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Advice For Young Cannabis Entrepreneurs Looking To Get Started

Founder, CEO, and Owner at Daily High Club.

It takes a little knowledge and a lot of passion to grow a successful business. Since the cannabis industry is brand new, skills in business and entrepreneurship are important, but those who understand cannabis from a social standpoint still have a significant advantage. If you are not a part of the community, they will see right through you.

When I founded Daily High Club in 2015, I was young, hungry, kind of stoned and looking to break out in a burgeoning industry. I got my start the way many millennials get their small businesses online nowadays — through social media, particularly Reddit. If you’re a young entrepreneur looking to break into the industry, read on to learn how I did and how you can, too.

Getting Your Start In The Cannabis Business

In the cannabis industry, there are numerous barriers entrepreneurs need to overcome. For instance, companies need to have the capital to launch. However, young entrepreneurs don’t require outside funding to get started. I began operations without any outside funding, just $700.

To work around nonexistent outside funding, you must be leaner and smarter than the competition. I harnessed the power of the community for labor and used credit cards to get started. Start small and invest accordingly. Remain confident in your business and the credit card dues won’t be as scary.

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Due to regulations and laws, cannabis businesses have trouble accessing payment processing. Follow proper rules to ensure your business remains compliant and lay the groundwork for a solid reputation. Initially, your small business may work with subpar processing providers, but you’ll begin building a record that can help you find a stable processor.

Choose a growing cannabis venture.

For the budding cannabis entrepreneur, choose a growing venture like e-commerce. While the cannabis industry is seeing constant shifts in consumer preference, one thing remains clear: E-commerce is the future of retail. E-commerce sales now account for 21.3% of all retail purchases, compared to just 10.7% in 2015, the year of our launch.

Since the cannabis industry is nascent, young entrepreneurs have a chance to step in and mold it themselves. Expand your horizons by reading guides on Reddit, learning from experts on YouTube, and attending networking events and conferences to connect with industry leaders and professionals. You never know who could be your next business partner!

Know the importance of customizability.

The cannabis industry is young and malleable, and consumers are constantly vying for new products and services. Some customers prefer classics, like bongs and dab rigs, but others are seeking new, creative ways to enjoy cannabis. In this highly competitive market, cutting-edge trends and bringing the next big thing to market can help to solidify your spot. Stay ahead of the competition by introducing new products while generating innovative ideas to avoid going stale.

Since we weren’t able to receive funding, we were able to hone our talents and build relationships with glassblowers and futurists to expand. Much like a monthly subscription service, product customizability essentially provides a way to keep you ahead and top of mind for consumers. Remember, some ideas will fall flat. Pay attention to your shortcomings to strengthen ideas the next time around.

Use your challenges to propel you forward.

Each of us faces challenges when starting a new venture. Use those challenges as an opportunity to help drive operations forward. At 19, I was involved in a skiing accident and needed to have shoulder surgery. Unfortunately, while starting the business, I reinjured myself and thought everything was over. Though this caused significant challenges for me in terms of lifting heavy boxes or equipment, I learned the importance of having support as I had to rely on others for help. Life throws you curveballs when you start a business, and this was one of the biggest. Fortunately, I recovered and came back stronger than ever.

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I also entered the cannabis industry with little business knowledge. As a young entrepreneur, it’s fundamental to learn the ins and outs of management, rules regarding forms and procedures and, of course, how to market around cannabis regulations. Unlike other industries, cannabis faces strict social media advertising regulations. Take time to learn how the algorithms of various social platforms work. Do research to ensure you’re not using words or uploading imagery that could get your company banned. Before creating your social media accounts, peruse other companies’ to see what they are doing to advertise products.

By remaining conservative and posting less directly about cannabis, you’ll be able to navigate around surefire ways to get deleted. Unfortunately, even if you are conservative about your business postings, you can still get deleted. However, sticking to the book gives you the best chance of getting your account back quickly in case you are banned.

Source tools to drive your cannabis business.

Build your business with success at the forefront of your mind. Promote your passion for cannabis if you have one to help your business thrive. Harness the resources available to you. Online tools like Reddit and YouTube can get you answers to basic small business questions. Use these tools to your advantage to find answers to questions and concerns you might have.

Also, pay attention to your social media traffic and metrics. Without visibility, it can be incredibly challenging to succeed as a cannabis business. Experiment on social media immediately, and tinker with your messaging and style guide to ensure your content is quality. You may even want to start a social media page before you have a product. Finally, develop strong management and operational knowledge to ensure your startup is efficient and you can easily drive the business forward.

Breaking into the cannabis industry as a young entrepreneur can be daunting without a path forward. Take this advice with you as you build a framework and begin working toward fulfilling your passion as a business owner in the cannabis industry — pretty soon, you’ll be living the high life, too!

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


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