Guest article by Olivia Solero at Cannabis Stack
If you’re looking to start a business in the cannabis industry, you can’t even think about opening your doors until you have partnered with the right team of professionals to keep the company afloat. In an industry full of regulations, laws, and monitoring, you do not want to be caught in error. Before you start your new business, be sure to build a team of these must-have partners for cannabis startups.
#1: Business advisor or consultant
One of the best ways to set your business up for success is to enlist the help of a business advisor with a range of industry experience. You can seek out someone that has built a brand in the cannabis industry or you can seek out a general advisor to help you with business plans and long-term decisions. An advisor knows what questions to ask, because they’ve been in your shoes.
For some marijuana startups, one of the most essential partners is the investor. The seed money required for cannabis startups can be high, and there are many conferences in the cannabis industry aimed specifically at cannabis investors. The industry is full of opportunities from venture capitalists, but you can also seek out investment on a more personal level.
#3: Market research team
Before you can get your idea off the ground, conduct market research with the help of experts. They can analyze the customer base, see if there is a need in the market, and determine saturation levels. Your idea may already exist, but with the right research you can adapt your legal cannabis startup into a viable idea.
#4: A lawyer
A legal team should never be overlooked. For the highly regulated field of cannabis, you need an attorney on your side. Lawyers that specialize in business law, particularly cannabis lawyers, will not make small mistakes on filings, business types, and permits, which can cause companies in this space to stumble. They can handle everything from city and county codes, regulations about business locations, and other standard legal services like contracts, dispute resolution, and tax consulting. An attorney also protects your intellectual property in a field where ideas can be worth millions.
#5: Marketing team
Marketers have specialized knowledge and training to get your products in front of consumers. The right marketers can help you narrow down your target market and direct your spending to the right sources. Just like every other part of running a cannabis business, certain marketing efforts are regulated (for example social media advertising and posting). There are agencies that specialize in everything from business plans to branding to advertising.
#6: An accountant
Work with an accountant specializing in canna-accounting. They know how your city, county, state, and the federal government all treat and tax income in the cannabis industry. Just like with legal issues, the government is unforgiving in tax errors. Don’t overlook the importance of an accountant, from the day you build your business plan. This is not a part of weed startups you can manage without an expert on your side.
If you are not supplying your own product, you need to establish relationships with suppliers of the products you will carry. Whether it is locally-produced gummies or the top strain of flower on the market, your customer base will demand a consistent source of supply. In some cases your business will not need suppliers if you are providing an end to end service.
#8: Another cannabis professional
Business connections matter. Spend some time connecting with other experts in your field so you can lean on one another in times of need. A community of professionals can share in your woes, help you through tough times, and work with you in times of need. A perfect platform to find the right connections is a cannabis directory since they have thousands of listings with cannabis businesses and events.
#9: A Recruiter
To stack your team with the right group of team members, it may be right for you to seek out a recruiter. Particularly if you are looking to fill highly technical roles, reaching out to a recruiter can make all of the difference in finding a long-term team member versus a person that’s just a decent fit.
#10: Banking partner
Ideally, your accountant can assist you in the proper banking procedures for your cannabis startup. Certain banks may not work with cannabis startups so it is better to get started with the right bank before you grow rapidly. The right bank can work with you on payroll, checking, and credit accounts. You may be limited in your ability to accept credit cards at your locations but more banks are offering unique solutions to cannabis startup needs.
#11: Security experts
Unfortunately, security is an issue for cannabis startups for two reasons. The local government in most places requires security measures like cameras as well as security professionals on site when cannabis is being dispensed. The right security experts give you peace of mind when you are unable to guard your product. In addition, the right security team serves as a partner in running your business.
Just like with any other business, you want to get started on the right foot with your cannabis startup. The right team of experts on your side, like lawyers, accountants, and marketers, sets you up for success in the world of weed startups. You want your business to do well and the right team will want the same as they help you reach your goal.