2018 may be looking like a bright new start to kick off your year with a nice big “GRAND OPENING” sign right above your brand new smoke shop. The time is now to open a store up! With the increasing high demand and popularity of legalizing cannabis products, it can be very profitable to jump into the growing industry. A smoke shop (also known as a head shop) is a store that sells cannabis and tobacco products and related accessories and/or equipment. You will need to create a solid business plan to help you acquire the resources you will need. Where do you even begin? What’s required? Do you have the time, money, and dedication to hop into this venture? If the answer is yes, we can help! Here’s a basic list of the essential steps in starting up your own smoke shop.
If you don’t have the funding required, you will not be able to get your dream store up and running. Determine all of your overhead and licensing costs to get an idea of how much money you will need to start up your business and operate. Research local competitor pricing on their merchandise to determine potential profit as well. You will need to develop a financial business plan to keep track of rent, utilities, inventory, and employee costs. You can acquire small business loan from your bank for funding if you can provide an adequate and promising business plan.
A good place to start is deciding on a catchy, unique business name for your new smoke shop that may hopefully build a profitable brand. You may think all the good ones are taken already or not sure how to check if it’s been taken. No worries! Thankfully, there are many free online resources available today to automatically generate different business names still up for grabs to help you make the selection. Start thinking of ideas of how you will want your logo design to look to represent you and your business storefront. You will want to hire a sign maker to create and install a sign in front of your store to help customers notice your location. The next step will be to apply for a business license with your county.
Research Your State Licensing Laws
Besides a business license, most states will require a specific tobacco license to open a smoke shop. For instance, the Board of Equalization (BOE) requires an annual cigarette and tobacco license for any store selling any tobacco related products in California. The process to obtain this license varies in different states. Do the homework to avoid breaking local statutes.
Find the Perfect Location
This can make or break your business and is very critical to your success. With the convenience of the alternative online shopping, accessibility is important to get your customers coming in-store to purchase their cannabis needs. You will want to choose a location that is easily visible and has good amount of foot and car traffic. If possible, choose a place with adequate parking whether it is a nice big lot or plenty of street parking to make it easier for people to make it into your store.
You will want to stock up your shelves with the cannabis essentials, accessories, and equipment. You can research online and even go in competitor smoke shops to see what they usually keep stocked. It may be a good idea to maximize inventory to suit a wide variety of customers. Find reliable suppliers that sell quality products that will fit your budget. Begin networking within the industry and community. Stocking your store with unique crafted glass and reasonably priced bongs made by TokersHub will help make you stand out from other head shops.
Market Your Business
Get your name out there! Advertising on avenues such as social media helps spread the word quickly and for free. You can also contact local college newspapers to place ads, pass out flyers and coupons. Having an online website for your store is also very helpful for interested customers to check out what you offer and provides more ways to easily contact your business.
Opening up your own smoke shop does not have to be an overwhelming nightmare. The most important step is taking into account all costs required and establishing a good plan and budget. Money talks! Do you have the funding required? This will determine whether owning a smoke shop will be possible for you. Do the research, take the tips we provided to get you started and begin on your journey to becoming a smoke shop owner in this booming business. We wish you never-ending success as you leap into the new year! Good luck.