An existing love of cigars and an understanding of the cigar industry greatly assists an entrepreneur in the cigar and cigar accessory supply industry. Learn about cigars, cigar accessory products and cigar smoking rituals. Start by conducting in-store visits to local cigar shops and cigar bars in your region.
Books such as Nat Sherman’s A Passion for Cigars: Selecting, Preserving, Smoking, and Savoring One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures, by Joel Sherman and Robert Ivry offer a good introduction to the art of the cigar. This includes insights on the history and production of cigars, as well as the types of fine cigars and accessories that contribute to a high quality cigar smoke experience.
Like any business, certain start-up business administrations will need to be completed before officially offering services and products for sell. The quality of product offerings will be limited only by your ability to find high caliber cigar manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
Cigar Accessory Business Start-up Administrations and Commercial Humidor Facilities
It is best to start any new business with a business plan. Business planning helps an entrepreneur to research and note relevant cigar industry news and trends. In a plan the target market can be identified, as well as industry competitors. Financial capital needs for a cigar and cigar accessory business should be included in the business plan. The cost information for cigar and accessory inventory can be obtained through a wholesale product cost calculation from prospective cigar accessory supplier catalogs.
Register the business and secure any special licensing required by either the regional and State government authorities to operate this type of business. Obtain a tax identification number (TIN) from the IRS and set up a business bank account. Consult with a local attorney for assistance in these business administration matters and to learn about the regulatory compliance issues raised by operating this type of business.
The commercial facility requirements will vary depending on the type of distribution. A retail shop is required for direct sales to consumers, unless selling solely as an online cigar retailer. For cigar wholesalers and distributors, a warehouse facility is needed to properly store the inventory of cigar and cigar accessory supplies. While the requirements to store cigars in an air humidity that is approximately 60% to 70% of the average humidity level to maintain cigar freshness, the commercial humidor system for a cigar warehouse will require a more sophisticated hygrometer system than those used by average cigar consumers.
Finding Cigar and Cigar Accessory Suppliers
Create a list of cigar and cigar accessory product manufacturers and suppliers. Cigar accessory resource categories will include manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of cigar humidors, cigar cutters, cigar lighters, cigar ashtrays, cigar cases and cigar hygrometers. Learn about fine cigars and popular ones with world-wide reputations. This will include cigars such as Cohiba, Padron, Gurkha, Davidoff and MonteCristo brands.Contact the sales department for listed cigar and accessory suppliers and request a product catalog. Inquire about commercial credit terms. If offered, request a business credit application.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers only supply goods through registered wholesalers or may be under contract to distribute products through an exclusive distributor. Also, some distributors offer wholesale pricing to other distributors. Join industry organizations such as the Cigar Association of America, Inc. (CAA), a national trade organization of manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and distributors of cigar suppliers and cigar accessories. Membership in the CAA helps an industry seller to stay abreast of news and trends, as well as to network with other dealers.
Starting a New Cigar Business
Starting a cigar business is an opportunity for those who love cigars to make a living in the cigar industry by supplying the demand for cigars and cigar accessories. There are a number of ways to learn more about the world of cigars. This includes visiting cigar stores and cigar bars. Read cigar industry books and magazines such as Cigar Aficionado.
Complete business administrative tasks before selling cigars and cigar accessories. The best business practice for any start-up business is to write a business plan. Develop a list of accessory suppliers for items such as cigar humidors, cutters and cases. Contact suppliers and inquire about the availability of reseller credit terms. Lastly, join associations to stay abreast of cigar industry trends and to network with cigar and cigar accessory manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers.