The history and culture of cigars is kept alive by anyone who enjoys a fine smoke. If you are a cigar lover who wants to pursue your passion by opening a cigar shop, don’t let expense get in your way. Several approaches to starting a cigar shop will keep costs down and give you time to develop and build your business.
Research wholesale prices from several suppliers to find a competitive source and start with a relatively small, but diverse number of cigar brands and types. Diversifying increases the chances that customers will find a cigar they want. You can also roll your own cigars to sell. Purchase used or wholesale humidors to keep cigars in. If you are proficient in woodcraft, building your own humidors will defray costs even more.
Start your shop as a web-based business offering custom, hand rolled cigars. There are several web hosting companies that allow you to create a website using pre-designed templates. The websites are maintained for a low monthly rate and cost much less than hiring a professional web designer.
Find affordable and creative ways to advertise and draw customers. Local radio and newspaper ads are viable options. Keep in touch with customers with a monthly e-newsletter. This will keep you in their minds and increase the chances that they will tell their friends about you. Another way to attract people is to host cigar related events such as cigar rolling classes or cigar dinners.
Eventually you will want your own space. Before leasing your own shop, start smaller by having a cigar stand. Other, larger stores and businesses will sometimes rent out an area of their space. It is also possible to obtain a street vendor license and have an outdoor stand, or to establish a mall kiosk. In the summer, travel to and set up your stand at street fairs and outdoor markets or festivals.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.