Create A Cig: Success Tips from One of the Fastest Growing Vape Retailers
Hear from one vape shop owner about how he grew his business into one of the largest vape chains in Texas.
September 18, 2014
If you’re thinking of opening a vape store, you might want to take a page out of Darrell Suriff’s book.
Mr. Surrif is the founder of Create a Cig, a family owned business that skyrocketed to major success in just under two years. Darrell’s son noticed people vaping in clubs and brought up the idea as a possible business venture. After major research, the two gave it a go. Eight months later, they had four locations. Now about two years after opening, they have a total of twenty three physical stores in multiple states. Mind-blowing.
How’d he do it? Well, having an extensive background in A-list customer service didn’t hurt! Darrell has been a Field Services Marketing Manager for Best Buy and Senior Manager of Office Depot – overseeing twenty million in revenue. His business-savvy brain, attention to detail, and passion for his customers has made him one of the vape industry’s heavy hitters.
We had a chat with Darrell to discuss his crazy successful habits. So grab a pen and paper and get these down!
1. Plan on Growth, But Have an Exit Strategy
Running a vaping business is a constant risk. Though Darrell supports the FDA, he says there is always a fear that vape stores may be shut down due to certain regulations. He suggests having a lease with an exit strategy in the event that you are forced to close. That way, you’re not stuck with the bill for a property you don’t need.
2. Find a Merchant Account That Specializes in Vape Businesses
Most banks will not give vape businesses a merchant account because they are considered “high risk.” Really do your research, find a merchant account provider that specializes in high risk business, and call them to make sure. About 90% of them won’t take you when they find out what you do. Darrell used Total-Apps, which works heavily in the vape industry and had the best cost structure. In working with the company, he also found that sales hit his bank two days faster than with other merchant accounts.
3. Know What’s Going On
Be involved in your business from every aspect. Know the state and local regulations on your industry like the back of your hand, so you can be prepared to support positive potential regulations or overcome negative legislation that could prevent the consumers from having easy and affordable access to alternatives to smoking.
4. Have a Back-up Plan
Darrell was self-funded, but most vape businesses open on a shoe string budget. This makes it tough because most of the time, you have to put up a lot of money for product, which you don’t make back until they are sold. Also, financing for bail out isn’t readily available, so you need to make sure you have funding in place just in case the worst happens.
5. Be in the Business for the Right Reasons
Darrell is passionate about his eCig business because he knows he is helping so many people quit smoking and improve the quality of their lives. This is what motivates him to expand. He obviously never sells to anyone under 18, but many doctors actually send their lung cancer patients to his store to help them stop their addiction to traditional cigarettes.
Experts like Darrell make the rest of us look our industry look good. So listen up and follow suit! You might just be on your way to vape superstardom.