Happy New Year, Everyone!

Dave in SD Library_11-11-2014I hope you’re all as psyched as I am for the countless opportunities in the Cannabis Industry in 2015! In fact, you may be thinking, there are SO many opportunities and SO much going on, how do I drill down through the clutter and focus on the things that count? What’s going to “move the needle” for me and my cannabusiness in 2015? How can I get some immediate traction and start producing the results that matter for me and my partners?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed or even feel like you’re getting steamrolled in this green rush from banking uncertainty and working with cash to the ever changing local and state regulatory frameworks, along with the specter of continuing national prohibition, not to mention making payroll, cash flow management, increasing revenues, decreasing costs, attracting and retaining talent, etc. There are also expansion and/or exit strategy considerations regarding growing within your state, licensing or franchising your brand to grow your business in other states, and perhaps even preparing for a post prohibition strategy and nationwide growth for your business. You can get dizzy just thinking about it! Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Back-to-Basics:

Let’s get back to basics and focus on 3 things; People, Process, and Product.

I know what you’re thinking – if you’re a fan of the hit show The Profit on CNBC, then you’re familiar with this list from the show’s star, Marcus Lemonis. I’m a fan of the show, but I’ve heard this list before! I heard it at Accenture, my former employer and one of the largest business consulting firms on the planet. During my seven year tenure with Accenture, we were drilled over-and-over again to focus on People, Process, and Technology for our clients. And, since I consider technology a part of the process that supports each of these areas, it makes a lot of sense to me to include the product because that is what your customers show up to buy! So let’s take Accenture and The Profit at their word and proceed.

Ask yourself the following:

  • PEOPLE – Do the people in your organization know how each of their individual jobs and tasks contribute to the top line goals of your company? Is everyone pulling in the same direction?
  • PROCESS – Do you have clearly defined, compliant processes for each of the functions within your organization? Are your processes optimized to support the safe and efficient operation of your business? Do your processes support your company’s top line goals? Is there a clear line of site?
  • PRODUCT – Do you know what products your customers want? Are you offering your customers those products and are they aware of it? Are you procuring and delivering those products in the most cost effective manner and in consistently reliable amounts demanded by your customers based on your specific business strategy?

Now that you have asked these basic questions you should have a pretty clear idea of where you stand. Prioritize your Big 3 from weakest to strongest, and do the same within each area so that you may focus on the elements where you are weakest first. Now let’s start filling the gaps…

From a people standpoint, in order to be certain that everyone knows their role and that everyone is pulling in the same direction, you must start at the beginning. What is your Vision? What is your Mission? What are your Values? What are your top line goals? What are the supporting objectives, etc. that support those goals and whose responsibilities do each of these fall to? Has this information been communicated clearly to ALL stakeholders in the organization? This is your starting point.

From a process perspective, do you have a handle on what all of the functions are in your business? Each function should be clearly defined as a whole and then broken down into its constituent parts with detailed, documented processes. These processes must be compliant and kept up to date for local, regional, and state regulations. Further, the processes must be teachable and easily communicated to new employees to reduce confusion and increase traction from day one on the job.

Finally, from a product standpoint, have you defined your customer? Do you know what your customer needs and wants? Have you identified the universe of potential suppliers for each segment of your product offering? Have you developed a procurement strategy to ensure adequate, high quality supply for your customers’ demand at the right price? Do you have a well-defined delivery strategy that your customers will love and come to rely on?

You are NOT immune:

There is going to be a reckoning, my friends. The heady early days of the Cannabis Industry where everyone’s a winner will not last for long. Regardless of your current perception of your position, don’t forget the universal truth – the cream will rise to the top and the rest will fall by the wayside, just as in every other competitive industry in America. You must ask yourself – do I want to be an “also ran” or do I want to be one of the few survivors who dominate the industry? I think I know the answer and you do too. But it won’t come without working smart. Take the reins and get back to basics now to put yourself on solid footing. Rise to the top and dominate your competitors by focusing on people, process, and product.

My next blog post will focus on the currently existing and rapidly accelerating Consolidation in the Cannabis Industry – you are not immune so let’s face this exciting challenge head-on, together!

All the best!

The author may be reached at dminer@cannabizsuccess.com or by phone at 619-631-8420.