The pandemic hit most business verticals hard, but things got better for a few. The cannabis domain is among the chosen few as it went beyond being a legal substance in the US. It earned a place in the list of essential services amid the pandemic.
Additionally, a growing number of consumers joined the wellness bandwagon as cannabis emerged as a savior during the lockdown phase. It helped people to get through the stress and depression caused by isolation.
Not surprisingly, the business has boomed for cannabis growers and sellers since then, and the uptick continues in the new normal. But there’s another side of the picture as more and more entrepreneurs dive into the industry. The growing competition makes it a challenging domain to operate in. Yet, there are ways to survive and thrive in the industry, provided you take the right approach. Here are some ways to make your cannabis business thrive in the new normal.
Stay a step ahead of the federal regulations
Before covering the selling factors that make your business boom, you need to keep the law in mind. Over the last few years, most states in the US have lifted curbs on medical and recreational marijuana. But there is much more to the federal regulations when you scratch the surface. Just operating in a legal state is not an assurance that you are on the right side of the law. You have to make sure that your buyers are past the legal age and buy only the legitimate quantities of stash. More importantly, you must stay a step ahead of the federal regulations because they keep changing from time to time. It is crucial to steer clear of legal issues if you want to focus on growth.
Keep e-commerce going
The pandemic forced dispensaries across the US to shift to the e-commerce model. It was the only way people could stock up on their supplies during the lockdowns. Businesses that were quick to shift to doorstep delivery and curbside pickup models emerged as winners. Even as the new normal is here, you must keep e-commerce on track to stay on the growth route. The selling model is here to stay because consumers still prefer to be at home and avoid the virus. Not to mention, nothing matches the convenience of online ordering in a few clicks. It is time to have a second look at your website and delivery services to ensure that you can keep pace with customer expectations.
Have a hold on your finances
Capitalizing on the post-pandemic boom is possible only if you have sufficient funds. But money runs tight, and business owners cannot expect to rely on personal finances to scale. You will need external financing at some point, and it continues to be a challenge for the cannabis industry. You may find that some lenders are hesitant while others ask for exorbitant rates. Thankfully, Marijuana Industry Financing has come a long way, and you can find alternative lenders if you look at the right places. It is easy to procure funds for sourcing working capital, real estate, and equipment. Keep track of these funding options so that you never have to worry about implementing growth initiatives.
Focus on cost-cutting
Businesses in every domain are prioritizing cost-cutting to stay afloat. Cannabis is no exception, regardless of the growth trend. But cutting costs shouldn’t take a random approach. Picking random areas such as minimizing the team size to cut down costs can affect the efficiency of your business. You must do it strategically by streamlining non-essential costs and exploring new cost reduction strategies. For example, you may have to look for strategic partnerships with complementary businesses. Likewise, some companies may consider mergers and acquisitions as a part of the strategy. Identifying inefficiencies and reconfiguring operations can also help.
Prioritize in-store safety
While e-commerce still rules the game, you can expect foot traffic to resale in the foreseeable future. Retailers need to prioritize in-store safety to win the trust of the consumers. You cannot expect to take in huge crowds because social distancing is here to stay. Make sure that your dispensary is ready to implement the guidelines. Integrating digital solutions like POS applications is a good idea. It enables buyers to close transactions at the point of sale rather than queue up in-store. Further, using signage to curb retail crowding is another way to keep everyone safe.
Rework your marketing strategy
In such unprecedented times, you may want to pull back on communication activities. Marketing spending may seem like a huge burden to retailers. But remember that a robust marketing plan is the lifeline of any business. You need it even more amid a crisis like this one when credibility is a selling point. Ensure that your marketing strategy highlights a strong value proposition. Follow customer expectations and realign your messaging to keep track of them. Understand their current needs and spending habits as both will have changed in the new normal. Build a positive perception and enhance your reputation to stay visible.
Invest in industry relationships
Even as the competition in the industry runs high, you need to go the extra mile with collaboration. Every business is affected at this point and needs to make a comeback in some way. It makes sense to have a common ecosystem that focuses on shared growth. Winning employee trust is equally crucial as long-term retention is the key to growth. You must also keep your investors and partners in the loop and ensure that they know everything about your current standing and future plans.
The new normal is all about new homes for a better time ahead. Most cannabis companies need not do much to drive revival as it is likely to happen organically. Even struggling businesses can recover fast if they take the right approach. Remember that consumer trust is most significant during a crisis, so it should be a top priority. Profits and growth will come eventually if you win on the credibility front.