How To Position Yourself for Cannabis Industry

May 5, 2022
by John Lamarche

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the first step was laying the right foundation. The same can be said of venturing into the cannabis industry. Laying the right foundation will allow you scale faster and easier, saving you money in the long run. There is a lot that goes into starting a business, in any industry, tacking on the rules, regulations and licenses of the cannabis industry and it becomes even more complicated. But not impossible. And it can be a great success with the right foundation and partnerships. Finding jobs can be complicated and knowing the right companies to pursue can be daunting. Here are some things to consider when trying to position yourself for a job in the cannabis industry.

What are some tips you should know if you are considering the cannabis industry?

“Show me the money!” While the line is famous from the hit movie Jerry Maguire, the same could be said of joining the cannabis industry. We believe the number one tip regarding financing that we can give you is to anticipate needing more than you think. At Backcross we advise our clients to plan for 25%-30% more funding than you think you might need. An example would be if you look at a building you want to buy and it is $1M. Great. But then you need to add lights for growing, irrigation, and security. The list goes on and on. In our decades of experience we have never seen financing not become an issue, even for companies who can easily access funding. They still have to do the work to get it. Another tip we feel is valuable to you is, try to find a cannabis friendly financial institution. This will become less relevant as more banks and credit unions dip their toes in the water. For instance though, in Michigan there is only one bank who will do wire transfers for cannabis companies. 

Our other piece of advice is to secure trusted partners for legal, insurance, technology and security. You have to have credible, reliable resources coming together to launch your business. You never want to go into any battle without armor or cohorts you can depend on. The same is true in business. Joining the cannabis industry is not without its challenges and knowing you have all the right players on your team will only help you build a stronger, better foundation. 

What are some mistakes to avoid when positioning yourself in the cannabis industry?

Branding is far more important than you might realize. Not focusing on establishing a recognizable brand would be a crucial misstep. Everyone has a cool name these days, but brand awareness and the customer data to back up that engagement is key to your success and longevity. It’s important to think about how you will collect data, harness that data and to consider it from an internal and external marketing perspective. 

Another big mistake we have seen over the years is when companies try to cut corners. Cheaper does not always mean better. And faster doesn’t always mean best. Going with the cheapest solutions in the market will cripple you down the road. Positioning yourself for the cannabis industry is worth doing right the first time so you don’t have to go back and pay more to undo your mistakes.

What are some key things that will validate your readiness for the industry?

Honestly, when the states say you are. All joking aside, the procurement and activation of your licenses and legal documentation are a telltale sign that you are ready. There are mountains of paperwork to be filled out and maintained and the completion of that will ensure your opening day is a success. In addition, staffing. The reality is that most cannabis shops are open 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day. You need to know you have the right people on your team to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently. And then finally, having reliable and consistent technology solutions in place to allow transactions and operations. You cannot make money if you have no way of charging and collecting the money. 

How can Backcross prepare you to join the cannabis industry?

With decades of experience and industry-leading experts in our team, Backcross can come in on day one and help select and implement the right solutions for your organization. The benefit to you is that you will reap the knowledge we have gained from lessons learned with other clients over the years. When you work with Backcross Solutions you are partnering with trusted partners who have done this before and done it well. By partnering with us, we allow you to drive the true value of your business by letting you do what you do best, while we do what we do best. We allow you to focus on your business with the peace of mind that everything is taken care of and you are set up for success. Working with Backcross Solutions gives you an immediate competitive advantage.