How to Start Your E-Liquid Company

 

If you own a vape shop and are looking to increase your profits by launching an e-liquid line then you are onto a great idea. Many e-cigarette retailers have gone beyond the basic house juices to create some great lines of ultra premium e-liquid. It’s not easy to develop great juice. You can’t just throw some old house e-juice in a glass dripper bottle and call it premium. Brands like Five Pawns, Cuttwood, and Cosmic Fog put many months into developing their premium flavors and their success confirms that their brands are truly premium. 

 

I recently went to a local vape and I noticed they had their logo on bottles of e-liquid. I assumed it was their house brand since it was all plastic bottles and looked very much like any other house brand e-juice. I asked how much per bottle and was shocked to find that they were selling 15ml for $11.99 and 30ml for $18.99. I said, “wow, that’s pricey” and was told that this was a premium line and all premium lines cost that much. Some of their “premium” flavors included: Black Cherry, Root Beer, and Gummy Bears which are flavors that can be purchased from companies like Heartland Vapes in bulk. This store might be able to convince some newbie that this is in fact a premium juice but everyday vapers will see right through the BS.

 

Getting Started
1. Put Pen to Paper

What do you like to vape? Write down 4 of your favorite flavors and their flavor profiles. You don’t want to rip off someone else’s hard work but you do want to make flavors that you personally would enjoy vaping. Once you have your small list together you can start to develop the flavors. There are many flavoring manufacturers but Capella is one that is known to be of high quality. Here are some links to popular starter flavors: Double Cheesecake, Sweet Strawberry, Honeydew Melon.

If you are already making your flavors then you can move to step two.

2. Organize a Blind Test

Invite customers to sample your flavors under blind conditions. Get some feedback and keep track of how many people tried the juice and how many people said it was great, ok, or downright terrible. Everyone has different tastes but if you have a good flavor most people will tell you it’s either ok or really good. Ask lots of questions and make slight improvements based on people’s opinions.

3. Finalize Your Flavors

Write down the recipe for each flavor and hide away in safe environment. Make sure you are using a manufacturing process that is 100% consistent so that each bottle tastes exactly the same. Make sure you know how long your e-liquid needs to steep for and plan for that during the manufacturing process. Do final testing to make sure that you are fully ready to go to market.

Going to Market
1. Develop a Pre-Launch Strategy

You are going to need a good strategy if you plan on making it big in the e-liquid business. Everyone and their grandmother is starting an e-liquid company so the competition is very tough. Your pre-launch strategy should include giving out free samples of your juice for people to try, networking with local vapers, and talking about your product at every opportunity.

2. Lauch a Website

Create a website for your line that is separate from your retail business. You want people to differentiate between two for now. Later on, once you e-liquid takes off, you can leverage the wide reach of your e-liquid to publicize your local vape shop. iVape Local can build you a very nice, modern e-liquid website. We can also build a “vendor portal” where vendors can order you juice directly. Having a website for your juice line is absolutely key to getting the word out.

3. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Create social media accounts for your e-liquid line. Again, keep this separate from your retail store. Publicize your launch every day through posts and tweets. Another great thing to do would be to run contests and give away free samples. be sure to be posting links to your e-liquid’s website so that users can get all the information that they need.

4. Branding

Make sure that you have a unique logo and brand presence. Look at some of the most successful premium e-liquid lines. They all have unique, catchy logos and slogans. Right now it seems like the retro/classic style is the hip thing for logos but that could change. The bottom line is to separate yourself though your branding.

5. Pricing

Don’t think that because you are willing to sell your e-liquid for less that you will suddenly take over the market. If your e-juice is truly premium then you need to be charging a premium price. Price your product the same as other premium lines or possibly more. If you underprice your product people will see it as a lower quality than your competitors who are charing a higher price. This is a very big mistake that many would-be premium e-liquid companies make. They think that because their juice is cheaper they will sell more of it. If you flavors are good then people will not mind paying the going market rate for an ultra premium bottle of e-liquid.

 

Getting Into Other Stores
1. Sales Strategy

Other shop owners are generally not going to come knocking on your looking to carry your line. Once you have established yourself as premium you will need to sell to other shops. If possible, hire a sales person to cold call on vape shops across the nation. This can be done over the phone and is a great way to get some orders going. Hopefully, your juice is as good as you think it is and the shops testing your line will reorder.

2. Offer a Loss Leader

Give a nice discount on the initial order with no MOQ. This will give you a great in with other shops and they will be drawn to your product due to the higher margins.

3. Compensate your Sales People Well

Most sales people are used to having their pay tied to performance. Give them a decent pay plan that you can afford. Ideally, you can take one of your current staff members and have the dedicate a portion of their day to cold calling. This will give them an opportunity to grow with business and make some extra money and it will give you more sales.

4. Trade Shows / Conferences

Once you start making a little money you should attend industry trade shows. Trade shows are even a good idea to do pre-launch but booths can get expensive and it might not be feasible initially.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article. if you are launching an e-liquid line and need some assistance with web design or SEO please contact us and we will be happy to help.