What to do when your vapor store starts to fail?

I recently had a conversation with a vape shop owner who was having a very hard time. His store had become unprofitable and was barely breaking even. The guy was looking to get out or take on a partner who could throw some cash into the business. For obvious reasons I will not name the shop but it is a very nice, clean store in a high traffic area. On the outside it would appear that the store was doing everything right but there were some deep problems under the surface.

In this article we will examine common problems that vapor shops face on a daily basis and things you can do correct them.

  • 1. Not Enough Walk In Customers

    Being a local B&M, walk in customers are going to be the lifeblood of your business. Many shops struggle with getting foot traffic when they first open their doors but if they market correctly they will generally be able to sustain.

    If you aren’t getting enough foot traffic try these things:

    1. Buy some of those big flags and set them up on the street. This will show people that you are open for business.
    2. Ask your friends and family to share your vape shop on their social media accounts. You might not have a very big following but if you add up all of your friend’s social accounts you will probably reach a lot of people
    3. Work on your local SEO by making sure your Google My Business listing is linked to your website. Also, go out and create local listings in various business directories such Yelp, Trip Advisor, and others.
  • 2. Not Enough Cash Flow

    If you opened your store with limited funds, chances are you thought things would take off very quickly and you would be able to sustain yourself. Besides selling more vape gear there are several ways that you can get a quick boost in csh for your business.

    1. Get a vapor specific business loan. There are several companies who specialize in lending to vapor related businesses. Companies like SPS Business Loans can give you a quick boost in cash as long as you have at least $5,000 per month in sales.
    2. Sell your products ridiculously cheap. If you need capital quick you can sell some of your items for a little bit above cost. You won’t make any profit doing this but will be able to extract some fast cash form your vape shop.
  • 3. Too Much Money Being spent on Labor

    While we love to create jobs, sometimes your have to lay off your employees to stay in business. Are there any tasks at the store that you can do by yourself? Think long and hard before you go laying people off but at the end of the day you have a responsibility to yourself and your family to stay in business. If your monthly labor cost is say, $5,000, you might be able to chop that in half by working long hours in the shop by yourself. I know that’s not how you envisioned things when you opened but you have to do what you have to do in order to keep the doors open.

  • 4. Poor Buying Practices

    Buying your the products that you sell to customers is a very important task. Many wholesale companies will negotiate on price if you play your cards right. Don’t be afraid to ask the wholesale company to earn your business by offering you a price break or a lower MOQ.

    You can always reach out to the good folks over in China and see if you can buy direct. You will certainly get a better price and have more luck negotiating but it will take much longer to get your items in (customs, etc). Check out Alibaba if you are interested in sourcing direct from China. Be prepared for your email to be filled with offers from Chinese companies who want to sell to you. Just don’t forget to negotiate!

  • 5. Poor Sales Strategy

    You never want to be pushy with trying to sell to your customer. You do however, want to suggest items that go along with what they are currently purchasing. You should formulate an upsell at the register by telling the customer about a new product that you just got in or a product that you are selling at discount that you have not previously advertised. Hopefully, you can increase your average sale amount through this strategy.

If you have any questions or need help with getting more customers, you can contact iVape Local by filling out the contact form here. Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected].