How to Start a Vapour Lounge

May 23, 2017 4 min read

How to Start a Vapour Lounge

How to Start a Vapour Lounge

By Nataly Komova

How to Start a Vapour Lounge - this guide will get you closer to opening your dream vapour lounge or even a vape shop that will attract many vapers and make money! If you dream of opening a vapour lounge, look no further. You have stumbled upon a step-by-step guide to creating a lucrative and enjoyable vapour lounge. Like any business, you must have a solid business plan and an idea of where your income will come from. Let’s be clear, we are talking about a vapour lounge where people use vapes and e-liquids and not the funny stuff. Many vapour lounges get a bad rep from the assumption that they are innately related to marijuana smoking. This guide is referring to vapes and e-juice only.

The first step to opening your vape lounge is to develop an income stream. Think about what kind of lounge you want to create and go from there. Will you have hookas for people to rent or just vapes? Will people be able to rent vapes? You will also want to consider selling products like e-juices, vapes and even mods if you want to go that far. Licensing for alcohol can be a headache but this may be something you consider to keep the money flowing in. Maybe your lounge will simply serve coffee and tea and be more like a café. Perhaps you want to charge a cover at the door. There are many options available to develop an income stream just be creative and think about what kind of vibe you are going for in your lounge and go from there.

Second, you will want to consider your opening-operating budget. In a small to medium sized city you will be looking at an operating budget of between $10,000 and $20,000. Of course that is being frugal. You’ll want to consider the entire overhead cost involved with opening such as rent, décor, supplies, renovations etc. Make sure to secure a place that is in a good location in the city and that will get a lot of traffic. Of course you’re alos going to balance this with the cost of rent. There is no sense paying most of your budget to rent. You’ll also have to pay property, business and other taxes, which you should bear in mind upon opening. When you’re looking for a space look for what kinds of amenities are offered, such as kitchen, bathroom etc. If you do figure you’ll need to do renovations make certain to take this into account as renos can cause double what is anticipated and they more often than not take longer as well. You’ll also want to consider other startup costs such as couches, televisions, dishware, vapes, e-juice etc. To start, you can consider these numbers: 5 couches, 5 vapes, 5 tables with 20 chairs, a fridge, stereo or sound system, and a couple televisions. You will likely begin by working in the lounge alone with people who volunteer to work or perhaps daily labour. Also consider signage. As you grow you can increase the quantity of items you offer within the lounge.

Another good place to start is by talking to others who have opened they kinds of lounges. Pick their brains and seep up their knowledge. You may consider taking a visit to a vapour lounge or two to get some ideas.

Third make certain you are aware of all bylaws and legal implications around opening a vapour lounge. There are likely permits you have to apply for and licencing fees so make sure you do all your research and have everything covered before you move ahead with opening the business. Go meet the neighbours of the surrounding business to establish a good rapport. It is a good idea to get in well with your neighbours from the get goes before they have a negative experience and choose to undermine your business. You are in a contentious business that has some assumptions around it so you want to manage to establish your credentials as a reputable business owner from the get go.

Fourth, consider your insurance options. Vapour lounges are considered risky to insurance companies due to the risk of fire etc. You will want to be protected in the worst-case scenario.

Fifth, remember that this is a business and it was never meant to be easy. You will consistency want to be responding to your client’s needs and suggestions. Make your customers feel as though they are at home but they are paying you for constant upgrades. They are looking for an enjoyable place to go to vape with some friends and their community. Make sure it is your place they are coming to.

Sixth, consider the competition. Competition is a good thing as it drives business. You want to know your competitors. Before you open the doors you should have a strong understanding of who your competition is, what they offer, what their pricing is like etc. In order to continue to rise the bar you have to be certain that you are offering the best that is out there. Before you finalize the rental space, spend time in the community and see what it is all about. Understand the community in order to provide what they are looking for.

Seventh, another consideration in opening your own vape lounge is advertising. There are regulations around advertising but they are different in different parts of the world. You will want to be familiar with all the legal advertising options available to you and maximise them. People will not know you are there if you do not advertise. Word of mouth is also an amazing tool so you can consider hosting a grand opening or open house for free before you start to charge cover so that people will hopefully enjoy their time the first time and bring their friends the next time. Be creative!

Finally, have fun and work hard. You have covered all your bases and you are ready to open a vapour lounge. Best of luck, and get ready to put in the blood sweat and tears that comes with running your own small business.

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