Here it is the beginning of the new year and it is time to do taxes and try to figure out how you are going to expand your business, or at least keep your business alive, for the next twelve months. A good place to start is to sit down at a desk or table, turn off the television, pour yourself some of your favorite beverage, and light up a bowl of your favorite weed. Next, take out a pen and paper, draw lines dividing the paper into four equal sections and name them Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Now, you are ready to change your life.
These are a few basic questions to ask yourself. Feel free to add others that are more appropriate to your particular business. Most importantly, once you have finished your analysis, stick it up on the refrigerator or on your desk and continue to read and think about it.
- Is your license situation reliable? Are all your legal papers up to date?
- Do you own your facilities and equipment?
- How much money do you have in prudent reserve in case something like a natural disaster or something else happens that will hamper the normal operation of your business?
- Are your suppliers reliable? Do you have backups?
- Are your customers reliable? How sensitive are they to market influences like price, delivery, hours of operation, type of inventory, etc.
- Do you have any patents?
- Do you have reliable employees?
- Do you have a reliable source of funding such as deep-pocket investors or other?
- Are you in control of your market share?
- Is your license or your partnership with a licensed business in question? Are you operating a Black Market business? Try to estimate what you have at risk in terms of hard assets like equipment. Try to estimate the investment and cash you have at risk if shut down. What is your Plan B?
- Are your suppliers reliable? What will happen if someone in your supply chain gets shut down? Do you have alternatives?
- As state and municipal authorities expand their war on illegal cannabis businesses will you lose customers who are less sensitive to price than they are to inconvenience and potential legal risk?
- Are you facing strong competition?
- Do you have a barrier to expansion?
- Do you have strong industry relationships that could be turned into limited partnerships or cross marketing campaigns?
- Are you knowledgeable about changes in the licensing opportunities, rules and regulations that are in the works? And are you prepared to take advantage if any of these changes present opportunities?
- Do you do outreach and networking?
- Are there any potential deals you have been working on or expect to come up in the next year?
- Do you have any proprietary methods or products in development?
- Is anything happening in your local market such as the establishment of a large corporate headquarters, new apartment complexes under construction,or something else that is likely to bring more customers to your business?
- Your own laziness, fear, lack of motivation, ignorance, or drug problem.
- Overwhelming debt.
- Legal problems that have been ignored.
- Tax problems that have been ignored.
- Sloppy business practices.
If you are not happy after you have finished your analysis, find a good cannabis industry consultant who has the contacts and experience to help you fix the problems and take advantage of opportunities. The level of success you achieve this year is mostly dependent on what you do to create that success.
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