Setting up a cannabis business is relatively easy but making it a success story offers the real challenge. It is no surprise majority of the new ventures end up in a dismal failure.
Often, new entrepreneurs find it overwhelming to take care of a multitude of factors that play a critical role in the make or break of a new business initiative. It may sound discouraging, and you may likely feel rather disheartened and disappointed.
If you are thinking of setting up a new cannabis venture or you already have set up a cannabis startup and are now struggling to steer it to turn into a successful business, you don’t need to get disappointed.
The good news is that by adopting the right strategic approach you can scale up your cannabis startup. Following lines through light on useful strategic options and practical tips that you find exceptionally helpful to address the challenges of scaling up your cannabis venture.
Here are very simple ideas for scaling up your cannabis startup but powerful when executed.
1. Build a Successful Cannabis Startup Team
A recent study including 95 new startup participants from the Netherlands found that experience alone does not make a team successful. Shared entrepreneurial passion and vision are what is required to get a high-performing team.
Whether in a startup or in a large organization, common goals and open communication contribute to a culture of cooperation and productivity. Make sure your team can communicate openly and share ideas.
This way you will develop a strong startup team you are proud of and that will change the dynamic of how you grow the business.
A wrong team can be one of the reasons your startup fails to take off. Building a highly productive team that can communicate, cooperate, and coordinate successfully is not a one-time event and requires ongoing development and leadership.
Regardless of how challenging this journey is, building the right team for your cannabis startup is a vital component to success.
2. Improve Your Cannabis Startup’s Efficiency with Technology
Implementing changes to everyday processes can be intimidating and require some financial investment. But it is worth the trouble.
There are many affordable resources out there that can improve efficiencies in your small business and make it thrive – however, the real question is where to look?
Here’s how the use of technology in your processes will help to make your cannabis startup more efficient.
- Streamlining team communication by implementing project management and web-based communication tools is key to efficiency. Basecamp, Asana, and Trello are a few examples of free providers to choose from.
- Implementing automation processes to cut down on the labor cost. Investing in an automated production system, such as a pre-rack filling machine can be cost-effective in the long run.
- Bigger orders often mean bigger discounts. Always negotiate the vendor price by asking for a bulk discount.
Eventually, the more efficient your processes are, the more you would be able to scale your cannabis startup.
3. Seed-to-sale Application
As a cannabis entrepreneur, you can immensely benefit from the information flowing from tracking every gram of the product – from seed to sale. Seed-to-sale applications assist you in performing compliance monitoring, dispensary point-of-sale functionality, and predictive analytics.
Seed-to-sale applications such as Green Bits, Cova, Weed Advisor, TraceWeed allow cannabis startups to manage every facet of their cannabis business effectively.
4. Scaling With Cannabis ERP Software
If none of your systems and operations are aligned to work together, you devote nearly as much time collecting and centralizing your data, which is pointless and not productive.
Consolidating data by automating it will allow you to get things rolling at the same amount of time, increasing productivity in the process.
Adopting cannabis ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a stepping-stone to maximizing efficiencies and being at the top of the growing competition. ERP will manage your entire growth operation from one place and with a single software solution.
This will also minimize the risk of human error and allow your team to concentrate on vital processes that technology cannot deal with.
Choosing the right cannabis ERP solution that will foster success in your cannabis business is crucial. Whether you are a cannabis cultivator, retailer, or investing in a CBD market, the right software will replace a group of stand-alone operations by instantly scaling efficiency, and minimizing manual processes.
While investing in Cannabis ERP software and implementing automated processes might be pricier in the beginning, in the long-term it will cut costs and increase business efficiency.
5. Get Your Cannabis Business Noticed
The sooner you get your cannabis business noticed, the better you off.
Given the restrictions on cannabis promotion and advertisement by platforms such as Google, Facebook, you need to find ways to highlight your digital presence. There are many cannabis-friendly social media platforms like Leafwire, Weedable, and CannaSOS that will help you build your cannabis business social network.
Another key to digital success is connecting with cannabis influencers. For example, Reddit is a forum whereby establishing your connection with top cannabis influencers can promote your business’s online presence.
It is worth noting that you don’t have to start with big influencers with millions of followers. Start building relationships with small and medium-sized online influencers whose content complements your brand vision.
Additionally, it is very important that you make sure the influencers you work with know and keep up with the laws related to publishing content for cannabis businesses and properly disclose any relationships.
Per the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, an influencer should disclose any financial, employment, personal, or family relationship with a brand or business. Otherwise, both parties may face penalties.
6. Invest in Cannabis SEO
Building your profile on online platforms such as Google My Business and Bing Business Places can help your business do well in local search results.
When choosing to invest your time and money in Cannabis SEO, you need an individual who can help you figure out the right keywords related to your business. You may focus on keywords that offer lower competition and have a relatively higher traffic volume.
For example, if you decided to write a review on weedmaps in order to attract cannabis-related traffic to your website. The above table shows that the keyword ‘weedmaps’ attracts 85k users – the highest traffic volume. You may face a sufficient level of difficulty to rank for that keyword.
Instead, if you decide to go for ‘weedmaps Toronto’, the difficulty level is considerably low with a reasonably larger flow of traffic.
The next important part of optimizing your website is content development; a content writer with appropriate knowledge of the cannabis niche can prove fundamental in the creation of highly relevant and engaging content.
Similarly, you require social media, WordPress (if you are using the WordPress platform), and SEO-related skills. Realistically analyze what tasks you can effectively manage yourself and outsource the rest to qualified individuals.
7. Differentiate Your Cannabis Business From Other Businesses
Differentiate your business from others by customizing your products, price, and delivery.
For example, as a cannabis business, you can focus on emerging products such as Delta 8 THC, or offer a wider product assortment by including edibles and cbd in your inventory. This can also expand your customer base as you can send cbd to locations outside of your immediate area, though you will want to be sure to know all of the legalities involved in shipping cbd.
By cutting your business costs down, you can offer lower prices than most of your other cannabis competitors.
Finally, you can offer value to cannabis consumers by making discrete, reliable, and fast delivery services. By offering same-day delivery, you can outperform established hemp industry players, which have to deal with large order volumes.
These are just a few options; with the right strategic mindset, you can explore several options to differentiate your cannabis startup from other businesses.
Scaling up a cannabis startup brings an entire range of challenges. However, by developing an effective strategic orientation, you can overcome obstacles new businesses struggle to deal with.
The above-listed strategies would not only offer you a direction to channel your efforts but also helps your business to beat the odds of newness.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.