As the vaping industry continues to explode, many entrepreneurs are rushing to fill storefronts and create websites to take advantage of this trend. The excitement of this trend is carefully guarded, given the recent attempts at increasing legislation that are aimed at reducing the accessibility of some vaping products. This introduces a highly dynamic marketplace that, while success can be achieved with relative ease, presents a number of hurdles that must be addressed before starting a vape shop business.
When the choice is made to dive into this multi-billion dollar industry, you need to have the proper tools in your belt to achieve success while realizing reduced levels of operational risk. Some risk factors, such as location, legal and regulatory requirements, and insurance, are well known and have volumes written about them to guide you. Other potential areas of risk, such as product line identification and managing your customer data and staffing, will require you to step out of the box.
A key tool you need in your business arsenal is a next-gen POS software solution. This takes the old school till and ledger systems to a new world through functionalities that can manage and provide accurate, custom data points in all areas of your operations. For vaping retailers, this means being able to track inventory, manage staff, and even manage an online store, all from one, multidimensional tool. The benefits of taking a Swiss Army knife approach to managing your operations can be seen in three main areas.
Identifying and Meeting the Product Needs of Your Clientele
Knowing what is trending in the vaping market is only the beginning of starting a vape shop business. You will need to identify which trends are in play within the market you will be serving, as well as to understand exactly what your competition is offering. Conducting a competitive analysis allows you to establish a starting point for product offerings and pricing. This will prove to be an important launch point, as even the best POS solutions on the market need data to provide you with direction.
With localized and trending product offerings selected, you can now let your POS system perform data gathering and analysis. Here you gain two key advantages: you get a real-time view into what products are selling and which are languishing on the shelf, and you can easily adjust orders and gain control over inventory from the start. Using transactional data from your POS terminal gives you predictive ordering and allows you to better serve your customers through knowing what they want.
Equipping yourself with a high level of information allows you to not just offer an accurate representation of desired products. You gain opportunities to deepen customer relationships through the ability to run customer loyalty programs. These serve as great marketing tools to drive repeat business while presenting you with the ability to develop targeted promotional campaigns with precision. Your customers, in turn, feel as if you know them thanks to the personalized touch of the promotions you run and the loyalty rewards you offer.
Using a POS Solution to Help Manage Your Business Operations
With product requirements in hand and your customer service strategy ready to roll, the next set of benefits for starting a vape shop business is centered on managing your vaping store in its entirety. Security needs to be at the forefront of this discussion, as the recent surge in vape store robberies can attest. In light of this, you must consider a cloud-based POS solution as being a non-negotiable item on your list when seeking a vendor. This ensures the security of your business and your customer, while vastly improving business continuity in most business interruption situations.
Your POS solution must integrate into all of the key aspects of business management. Managing inventory in real-time is a great asset in preventing product leakage and can make the task of pulling products from your shelves due to regulatory changes easy and accurate. This reduces operating risk while limiting the liabilities you may be exposed to by keeping illegal products on your shelves.
Staff management is made easier with a next-gen POS toolset in place. You can perform scheduling and payroll processing via a mobile app, and allow your staff to enter time information in the same way. You can readily view staff performance via multiple customized reporting options, allowing you to identify potential performance or product leakage issues. Through this same reporting, you can determine your top performers so employee rewards and promotions can easily be determined.
Effectively Handle Regulatory and Tax Implications
Legal and regulatory hurdles continue to stiffen as changes in tax structures, growing health concerns, and even trade issues make operating a vape shop a costlier and riskier endeavor. The changing legal landscape around starting a vape shop business gets even more complicated if you are considering an online presence to your store. This means that you must have the right tools in place so that you can quickly change in whichever direction the regulatory winds are blowing.
This becomes highly important when products are banned from sale and you must dispose of them from your shelves and inventory. With a highly capable POS system in place, you can quickly and accurately comply with the changes and reduce your risk of non-compliance. Additionally, you can easily track the accuracy of your staff when checking the IDs (carding) of younger customers. You will be able to quickly determine and rapidly correct any situation in which staff is not checking IDs or letting underage individuals purchase items that should be restricted.
Maintaining accurate financial records is critical in addressing changes in applicable tax codes, and reduces the risks of tax penalties or high tax payments at the end of the year. You will also gain precise visibility into how revenues flow into and out of your business, aiding in identifying places where efficiencies can be gained. This can serve as another legal checkpoint to keep products from leaving your store in an unregulated or illegal manner, all thanks to an innovative, all-inclusive POS software solution.
Starting a Vape Shop Business Requires an Expert Touch
Starting a vape shop business presents some unique challenges that most small business owners do not typically need to address. Effectively managing inventory and monitoring restricted access products in an increasingly regulated industry means you will need highly effective tools in place to reduce associated risk factors. Establishing the parameters around all of this makes getting the right tools in place for vape shop owners a bit more complex.
Using an expert in your field that has a broad-spectrum knowledge base around technology and addressing regulatory concerns is critical from day one to ensure risk-free success. You cannot afford to have any holes through which revenue or banned products to slip through. The expert you engage must be able to design and implement a multi-functional POS system into your store to ensure secure and efficient operations while staying ahead of customer expectations.
Enlisting the help of an expert is crucial to properly identify and implement the perfect POS solution for starting a vape shop business. At talech, we take the time to identify the key business and legal challenges you face. We present you with a technology-based toolset that provides a wide range of customizable features so you can feel confident knowing the system you’re implementing gives you the results you desire while reducing your risk factors. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.