You’re inspired to build your cannabis business from the ground up. You obtained your certificate to sell cannabis goods, and you may even have a few ideas of locations to set up shop.

But before you begin talking to a realtor or loan officer, you need to get your business strategy in order.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to create a successful cannabis business plan.

What to Do Before You Write Your Cannabis Business Plan

One of the trickiest parts of starting a cannabis business is finding the right real estate. For one, there are zoning restrictions across the nation that can prevent you from opening your shop doors.

So it’s imperative to look for realtors that specialize in commercial properties for cannabis operations. This way, you’ll know you’re purchasing a property that’s zoned for your type of business.

Now, you’ll have to decide whether you want to buy the property outright, rent it from a landlord, or lease the property at inflated rates and large deposit requests.

The latter is if you have not-so-great credit and want to get your foot in the door faster.

Just be sure to choose the location wisely. Don’t jump on the first opportunity that pops up. Check out the crime rates in the area — the last thing you need is to have your store broken into and looted.

Try to find several jurisdictions that allow cannabis sales, then narrow down your results based on safety, pricing, and ease of access for you (and your customers).

Find Out the Application Requirements

You’ll have to apply for a license to sell cannabis. The requirements vary based on the state and county you’ll operate in.

Your best bet is to visit the state regulator’s website to find out what the regulations are.

There may be certain fees, certifications, and other demands you’ll have to meet before you can jumpstart your business.

Start Writing Your Cannabis Business Plan

Alright, so you have a good idea of where you want to set up your location and what it takes to get approved for a license to operate.

Now, it’s time to put together your business plan.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to include.

Tweak it So it’s Specific to the Cannabis Industry

There are unique aspects you’ll need to cover in your business plan that isn’t typically discussed in traditional business plans.

For example, you’ll need to go over how the cannabis will be:

  • Cultivated
  • Manufactured
  • Transported
  • Sold

More specifically, what are the functions you tend to cover?

You’ll learn that a retail cannabis retailer and a transporter are two different industries. So you don’t want to get caught up in tax issues when it comes time to define your cannabis business and the taxes you’ll have to pay.

Discuss What Makes Your Cannabis Business Unique

The cannabis industry is booming with competitors eager to cash in. This means you’re going to have to find ways to stand out.

Are you going to set up your business in an area with no other dispensaries? Or maybe you’ll offer your product in edibles that no one else is doing.

You need to determine how both your brand and product will be unique.

Write Your Mission and Vision

What’s your reason for starting a cannabis business? And what is it you’re hoping to accomplish?

Your mission and vision statement will help guide your business plan and operations, so make sure it’s concise and convincing to the reader (loan officers, stakeholders, etc.).

Create a Market Snapshot

It’s good to know how your business will fare financially once it’s open. And while it’s impossible to predict your income exactly, you can get a good idea of what to expect.

With a market snapshot, you can discuss your path to success, analyze competitors, and compare your business to theirs.

If others are doing well, then odds are your business will have a chance to generate revenue.

Develop a Marketing Plan

How do you plan to get the word out about your business? Make sure you have an online and offline marketing strategy. For example, posting on social media, buying social ads, and building an email campaign are forms of digital marketing.

Business Operations Strategy

When you bring people on board to help run your cannabis business, it’s good to have a manual with standard operating procedures. Your overall strategy should cover things like:

  • How to manage inventory
  • How to perform critical tasks
  • Preventing fraud and theft
  • Who’s needed for your team
  • Level of cannabis experience required
  • Compliance with state, local, and fed laws
  • Securing insurance
  • Community benefits (creating jobs, unionizing, etc.)
  • Financial data, such as ROI, growth, etc.
  • Startup costs
  • And a separate business plan for investors

Don’t Go It Alone — Get Help from Cannabis Accounting Experts

There’s a lot of planning that goes into setting up your cannabis business. If you’re like most, you’re not familiar with the cannabis industry’s financial, tax, and regulatory aspects.

With the assistance of cannabis accounting experts, you can ensure you’re setting your business up for financial success.

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help start your cannabis business.