you can deal with the manufacturers yourself and cut out the middlemen entirely? Buying your inventory from China does have two drawbacks.
- Since you’ll be working directly with the original manufacturers, you won’t be able to get all of your products from one place. You’ll get your Aspire gear from Aspire, your Vaporesso gear from Vaporesso and so on.
- The most affordable shipping methods from China typically involve sea freight, which can be slow. Expedited shipping might be available, but that can eat into your savings. If you want to order vaping gear directly from the manufacturers and maximize your profitability, you’ll need to order the products well in advance of when you’ll actually need them.
The benefit of ordering your vaping gear from China is that you can save a bundle of money by doing so. The Chinese manufacturers have aggressive salespeople who aren’t afraid to wheel and deal – especially if you’re willing to order in bulk. Put your negotiating cap on and get ready to save some money. Online vape shop owner Jason Cugle of Triple 7 Vaping says, “taking the time to forge a close relationship with my supplier in China allows me to offer the best prices to my customers while leaving me the profit margin I need to keep my shop running.”
Although you might initially look at Vaper City as a vaping price comparison site for consumers, our service can be equally valuable for vape shops. Do you need to fulfill a special order or restock a sold-out product on short notice? Our search engine shows you where you can find the product at the lowest price and provides estimates for the shipping time and cost. Do you want to grab a clearance item that you can turn around for a quick profit? Tell us your desired price, and we’ll email you if the product reaches that price.
Find a Niche – and Own It
One way to make a vape shop successful is by offering products at the best prices anywhere. Another way is by offering a stellar buying experience that no other vape shop can match. If you really want to stand out from your competitors, though, you’ve got to do something more than simply offering the same selection of devices and e-liquids that everyone else sells. It’s much easier to stand out if you’re offering something that people can’t find at every other vape shop. It’s wise to carry the products that you know are popular, but you should also take the time to seek out unique vaping gear that isn’t available everywhere else.
Hire the Right People
When it’s time to hire employees for your vape shop, your natural tendency might be to look for people who are vaping experts. However, that isn’t necessarily what leads to the best shopping experience for your customers. It’s much easier to teach vaping knowledge than it is to teach people skills. If you can hire a vaping expert or a top-notch cashier, hire the cashier.
Choose an Efficient POS System
Today’s POS systems are nothing like the simple credit card swipe machines and cash registers of the past. Modern POS systems can do more than ever, and they can truly revolutionize the back-end operation of your business. These are just a few of the things that a great POS system can do for you.
- It can record and track your entire inventory. A good POS system can tell you what your most popular products are, alert you to trends and warn you when certain products are running low.
- It can help you with legal compliance by prompting cashiers to scan identification before selling age-restricted products.
- It can manage your loyalty program, granting reward points to customers automatically without requiring you to use old-fashioned punch cards. Since you’ll be collecting customers’ phone numbers and email addresses to manage your loyalty program, your POS system can also make email and phone marketing a breeze. You can integrate your POS system’s customer database directly with popular email marketing providers such as MailChimp.
Provide a Superb Shopping Experience
One of the most important things to remember as a vape shop owner is that you aren’t just in competition with the other vape shop down the road; you’re also competing with online vape shop owners who have no storefronts to maintain and can price their products much lower than you. One of the reasons why customers will choose your vape shop rather than buying online is the fact that doing so means not needing to wait for shipping. If you really want to retain your customers, though, focus on providing a stellar shopping experience that makes people want to come back. Train your cashiers to be helpful – but not pushy or intrusive. Take the time to get to know your customers and learn about their preferences. If you make your customers feel special, they’ll go out of their way to support your vape shop rather than buying online.