How to Build a
Vape Shop

Proving that it will double in popularity in the coming years, investing in the vaporizing industry is possibly one of the most fool proof investments you could make in 2019. 

With this becoming common knowledge with many entrepreneurs, many are wondering how to open a vape shop– and as there is no clear cut formula for opening an e-cig business. The most basic steps taken to create a vape startup can be covered so that anyone can succeed in this fast growing industry.

The first and most obvious step to starting up your e-cig business is getting a business license and tax id for the area that you plan to operate in. While also having your finances planned so that you can go one of two routes to begin your business. The first route is by purchasing a franchise, which will require you to follow corporate guidelines ranging from how your shop is run, to how you approach growth. The second route is by starting your own independent store. Which gives you the independence of forging your own path and approach. Both are viable options that have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

Once a route is decided upon, understanding the vaping business regulations in the specific state and community you will be operating within is crucial to avoid legal shutdown. For example in some cities like LA, you will need to have a tobacco retailer’s permit in addition to business licenses. So clearly there is no one size fits all plan for how to legally open you vaporizer business. However there are three keys to success that everyone must achieve to thrive in the e-cig industry.

How to Open a Vape Shop

The life on an entrepreneur is stressful, exhausting, and full of anxiety. So know before going in, you’re taking a big risk. But also knowing that the other side of that coin consists of controlling your own destiny, and taking orders from nobody else but yourself. There are not shortcuts to success in this line of work, but good preparation can help mitigate the risks.

That being said, ensuring that you and your employees know exactly what you’re talking about is a good place to start your shop’s customer facing voice. So familiarizing yourself with the forums and events that your customers and competitors frequent is one of the easiest ways to ensure your knowledge of the industry and products is up to snuff. However you will be best served by understanding what the aficionado is looking for while simultaneously keeping in mind that some, if not most, of your customers may be just learning how to vape.

Always knowing what your customers want and how they want it is the cornerstone of being a shop owners. So own it. Your due diligence, and getting customers in your doors so that you can deliver what they expect will only make your business grow.

Three Keys to a Successful Vape Store

Location, location, location

One of the most obvious keys to every successful business has reigned true even to this day. Where your shop is in the community, is every bit as important as how it interacts with the community.

So again, do the research. Know your community. Scout out potential locations, and take the time to make the best financial and most optimal geographical decision possible. But some quick tips we can recommend are:

    • Visibility. Think of if people on the street and on the sidewalk can see your shop. Foot traffic is as important as passing motorists.
    • Corner locations give you twice the visibility, and can provide twice the accessibility to your potential customers.
    • A front shop window with ample room for signage will give you a huge step up on getting your message out.
    • Parking will never deter people from being patrons to your shop.

Hiring Vape Shop Staff

Your vape shop should be open from six to seven days a week, with typical business hours between 11 am and 9 pm. You can plan on working every day at all hours of the day, but having a staff be customer facing while you handle the behind the scenes work will make your shop that much more productive. But remember, a staff can make or break your shop.

So hire people that you know will get the work done, and connect easiest with your customers.

    • Every person that works for your should know your products like the back of their hands.
    • If they can’t be friendly and helpful, why did you hire them?

Vape Shop Products

Your customers, and their patronage is the life blood of your business. So customer satisfaction is imperative along every step to their experience while shopping with you.

The quality of your products will keep them coming back for more.  So avoid sketch suppliers offering “great deals” that seem too good to be true. They will only sell you cloned, or fake products that your customers will spot from a mile away. It is only ignorant owners, who think their customers are, or will remain ignorant. Buy from only one wholesaler, or purchase your inventory directly from the manufacturer.

Proprietary products and e-liquids will only establish you further as a leader of the vaporizer industry. But remember that depending on the laws in your state, carrying dry herb vaporizers can be beneficial or completely illegal. So carry trendy and popular products to keep yourself competitive, but be sure to have stand out products as well to make your shop stand out from the rest. Carve out your shop’s niche.


Written by: Eric Warner