Q. The first section contains mandatory questions. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/cities.
A. Kingdom Vapor Wholesale is a distributor of electronic cigarette hardware and E-liquids. We distribute a wide range of vaping products from low end starter kits to higher end mods and rebuildables. We are located in Clarion PA.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A. My name is Ben Oesterling I am 27 years old and from Butler Pennsylvania. I was raised working for our family business and opened Smoke 4 Less LLC in 2010 with my family. In 2012 I started Kingdom Vapor Wholesale.
Q. What inspired you to start a new business venture or make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
A. We started out as a tobacco store in 2010 and in a few months we started carrying eGo E-Cig products and other 510 electronic cigarette accessories. We spent a lot time learning how they worked so we could sell them better. In the summer of 2012 we had realized how great the vaping industry was but also how many stores were having trouble finding a good american supplier. Many stores were also having trouble understanding how the more advanced products worked. We decided to start distributing the products we loved and Kingdom Vapor Wholesale was born.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. Make sure you and your employees are knowledgeable on the products you sell. The more knowledgeable you are, the more the customer will trust you.
Provide the best customer service possible.
Carry a variety of products. Many small business owners only sell brands / products they like to use but often times your customers will have a different opinion of whats best for them.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
A. 10-12 hours
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. Love of the products we sell and the industry we are working in.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. Social media and some print ads have been have been what we use most for marketing.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A. We started small and have worked hard for everything we have always rolling everything back into the business to grow it.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A. Always think about the future and have a clear idea of the direction you want to go.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A. I see the business in a much larger location here in PA, possibly manufacturing some of our own products in house. I will still be working the business the same way I always have hands on.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. I think google is pretty admirable. They started very small and have grown it into a huge company over the span of 15 years.
Q.The next section contains recommended questions. How important have good employees been to your success?
A. Our employees have played a major part in the business’s success. We have been lucky to have a great staff that we can trust. They have worked hard to help us get to were we are today.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A. If it is something we believe is a really great idea and would help us or our customers, we will stick with it until it works.
Q. What motivates you?
A. Family is a huge part of what motivates me in this business. Another big motivation is the passion for the products we sell and the love for the industry as a whole.
Q. What are your ideals?
A. Being Honest, Trustworthy, and respectful in everything we do
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. We do a lot of brainstorming as a group to come up with new ideas.
Q. How do you define success?
A. Success is knowing that you worked hard and did your best to get where you are
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. Great customer service is key to having a successful and loyal customer base. Always be there for your customers and if they have a problem they need to know you’re there to help solve it.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A. Every day is different
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A. Dealing with our customers. We have a great customer base that is very loyal and cares about us as much as we care about them.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A. Most entrepreneurs have to sacrifice more free time and hobby’s for the sake of the business.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A. We are very customer service oriented. We have always believed that our customers come first and we go the extra mile to help solve their problems.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q. The next section contains optional questions. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A. I would work harder from the start and be more open minded
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
A. With our current location we already owned the building and remodeled to make it fit our needs. We are currently looking for another larger location and we have been looking for something that is large enough that we can grow into it over the years to come.
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A. My parents they have taught me more then anyone else about business.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. I moved out of my hometown to be closer to the business but the biggest sacrifice would be my free time. Most of my time now is spent at work or working of things from home.
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