Being successful in any business comes down to establishing Standard Operating Procedures and daily practices that put you in a primary position to succeed. There are similar echoes in the cannabis industry, but as a business that deals with a Schedule I Substance, the regulations to stick by are incredibly stringent. The competition in the industry is heating up at a rate that nearly no other industry has experienced, forcing there to be a bit of a learning curve for everyone involved. Standing out against the rest of the retail businesses that offer the same products you do, comes down to being able to successfully engage and retain your customers.
Let’s check out 5 business practices that are sure to kill your cannabis retail location!
1. Ignorance and arrogance to compliance
Following the BCC proposed set of regulations is no easy task for any cannabis business and requires a tremendous amount of effort. If you think that you are in a position to operate a dispensary and operate as lead compliance officer, I’ve got some bad news for you—it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Understanding each aspect of the regulations should be a collective effort as a location and with the aid of a designated compliance officer. Taking the effort to hire a compliance officer is not only pertinent to the success of your business, but also to legally operating within the regulated cannabis industry.
Operating with a non-compliant attitude can result in fines, days lost due to suspension of your license, or entire revocation of your right to operate a cannabis retail location.
Compliance issues range in severity from simple things like lacking name tags & selling the last of a display item, to the distribution of cannabis to an underage person and lacking the appropriate licensure. Our Definitive Guide to California Cannabis Laws covers all of the necessary aspects of licensing and regulations for staying compliant.
2. Failing to manage inventory efficiently
Inventory management is a key part of operating a successful retail location. Not only is your business at-risk for compliance issues without proper organization, it’s subject to severe loss of profit if your stock isn’t kept up-to-date. Make sure that you re doing inventory reconciliation once every 30 days at a minimum.
Your customers enter your location expecting to purchase their favorite brand’s items. It’s not uncommon for your customers to settle on a second choice option should the situation permit, but the point is that you shouldn’t need to have a second choice! Your stock should reflect the amount of business that your retail location experiences on a daily basis.
Using the data that your point of sale system provides you with can provide a foolproof method of making sure that you are up-to-date on what is flying off the shelves! Convert the maximum amount of sales by keeping your inventory up-to-date.
3. Service hopping from one platform to another
Streamlining the way that your business operates is critical for two reasons—it reduces the overall cost of operations and keeps your staff on the same page across the board. Being able to eliminate the need for service hopping by consolidating operate service providers for your website, point-of-sale, inventory management system, and compliance reports puts your retail location in the best position possible for success.
Having a service provider for each of aspect of your business not only complicates the process for organizing your business, it actually costs you more money than having a “one size fits all” software solution for your retail location.
Eliminate service hopping, save money, and streamline operations with a point-of-sale that offers e-commerce, inventory management, and compliance reports.
4. Poorly using social media
Not using Instagram to market your brand or retail location? You’re losing—there’s no other way to put it. We can’t stress this enough; in order to be successful and maximize the potential for converting sales, you need to have a social media presence. With over 1 billion active users, Instagram has made a name for itself as the mobile platform.
Instagram is a subsidiary of the largest social media platform in existence, Facebook. See where this is going?
Branding your business in a way that is capable of being disseminated across social media platforms gives you an advantage. With roughly 80% of adults in North America using social media platforms, it’s easy to see how you’re losing potential revenue by not tapping into this exponential audience.
B2C relations are important and all, but what about social media being used with B2B in mind? Enter LinkedIn. LinkedIn has established itself as a professional networking platform. With the ability to effectively be a conversation-starter between cannabis professionals, using this platform in conjunction with Instagram is a no-brainer.
Did I mention that LinkedIn hasn’t restricted cannabis professionals from networking or brands from posting on their sites? Unlike Instagram and Facebook, who have tricky algorithms to navigate in order to keep an active account, LinkedIn has made it clear that their priority is connecting professionals from a variety of industries. After all, we’re all on the same team, right?
5. Not prioritizing customer service
Customer satisfaction is the driving force behind successful business operations. And in a space where competition has saturated the market, you’re going to want to make sure that your customer service is top-notch. This begins with your budtenders and goes as far as curating an experience that your customers won’t forget. For additional ideas, check out how loyalty programs work to your advantage.
Ignoring the small factors that keep customers coming back such as developing a solid relationship with them and listening to their needs is sure to keep customers from choosing your dispensary over the one next door. If your location operates solely as a dispensary that converts sales, rather than offering value in the form of experience, you’re not providing the best customer service possible.
No one wants to watch their business fail and those that don’t implement best practices are going to have no choice but to witness the downfall of their business. Keeping a culture of compliance, consolidating the services you use, taking advantage of social media audiences, and provide your customers with an experience to remember are all ways that you can be proactive in fostering progressive growth for your business.
Stay on top of it and claim your stake as a main competitor in this industry. What are you doing in your locations to make sure that your business can be as successful as possible?