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Top 7 Tips to Start a Cannabis Business

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The cannabis industry is booming—which is true, but that description doesn’t do the future of the space any justice. According to New Frontier Data, the global cannabis industry is predicted to hit $51 billion by 2025. Not to mention, there are currently over 428,059 full-time cannabis jobs. The cannabis industry’s roots are growing deeper and stronger every day, even with cannabis regulation and restrictions still in place. It’s no wonder why so many people want a piece of the industry. However, if you want to start a legal cannabiz, you are going to need a well-crafted cannabis business plan.  

Whether you want to open a cannabis dispensary or create the next best cannabis product line, drawing out a plan is where you will start. Even if you already have a cannabis business, you may need a plan to refresh and/or organize your ideas more proficiently. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Our cannabis staffing team has a network of hundreds of thousands of cannabis professionals and cannabis executives. So, we know a thing or two about what makes a cannabis business successful. Let’s look at the top tips to help you craft your cannabis business plan.  

ideas for cannabis industry

Choose an Ideal Niche to Focus On For Your Cannabis Business

If you go too broad with your cannabis business, it will be hard to lock down on a target audience. Find a niche you want to work from and innovate from there. However, you shouldn’t go too narrow either, or you may have a challenging time finding an audience altogether. Choose a niche in the cannabis industry that is not as saturated. However, if it is saturated and you are passionate about that niche, do something different. For example, if you want to make a cannabis vaporizer, you shouldn’t just make another vape because there are plenty of standard vapes out there already. Perhaps you can make a rugged vape with materials that make it ideal for outdoor exploration. Maybe you want to focus on cannabis and CBD for stress relief. Find an angle to take that hasn’t been done yet. For example, you can specialize in making stress relief cannabis products for athletes. Think outside the box or get rid of the box altogether! A cannabiz will not have a good chance of surviving if it’s a copy of something else with different gift wrap.   

making a cannabis business plan

Have a Clear Cannabis Business Plan 

Find a problem to solve and provide the solution with your cannabis product or service. For example, one problem cannabis users have is keeping their flower fresh. Boveda provides the solution with their humidity control packs. The problem and solution approach is a great place to start when thinking about starting a cannabis business. Give your business a core reason to exist, and you can build your brand around that solution and branch off into solving other problems later down the road. Solve one problem well first and do it better than the rest.

Many other startups are coming up with solutions to the same problem, and others have established incredible solutions already. So, choose a problem to solve that you can solve better than the rest in the legal cannabis industry right now. Of course, you’ll have to continue evolving and expanding in the future as well. How will your cannabis company stand out with its solution? Be the cannabis business executives that make other cannabis business executives ask, “why didn’t I think of that?!” 

CBD product in the cannabis market

Define Your Cannabis Industry Brand Identity  

Successful legal cannabis companies all have a solid cannabis brand identity. Define who you are and what your cannabis company provides—don’t leave people guessing or defining what your business is for you. Start by establishing a unique value proposition for your cannabis brand. Answer these three essential questions:  

  1. What is your company’s mission statement?  
  2. Explain your brand’s values.  
  3. What is your ideal company culture?  

Remember it’s not wholly about sales but about creating a product or service that will help your target audience. Your audience isn’t just purchasing a cannabis product or service. They’re also investing in who or what they want to be. Next, you’ll want to brainstorm your brand’s look, feel, and voice. These three elements should be consistent throughout your marketing and support your mission statement and values. In building your cannabis industry brand identity, researching your target audience and your competition will help. Analyze your target audience’s age, gender, preferences, and professions. Also, take a look at your competition and their approach to the cannabis market. How will you innovate and provide something better for your audience?  You will also want to think about hiring employees to fill your open cannabis jobs who can align with your brand identity and company culture. 

cannabis industry competition research

Research Your Cannabis Business Competition 

Let’s dive deeper into how to research your competition. Start by researching your competition that has the most cannabis sales or biggest presence and work your way backward to analyze their brand identity. Yes, they’re selling cannabis products/services—but what else? As you peruse their website, social media channels, and LinkedIn pages, analyze what pain points they address, the solutions they provide, and the personality of their brand. You may also want to get a little more technical and analyze their SEO. Check out SpyFu to get a list of keywords your competition ranks for, find out if they have any paid keywords, discover their top pages, and more. Get a sense of what you’re up against, what they do well, and how you can set yourself apart from your cannabis industry competition and rise to the top. There are tons of cannabis companies out there—how will yours be more memorable and helpful than the rest in the cannabis market? 

being different among cannabis companies

How Will Your Cannabis Business Be Different? 

After researching competitor cannabis companies, you’ll get a good idea of how you can differentiate yourself from the rest. The cannabis industry is flooded with dispensaries and businesses that are similar, and you don’t want your cannabis dispensary or other marijuana organization to get lost in the crowd. Brainstorming how your brand can be different should be part of your cannabis business plan. You don’t have to be drastically different in what you offer. However, you can make an effort to be unique in style, voice, service, message, etc. For example, one way Seth Rogen’s Houseplant differentiates itself from its competitors is that it only uses nugs from the top colas of the marijuana plant—which is where the biggest nugs are found, resulting in high-quality products. Think about your target audience’s paint points, as well as their preferences, and provide creative solutions through your cannabis brand 

diverse cannabis employees

Assemble the Right Cannabis Staff 

Having the best talent in each department isn’t enough to thrive in the cannabis industry. Your cannabis business plan should set you up to assemble a team that will work well together. Choosing the best talent for your company’s goals and culture is ideal. If you hire the best operations manager in the industry, but they do not believe in your mission or values, they may hinder your company’s growth. Hiring a diverse team is also beneficial to your cannabis company (or any other company). By having a diverse team with different backgrounds, you’ll be able to get different perspectives and speak—and relate– to a wider portion of the cannabis community. With a diverse team, you’ll have more potential for creativity and higher cashflow. Remember to consider your current talent to see what pieces you’re missing. Also, offer cannabis jobs to talent that’s passionate about the cannabis industry and willing to learn and adapt.  

differentiate your cannabis company

Include an Organic Growth Strategy in Your Cannabis Business Plan 

Implementing an organic growth strategy for your cannabis company will help support your cannabiz in the long run. First, analyze your target audience and learn about their preferences to create marketing plans that speak to them. Many businesses, including non-cannabis organizations, only have a vague understanding of their target audience. Next, you’ll want to make sure to define your expertise well. Your company can’t be everything at once. Being a big fish in a small pond is beneficial to any cannabis business executive.  Also, you’ll want to define clear differentiators. Differentiators are features or benefits that set you apart from your competitors in the cannabis industry. Here are three factors that make an excellent differentiator: it’s true, relevant to your target audience, and you can prove it. Lastly, you’ll want to make your expertise known. Do a weekly blog, write columns for cannabis magazines, run a bi-weekly podcast, and/or set up interviews for prominent cannabis publications. Organic growth is healthy for your cannabis business, so be patient and do it the right way.   

Starting a business in the cannabis space is challenging but exciting and worth the journey for those passionate enough about cannabis. If you want to have a solid chance at establishing a successful company in the cannabis market, take the time to craft a well-thought-out cannabis business plan. We’re here to help you find candidates for your open cannabis jobs, so you can assemble the right team for your business. We take the time to learn about your company goals and culture, so we can search for the right talent to help your business bloom. 

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