In today’s world, the word “vaping” is not new; almost everyone is familiar with it. This rapidly growing trend of the last several years has transformed into a 12.41 billion industry, as per 2019, and continues to develop with an estimated worth growth of 23.8% from 2020 to 2027. That is why the vaping business is so attractive. However, it does not mean that the launching e-cigarette business is accessible. Considering the recent vape-related deaths, the FDA warnings, and the state restrictions for vaping business, establishing a vape shop either physical or online one does not lack difficulties. This article sheds light on the typical troubles a vaping business may face, as well as offers practical advice on how to minimize risks of failure.
Lack of funding
As with any other business, a vaping one requires a starting capital. Of course, the amount will depend on many factors, such as the state of registration, rent, number of employees, etc. Still, the average sum of the funds needed to start a vaping business varies from $25,000 to $100,000. The costs also include the inventory like e-cigarettes, best mods, various e-liquids and coils, batteries, and so on.
There are two scenarios: opening a franchise or launching a vaping business stand alone. For those who decide to become a franchisee, almost everything needed to launch a business is granted: licenses, inventory, and operating systems. At the same time, independent stores are forced to carry these expenditures by themselves.
For an ordinary enthusiastic entrepreneur, such a sum is a challenge. Only a few have enough money lying around in a bank account. Hopefully, there are small business loans that help to start a new business. The decision to take a loan should be well-weighted, considering all risks and pitfalls, as either business will flourish or fail, the lent sum should be returned.
The local regulation
As vaping refers to an adult product, certain nation-wide and local laws put a considerable legal burden on a future vape shop. First of all, it is critical to comply with the FDA’s regulations on selling e-cigarettes. As such, even the best vape mods cannot be sold and promoted without a health warning statement. Also, if the store plans to sell vaping products containing loose tobacco, the FDA tobacco retailer and manufacturer regulation should have complied.
Registering a business on any level (federal, state, and local) is one of the hardest things for those who want to open a vape shop. The most important thing to understand is what kind of license is needed to start operating a vape shop. Depending on the state or locale, it can be an exclusive use permit or the one applied to tobacco shops. Some several additional licenses and permissions vary by area as well.
Some states have the zoning laws that define how far the vape shop should be from such public institutions as schools, playgrounds, churches, and even agricultural or residential properties. In most cases, the rationale behind these laws is prevention vaping among teenagers and potential health hazards associated with it.
At the moment, there is no federal excise tax on vape products. However, different states apply a sin tax on the vaping products along with such products as tobacco and alcohol. The amount and method of calculation vary. That’s why before starting a vaping business, considering the local excise taxes is critical as it significantly affects the general rate of return of an enterprise.
The last but not the least legal issue is whether or not selling cannabis-containing products is allowed. In general, selling marijuana is considered a legal offense under federal law. However, some states have legalized it. The vaporizers, such as the best vape mods for clouds, are widespread; still, using marijuana recreationally via e-cig is also prominent for one’s health. That’s why if a vape shop fully complies with state regulation on cannabis, the business can become a quite profitable investment. Otherwise, it will face numerous legal concerns.
In any case, the best way to follow all state and federal regulations is to consult with a lawyer, as well as the county clerk’s office.
Employee recruiting and training
Employees are the most essential component of any business. Good employees are hard to find, especially when it comes to such a highly regulated industry as vaping. There are two main points for the staff: be knowledgeable and follow the rules inviolately. Being aware of the best box mods is not enough as selling to a wrong person may create enormous troubles for the business costing a considerable sum of fines or even close a shop forcefully. That’s why the employees should always check a person’s ID, regardless of how he or she looks, not to sell a vape product to someone underaged.
While knowing the product is essential, being able to speak about it with any customer is even of greater importance. The staff should easily describe, for example, the best vape mod in the store to an experienced vape user, as well as to a beginner in a friendly and professional manner.
The last word
Vaping is an attractive niche; yet, it has high entrance barriers, strict FDA regulations, stiff competition from the physical and online stores, both vaping and tobacco vendors. These and other risks pose a threat to an entrepreneur. The difficulties can be overcome if one has a well-crafted business plan, is armed with the advice of experts, and has a clear picture of all legal concerns. Even more, the FDA always rolls out more regulations of the vaping industry, especially in the light of recent events. All these make those who are determined to launch vaping business have a finger on the pulse of all intra-industry developments. Still, the industry actively develops and shows great promise for everyone who manages to follow all regulations.