Growing cannabis. If ever the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees” was proven false, it is with weed. Pound for pound, it is the easiest, most profitable crop on the planet. So who wouldn’t want to build their own legal cannabis grow for profit? However, any existing grow business will tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Here are five tips to start a successful (and legal) cannabis grow operation.
1. Do your research
A stitch in time saves nine. In the case of cannabis grows, every problem avoided saves countless hours and dollars. You will want to find the right place to setup based on a number of factors.
Each city, county, and state have their own laws, taxes, fees. Cannabis businesses don’t get the standard deductions that other enterprises enjoy, so learn which location will save the most on overhead expenses, as well as allow you to grow your business as large as possible.
Startup costs also mean the difference between success or failure before you ever begin. Will the right location have the utilities you need? Will the location need major renovations to be in compliance? Sometimes a little construction is better than a lot of cramped space down the road.
The most valuable investment is in expert advice. Get the right legal team, inspectors, and grow experts to make sure you start off right.
2. Think long term
Starting a business means starting an adventure. The majority of start-up businesses that fail do so within the first 3-5 years, and mostly due to not having the resources on hand to weather unforeseen problems. Don’t expect overnight success.
Being prepared means having the budget, connections, and forward thinking to anticipate problems. Perhaps a crop fails, or equipment needs replacement. Perhaps customers get swayed by the next new business, or existing ones drop prices beyond your level to compete. What plans and resources do you have in place for those contingencies?
The difference between success and failure is planning for potential failure, and having the ability to bounce back.
3. The right team
Growing for profit takes a lot of work. You won’t be able to do everything. Find a team whose strengths counter your weaknesses, and make sure to take care of them. Meshing on a personal level isn’t as important as a professional one, but it does make a difference.
An ideal team should feel they have a stake in your success, and that you value their efforts. With employees, you get what you pay for.
Inversely, always plan for the unexpected. Should a key member suddenly leave for whatever reason, make sure their loss won’t cripple your business. Know what they know, and communicate. Always be on the lookout for new talent, and give your employees opportunities for advancement.
The cannabis industry has exploded in the last decade. New companies are popping up anywhere they can. If you want to start up in an area, chances are that others have already or soon will as well. Study the competition. Don’t try to beat them at what they do. Rather, position your company so that it stands apart.
Successful branding means having a memorable image and products that draw attention to your strengths, creating repeat customers.
5. Consumer education and interaction
It won’t be enough to just toss a product on the shelf and hope it sells. Along with a unique image, you need to give customers a reason to choose you. Product packaging gives you a face, but going beyond that is what gives you a story.
Educate them on your products, and how those products meet their needs. Packaging can include descriptions of how your plants are grown, their lineage, and what effects they give. Successful consumer interaction means being more than just a label, however.
Give your business a presence and connection. Go beyond the product and offer more than customers expect from your cannabis grow operation.
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