In the past few years, the cannabis industry has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. With more states legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use, the market has been growing at an unprecedented rate. As the industry continues to mature, business owners are faced with a critical question: how can they remain competitive in a market that is becoming increasingly saturated? One solution that has emerged is to take your cannabis business multi-location or at least multi-state. In this article, we'll explore why planning to take your cannabis business multi-location or multi-state is a strong strategy for weathering the market and how to do it effectively.
Why Take Your Cannabis Business Multi-Location or Multi-State?
There are a few reasons why taking your cannabis business multi-location or multi-state is a strong strategy for weathering the market. First, as the cannabis industry becomes more competitive, it's becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves based on quality alone. With so many players in the market, it's crucial to establish a strong brand that resonates with customers. One way to do this is to expand your business to multiple locations or states, which allows you to increase your brand recognition and reach a broader audience.
Another reason to take your cannabis business multi-location or multi-state is to mitigate risk. The cannabis industry is still relatively new, and as such, it's subject to a range of legal, regulatory, and market risks. By expanding to multiple locations or states, you can spread out your risk and ensure that your business is not overly reliant on any one market or set of regulations. This can help protect your business from unforeseen events and ensure that you're able to weather any storms that come your way.
Finally, expanding your business to multiple locations or states can provide you with access to new markets and customers. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, new markets are emerging, and by expanding your business, you can position yourself to take advantage of these opportunities. This can help you stay ahead of the competition and establish a foothold in new markets before others have the chance to do so.
How to Take Your Cannabis Business Multi-Location or Multi-State
If you're thinking about taking your cannabis business multi-location or multi-state, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are some steps you can take to expand your business successfully:
Review Your Existing Business
Before expanding a cannabis business, it is important to conduct a thorough review of the existing operation to identify what is working well and what needs to be improved in order for the business to be worth duplicating. This process can involve a range of activities, including analyzing financial data, reviewing operational processes, and gathering feedback from customers and employees.
One important area to focus on is financial performance. Companies should review their financial statements to understand their revenue streams, costs, and profitability. This can help to identify which products or services are most profitable, as well as any areas where costs can be reduced. Companies may also want to assess their cash flow and funding needs to ensure they have the resources to support expansion.
Another important area to review is operational processes. Companies should assess their existing processes and procedures to identify any inefficiencies or areas where improvements can be made. This may involve streamlining production processes, optimizing inventory management, or improving customer service protocols.
Finally, companies should gather feedback from their customers and employees to gain insights into what is working well and what can be improved. This can involve conducting surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews to better understand the needs and preferences of different stakeholder groups.
By conducting a comprehensive review of their existing operation, companies can identify key areas of strength and weakness and develop a roadmap for improving and expanding their business. This can help to ensure that the expansion is successful and that the business is ready not be duplicated in multiple locations.
Develop a Business Plan
Before you start expanding your business, you need to develop a solid business plan that outlines your goals, objectives, and the steps you'll take to achieve them. This plan should include a detailed analysis of the markets you're targeting, as well as an assessment of the risks and opportunities associated with expanding your business.
Determine Your Expansion Strategy
Once you have a business plan in place, you need to determine your expansion strategy. This may involve opening new locations in existing markets or expanding into new markets altogether. You'll need to consider factors such as the regulatory environment, the competitive landscape, and the availability of resources when developing your expansion strategy.
A key barrier to entry in newly legalized markets is the licensing process. If your business is going to go the route of applying for new licensing for your cannabis business locations, gain an understanding of the licensing process in each market, the time frame when licenses are issued, the number of licenses issued and how many licenses and what types of licenses a business is allowed to hold.
If your business is going the route of acquisition, gain an understanding of the license types available in each. market, how the license types are performing, what the licenses are worthy and what deal structures the business will be offering to acquisition targets.
Expanding your business will likely require significant capital investment, so you'll need to secure financing to support your growth. Because cannabis companies struggle to get reasonable loans, securing funding will likely involve seeking out investors or using existing resources to fund the expansion. Whatever your financing strategy, you'll need to be strategic and careful to ensure that you're able to meet your financial obligations while expanding your business.
Build a Strong Team
Expanding your business will require a strong team that can support your growth and help you achieve your goals. This may involve hiring new staff, training existing staff, or bringing in outside consultants, like Cann Strategy, to provide specialized expertise. Whatever your approach, it's important to invest in building a strong team that can help you execute your expansion strategy effectively.
Develop Standard Operating Procedures for New Location Opening
Developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for opening new business locations is essential for ensuring consistency, quality, and efficiency across all locations. SOPs are step-by-step guides that outline how to perform specific tasks or processes in a standardized manner.
When it comes to opening new business locations, companies should develop SOPs that cover a wide range of activities, from selecting the location and securing the necessary permits and licenses to hiring and training staff and launching marketing campaigns.
For example, companies may develop an SOP for site selection that outlines the criteria for identifying new locations, such as proximity to major highways or population centers, availability of utilities, and zoning requirements. The SOP may also outline the process for conducting site visits, negotiating lease agreements, and obtaining any necessary permits or approvals.
Similarly, companies may develop an SOP for staffing and training, which outlines the process for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees. This may include developing job descriptions and posting job listings, conducting interviews, and creating training programs to ensure that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively.
By developing comprehensive SOPs for each stage of the process, companies can ensure that each new location is opened in a consistent and efficient manner, regardless of who is responsible for the task. This can help to minimize errors and reduce the risk of regulatory compliance issues, while ensuring that each location meets the same high standards of quality and service.
Establish Robust Operational Processes
Single location businesses can often get by with a modest set of standard operating procedures which can sometimes even be location specific and therefore not duplicable. Establishing robust operational processes is a critical method for taking a cannabis company multi-location or multi-state as the standard operating procedures need to be extensively specific and detailed to ensure accuracy from location to location regardless of who the managers or trainers are that set the processes and procedures in place. It's a level of standardization above that necessary for a single location operation.
With a well-defined set of processes in place, companies can more effectively manage inventory, production, and distribution, while ensuring consistent quality and compliance with regulatory requirements, even in varying regulatory environments. This consistency and efficiency are key to scaling a cannabis business while minimizing the risks of regulatory compliance issues or product quality problems.
Take it one step at a time
When it comes to expanding a cannabis business, it can be tempting to try to grow too quickly and open multiple locations all at once. However, this approach can be risky, as it may lead to a lack of consistency in performance across locations, ultimately diluting the value of the business.
To avoid this, it is important to take a deliberate and intentional approach to expansion, focusing on establishing and developing each new location step by step. This may involve conducting thorough market research to identify new opportunities, carefully selecting the right location and site, and developing a comprehensive business plan that takes into account factors such as regulatory compliance, staffing, and marketing.
By focusing on these critical steps and ensuring that each new location is developed with the same level of attention and care as the original business, companies can maintain consistency in their product offerings and service quality, even as they grow. This, in turn, can help to build a strong brand reputation and customer loyalty, ultimately driving long-term success in the cannabis industry.
Overall, while expanding a cannabis business to multiple locations or states is a significant undertaking, it can offer many benefits in the long term, from increased revenue and market share to diversification and operational efficiencies. By planning and executing the expansion intentionally, businesses can set themselves up for success in a competitive and rapidly evolving industry.