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How to Successfully Scale Your Cannabis Business

What constrains you from scaling? It works to grow your cannabis business by working longer harder, it does, but it creates a capsule, a ceiling on that growth. A company can grow maybe 1x, 2x, maybe even 3x by working nights and weekends, but I can’t go to 5x or 10x. There just aren’t enough hours.

By working longer, harder, unintentionally, you build a business that is reliant on you, the owner. You get hurt, the business suffers, you have a family emergency, and the business suffers. Not a good thing. I see too many cannabis entrepreneurs building a business that they control, but control is a two edged sword. Yes, you do feel empowered, but the flip side of it is the more you build for personal control where you are making all the decisions, the more you have to be there, daily, to make it function.

We need to produce more not by ourselves working hard, but getting our company, our teams, and our internal systems to produce more. We need to make sure we empower our key team to own functions of the business. A cannabis business is no different than a traditional brand building effort.

Most companies need a system for lead generation, lead conversion, production and receivables. Set it up for others to take this over, or for an automated system.

We know we can’t do everything, so what fewer things make the biggest difference? What is your biggest factor prohibiting growth? Is it your operational capacity? Is it your manpower? What is it? Ask yourself what are the ways you can push this back? Look at every possible solution. Which are the low hanging fruit? Is it easy to do with a large probability of working? Pick those out. Filter two: is it a homerun? If it works, will it move the needle? When you are done, there will be 5 or so low hanging fruit, and probably 5 or so that are homeruns. There will probably be two or three left over that are low hanging fruit AND homeruns. Those are your sweet spots. By definition, they are easy to do with a high probability of working and if it’s a homerun, there’s a big result.

Less is more. Do fewer things really well rather than a bunch half-baked.

Functionally, stop and get clear. Break your current business down into 5 to 7 functional areas. Then create five files on your cloud. Inside each have another file for your marketing, one for HR, one for sales, one for operations, etc. Start with one folder. Maybe your biggest need is to revamp operations. In that folder, put production, administration, technology, etc. Then say ok, what systems do we already have that help us perform this function? Then transfer those worksheets, spreadsheets, PowerPoint’s, etc., into that folder. The key to success here is how you name your files. If your team can’t find the system you created within 60 seconds, they will give up and create their own version, not shared with the team, and when they walk out it’s gone. Name them for how you plan to search.

With a few of these plans put into action, you can have a scalable cannabis venture!

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