10 Keys to Success for Entrepreneurs in the Cannabis Industry

Farmer in a hemp field using a tablet

The cannabis industry is growing at a tremendous pace and businesses are springing up all over. Those who start their businesses without having the requisite knowledge are setting themselves up for failure. Here is some advice for those who are starting out in the cannabis industry.

  1. Do research

Investing and financing are usually the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to entering the cannabis market. Many a venture has failed because it is not be funded well enough to get the early traction needed for subsequent growth.

Exhaustive, far-reaching research needs to be conducted into the target market. Every cost variable, from getting space, hiring workers and distributing or wholesaling the product must be taken into account. In planning for investment and financing, you are likely to need the help of knowledgeable industry professionals.

  1. Foster strategic partnerships

Strategic networks and partnerships are vital in all business today, including in the cannabis industry. It’s hard for a cannabis business to stand alone and survive. Those who seek out mutually beneficial business partnerships are more likely to experience success over the long term.  Such partnerships will allow you to scale your business quickly because you’re not just relying on your own expertise.

Tesla is an example of this, releasing a patent two years ago that allowed others to build on it. It gave Tesla the opportunity to leverage outside knowledge. This is a new type of approach to business whereby value is given away to gain more value.

  1. Create a collaborative culture

Leaders need to create a collaborative culture in this industry which is continually growing and changing. Managers need to see ways for individuals to contribute outside of their own roles. They need to institute structures and systems and processes that encourage collaboration.

  1. Learn from customers

Sometimes businesses make assumptions about what customers need instead of learning from them and doing adequate market research to be able to deliver value to them.

  1. Hire the right people

Companies that have secured licenses need to hire and right people and build the right culture. In focus on profitability and growth, it’s important not to ignore these factors as they can make or break a business.

The right people are likely to be those with an ownership type of mindset. These kind of people are able to adapt constantly to a changing environment. They are flexible and biased towards accepting change and taking action. They don’t get stuck within their expertise.

  1. Keep up with shifting trends

As the industry starts to mature, a shift is occurring to offering experiences, rather than just offering products and services.

Designing ways to connect customers is a strong trend that will help some businesses to grow more than others.

  1. Diversify and differentiate

What was a confined market has ballooned, and cannabis customers have a vast array of products to choose from. This is why having diverse, high-quality products that stand out from the competition is critical. Consumers are becoming more well-informed, and it’s not as easy to sell products as it was before. You can no longer just copycat someone else’s business and hope to succeed.

You can differentiate in other ways unrelated to the cannabis itself. You may offer a value-add component such as a customer loyalty program. You have to think constructively and creatively about what makes your business stand out from the competition.

  1. Have a realistic business plan

You need to have defined, well-thought-out set of goals for each aspect of the business.  Without certain benchmarks or goals, you will have no idea whether you are meeting your overall business objectives. Realistic, measurable progress is better than lofty hopes and ideas. Successful cannabis cultivators are very aware of the fact that what does not get measured cannot be improved.

  1. Encourage integrity and accountability

The rapid boom of the cannabis industry has already seen many businesses entering and exiting. Industry participants who want to stay in the cannabis industry for a long time need to exercise integrity and accountability. This means being transparent and receiving feedback from consumers, employees, and stakeholders in the industry.

Cannabis is already under the spotlight so establishing a responsible, ethical business is crucial. Integrity in business introduces a level of sustainability that the cannabis industry needs.

  1. Brand and market creatively

To win customers, you have to offer them a memorable experience. You may have the most impressive strain of cannabis, but other companies may have bigger bank accounts and more brand loyalty than you. You can’t just hope that your product is good enough for customers to buy it.

You will need to spend time, money and resources on branding and marketing but do it in proportion to what makes sense for your business structure.

One aspect of branding that is extremely important in the cannabis industry is packaging. Many companies offer a broad range of medical marijuana packaging options, from bottles, jars, tins, and bags to display at your dispensary. Rarely has a product had so many uses and come in so many types of packaging.

One way to make your brand really stand out it is to go for custom packaging, and you can do this through our company, Green Rush Packaging, one of the national leaders in packaging. The company also offers a large range of dispensary containers, including medical marijuana bottles and pop-up containers. Containers come in many colors, styles, and sizes so if you can’t afford custom packaging, you are still able to find packaging that reflects your brand.

Keep your cannabis flower fresh on your dispensary shelves, and display your edibles and concentrates in style. Don’t settle for inferior packaging if you want your brand to outshine the competition.

The most distinguishing characteristic of the cannabis industry is rapid change. Running a business in this environment is not for the faint-hearted. In addition to the same stressors faced by every business, there are a number of additional issues that are not easy to manage.

Just one of these is the fact that regulations regarding packaging change all the time. For businesses to move to maturity, collaboration with industry leaders, policymakers, researchers and other businesses will help to build a thriving industry that benefits all.

 

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