Smart entrepreneurs are already noticing the booming cannabis industry and its enormous potential for growth. Those who want to take advantage of these opportunities should consider a few ways to prepare a marijuana business venture for federal legalization, which, experts agree, is only a matter of time.
1. Branding is key
Choosing a name based on an established mainstream trademark can land you in legal trouble right from the get-go. Consider some other name to avoid legal headaches down the road.
Company names with obvious cannabis ties carry both an upside and a downside. However, keep in mind that the sheer volume of companies with “canna” or “marijuana” or “green” this or that in their names has become overwhelming. Companies operating under similar names can coexist, but often create confusion among both consumers and with other companies seeking corporate alliances.
If you choose a name with little obvious connection to weed, you can avoid this confusion. Many experts believe subtle or oblique company names can give brands an opportunity to extend their reach beyond the same old references.
Protect your brand by securing all the chosen names and possible iterations for your company. That helps prevent competitors from building traffic and revenue streams based on your name recognition.
Consumers searching your company’s name will then be able to find you on Google or in social media. That’s how relative newcomers can still establish global brands within the cannabis sphere.
2. Think Several Steps Ahead
Yeah, we know “living in the moment” is a hallmark of cannabis culture. But if you want to strategically grow your company, you are going to need a business plan.
You may find it difficult as an entrepreneur to set aside the time, money and discipline required to finalize a business plan. That’s doubly true if your company has grown quickly. But if you want to survive the transition of marijuana into the mainstream, you need to think bigger.
If the pressure of day-to-day operations keeps you from executing a business plan, hire someone. Consultants or consulting companies are professionals at this kind of thing, and they can help with the strategic planning and plan writing. Don’t skip the crucial step of writing a business plan, or you will regret it later.
3. Update Your Understanding of the Market and Your Alliances and Funding Regularly
With the enticing possibility of federal legalization on the horizon, would-be cannabis kingpins need to regularly re-evaluate the market, with an eye on competitors, allies, and funding.
If your company manufactures infused topical cannabis products, analyze brands in the mainstream like Burt’s Bees or Dove. Look at their packaging and pricing. See if you can adjust your strategy to be equally as appealing to consumers as are the big guys.
Once you have a clear conception of the business landscape, you’re ready to establish strategic alliances. What you perceive as competitors can quickly become business partners in today’s business climate. Strong collaborations can make your company more stable and more viable when you’re going up against bigger operations.
Don’t forget you’ll also have more bargaining power from establishing partnerships and alliances. Support can make a big difference if you’re faced with a crisis.
Whether legalization at the federal level happens in a year or in a decade, it’s going to happen. This is a unique window of opportunity to establish your company as a leader in the global cannabis market.