How to Open a Cigar Shop – Online or Off

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How to Open a Cigar Shop Business Overview:

If you’re looking for a unique business that can operate in a physical store or exclusively online, you should learn how to open a cigar shop. Cigars are increasing in popularity with both men and women in all age groups and are more widely accepted among the non-smoking population. Cigars are rolled fermented tobacco leaves that you light like a cigarette but there are no harmful additives. Opening a cigar shop in a storefront can be quite lucrative if your location is a good one. Looking for a location far away from any other cigar and tobacco shops may not be the best idea. If there is not a cigar store in a 25 mile radius of a particular area, there’s probably a reason. Instead, consider opening your shop in the same general area of a competitor. That way, you may be able to attract some of the traffic away from other stores. Find out what types of cigars other stores in your area offer and go a different direction. Select a niche like cigars from Central America and offer a greater variety of those items. Consider dedicating an area of your shop as a lounge for customers to smoke the cigars they’ve just purchased. Install TVs and make video games and magazines available to your customers. The more relaxed your customers are, the more likely they are to purchase more cigars and to come back for the experience. You may decide, however, when looking into how to open a cigar store, that opening a virtual store online may be a better option. Other than proper storage for your stock of cigars (a large humidor or a temperature and humidity controlled room), you will just need a slick website and knowledge of cigar laws and taxes. Your state’s department of revenue will have the latest taxation schedule that will include information about how cigars are taxed. You will also need to have a way to verify each customer’s age on your website since it is illegal (in some countries) to sell cigars to persons under 18. You should include in each shipment instructions for proper care of cigars to ensure they stay fresh and don’t dry out. Other options for opening a cigar shop are to operate a kiosk on the street or in a mall or you could have numerous cigar vending machines. Regardless of whether you choose to operate your cigar shop in a storefront, online or with a kiosk, it’s important to also offer cigar accessories like cigar cutters, humidors, lighters, cases, etc. Selling cigars can be one of the most profitable business ideas out there if you choose your location carefully, advertise your website correctly and offer the best cigars and customer service.

A Day in the Life of a Cigar Shop Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.If you run your business in a storefront, you will start your day by making sure your inventory is properly displayed before the shop. Throughout the day you will assist customers in finding just the right cigars for their needs. If you operate online only, your hours are more flexible but you will need to check orders often and ship out cigars in a timely manner. It’s important that you continuously update your website with new items and keep in constant contact with your suppliers to ensure you have the right amount of stock and your customers won’t have to wait for their shipments to arrive.

About Your Customers:

Your customers will be individuals looking for high quality cigars that come with excellent customer service.

What You Need to Start:

  • Business plan
  • Stock of cigars
  • Storefront or website (or kiosk or vending machine)
  • Humidor(s) or temperature/humidity controlled storage facility
  • Knowledge of cigars
  • Computer with finance software

The Good:

  • Cigars are increasing in popularity among a wider age, gender and socioeconomic population.
  • You can mark up the prices of your cigars and make a good profit while keeping prices competitive.
  • If you operate this business online, you can make your own hours and work from home.
  • If you operate this business in a storefront, you get to spend your days with fellow cigar aficionados in a fun environment.
  • Your customers will come back again and again for more high quality cigars.
  • As an industry insider, you have access to the best and newest items on the market.

The Bad:

  • If you open a physical store, start-up costs can be steep.
  • It can take some time to build up your customer base.


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