How to Get Your Alternative Smoking Business Off The Ground
So, you’re looking to start an alternative smoking business? Whether you’re looking to get into tobacco free products, herbal cigarettes, or some other niche, there are some things to consider when you’re launching your company. In this short guide, we’ll cover some of the most important facets of starting a new business and why things like the quality of your product can make all the difference in your startup success.
The Tobacco Industry Is Losing Money
First and foremost, you need to get to know your market and the industry you’re going against. While you’re providing a smoking “alternative”, you’ll still technically be in competition with the billion-dollar tobacco industry. But there’s good news: the tobacco industry is losing money and customers.
Trends such as vaping have helped to start the slow death of the cigarette industry. In the last three decades, smoking has declined worldwide. This is likely due to the research conducted on the effects of smoking, and the efforts of organizations in uncovering the tobacco industry’s shady practices. Big tobacco doesn’t care about its customers, except that they bring the industry billions in revenue every year.
Big tobacco has even been discovered to be genetically engineering its tobacco in order to make it more addictive, with genetically modified plants containing up to twice the amount of tobacco. The point is that you’ll be going up against a powerhouse of money and influence, but that doesn’t mean that you’re automatically at a loss.
People enjoy the ritual of smoking/chewing/etc, but they don’t often want the terrible side-effects that come with cigarettes. Tobacco free chew has become a popular alternative, offering the same taste, texture, and feel as real tobacco, but minus the cancerous side-effects of regular chewing tobacco.
Some users are also opting for CBD oil and other products as a viable alternative to smoking. CBD has shown great promise in reducing cravings, and further research is being conducted to discover its true potential.
Be Careful With Labels
With an ever-increasing awareness of tobacco’s harmful side-effects, now is the perfect time to take a chance in the smoking alternative business. Ample scientific evidence exists to prove that smoking causes cancer, lung and heart disease, and many other serious complications. You can easily capitalize on this fact, but be careful with labeling.
You likely won’t be allowed to label your product as “safe” or “healthy”, in accordance with FDA guidelines. You’ll need to check to see what kind of language you can safely use on your labels.
What will help set you apart in the tobacco alternative business? A top-notch product, of course. Quality should be everything when you’re formulating your recipe and producing your product. Companies like Black Buffalo stand out because they’ve done endless research to put together a product that’s nearly indistinguishable from regular tobacco. That’s something people are willing to pay top dollar for.
Whether you’re producing tobacco free pouches or herbal cigarettes or even CBD oil, you must remember to focus on quality. If that means charging a bit more, then do so. Customers will appreciate a higher-quality product, and it’s all too easy to notice the difference between a top-notch and a low-grade product with something like tobacco alternatives.
Marketing is your second priority, next to the quality of your product. You can have the greatest product on the market right now, but if you don’t know how to market it properly, it won’t matter. You still need to get your top-notch product in front of the right people to create a viable business.
Covering the extent of good marketing practices would take an entire book in itself, so instead, check out this article on how to market a new product.
Next, we come to one of the most crucial components of a successful business: customer service. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re operating in; if your business doesn’t offer good customer service, its reputation will suffer. This means knowing your products inside and out, as well as the industry you’re operating in.
Customers will want to know why they should choose your product over the competition, and that’s a question you shouldn’t even have to think about. Make sure that your business is both accessible to the customer and offers some kind of customer service call line.
A Good Website
While a good website can technically fall under the marketing category, we believe it deserves its own spot because of its importance to a new or seasoned business. Your website is essentially your all-in-one marketing, selling, and information tool for your business. For many potential customers, your website is the first thing they’ll see in regards to your brand. Think of it as your entire brand’s landing page.
A good website is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, without too much emphasis on one over the other. You can have an excellent website that looks terrible and vice-versa, neither of which serves the ultimate purpose of increasing your conversion rate. Hire a professional for this part of your business. Sites like Wix and Weebly are great, but you’ll never create a website like a professional web designer can.