Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several cannabis conferences, including two major east coast events: CannabisLearn in Philadelphia and CWCBExpo in New York. While visiting the conferences, it was easy to feel the tremendous energy driving this category. The excitement and growth opportunity are truly palpable.
The cannabis industry is right on the verge of historic growth and expansion—think Internet, circa 1998. Its promise and potential are clear to many, which is attracting a pool of entirely new business people. It’s intriguing to contrast the interest in the category with the realities of operating a new business.
One of the most consistent themes that surfaced in the cannabis conferences I visited is the fact that this young industry is populated by true entrepreneurs, many of whom have never created nor operated a business before. So, for those of you that are feeling called to the industry, but haven’t had the chance to operate your own business, I wanted to highlight 3 key common miscues made by startup businesses.
- Forgetting to define and express a vision/passion statement
Beyond an intellectual and emotional connection with the industry, it is essential that you articulate why your company exists and why you have decided to refocus your life into the new business. Your key stakeholders, investors, team members and family need to have a clear and definitive understanding of the opportunity you see and the reason why they should be on board with you.
- Not creating or utilizing metric-driven goals
You are a startup, a small company trying to establish yourself and you have more than a full-time job in building and executing the business. Who really has time to set and evaluate metric driven goals? Well, you do. Being timing- and action-driven can maximize your productivity as well as establish defined metrics (number-based goals) to illustrate your relative progress as you activate and actuate the business plan.
- Not recognizing the value of marketing (or applying it)
We live in a world driven by brands. And guess what? If you have a company with a name and good or service—YOU ARE A BRAND! Customers make buying decisions based on their knowledge and connection to your brand. Never stop thinking of your business as a brand and invest in smart, efficient ways that you can announce and reinforce what your brand stands for—and how important your customers are to your success.
If you’re facing challenges related to these or other operational areas of your business, the Chronic Business Intelligence Team stands ready to provide insight, advice and support. That is why we are here.