Opening and a dispensary is no small feat. With an endless list of options for compliance, technology and systems it's hard to no where to begin. That's why we were fortunate to sit down with cannabusiness expert Neal Chaudhary for a conversation about what it takes to succeed at your dispensary launch.
Neal is the founder of Red Pill Labs and Irie Systems and a well-known consultant across the industry, helping cannabis retailers improve best practices and strategies while finding unique business solutions.
Leveraging technology, automation, and process change, Neal has stewarded several high-profile clients through significant challenges throughout his career. His passion for innovation and solving complex business problems is driven by his thirst to deliver exceptional experiences.
“There's just a real love of the industry. Passion ahead of profits. I know, I know everyone has to make a profit to make it viable. But it's the passion that kind of infects me. And I love that.”
That’s why we consider ourselves lucky to have spent some time with Neal in our latest podcast, Successful Dispensary Launch Strategies. This article will provide an overview of the insight Neal has to share, including tips on facing some of the inevitable complex business problems the cannabis industry faces.
Just like every successful business, a dispensary relies on a game plan or strategy. Understanding the different aspects of your market, including the demographic, your competition, etc., helps you to develop more as a business.
You always want to be prepared to scale up your dispensary. Aim high with your business ambitions to avoid falling short when any opportunity arises.
“So, how do you actually scale a business? Grow your top line, but at the same time, grow your bottom line. And if anyone's struggling with that I definitely suggest they gets some outside help.”
Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are another critical aspect of an effective launch. Make sure you’ve got these down before opening your doors.
Running a business in today’s modern world means keeping up with the latest technology. Your customers and employees will be expecting it.
“If you open up a dispensary and you can run one, maybe very old school and manual, but if you do want to get to two or three, you're gonna have to invest in some technology… People expect technology, people expect automation.”
Never fail to consider the retail experience from the eyes of your customer. Take a moment to walk through a sale and see if it’s something you would be happy with or if there are things you could improve upon.
If you’re not an expert in marketing and advertising, don’t waste your time and effort. Seek out professional guidance instead. Having an in-depth understanding of who your target audience is is a tool that reaps countless benefits for your business. There’s no shame if this area is not your expertise, that’s why there are agencies and other help out there.
The one key takeaway Neal wants to get across to anyone considering their dispensary launch is to remember that you will face setbacks. What is important is that you don’t let these setbacks stop you from reaching your ultimate potential.
That being said, by following the steps he outlines above, working with trusted professionals in the space and always being willing to learn - there is not limit to how far you will go.
“It's not all unicorns and roses… running a business is hard. Running a business is challenging. I think sometimes we get too carried away with the glamor of having your own shop, being your own boss, and not understanding the pain and the challenges that go with that and being able to ride it out. You're gonna come across challenges. You just need to know how to deal with them. If you can anticipate them, you can put a plan in place when those challenges arise and you can just kind of power through because it can get overwhelming for folks that are first-time business owners.”
We will be forever thankful for Neal’s time and expertise in how to launch a dispensary successfully. After all, it doesn’t get better than hearing it from one of the best in the industry!
“KayaPush has it all in one platform where you can kind of build what you need. Especially as a start-up, that’s important to us to be cost-friendly. You have the best price for what you’re offering. ”
-Marry Ann from Riverside Wellness-