How do I create a cannabis business plan?

Cannapreneurism is a new beast to many.

As an emerging market with strict and ever-changing laws, smashing into this projected $76B industry is challenging so a well-thought business plan is more important than ever. So, we wanted to give you how we thought about starting our business.

So, we wanted to give some tips by explaining how we outlined our cannabis business plan.

•  Executive Summary:

Introduce your business briefly! This section should describe your business as a whole outlining your strategy, financial status, target market, and highlights. We started by creating a rough draft and after we finished our plan, we came back to crystalize this in our minds.

• Ethos and Mission:

Your Ethos and Mission will capture the essence of your business.

We brainstormed together: Why are we doing this and what is our mission with this business? Well, we do business with impactful intention and the creed we fly by.

• Problem:

Every business exists to solve a problem. Explain the problem and why it needs to be addressed. You can also explain the problem’s costs  – make sure to back up what you are stating – so do your research! 

We began with what we could fix, for us – it was the inequitable access to the industry by well – pretty much 99.9% of the population.

• Solution & How it Works:

Now that you have stated the problem you want to fix, you need to explain why your business is the solution to that problem

For us, we thought: How could we fix that problem? We delved deep into ways based on our experience as cannabis operators – and a lot of hard work and devotion. We thought about how challenging it was to start our previous cannabis business and what people needed to succeed. Then we detailed out a plan as much as possible thinking of every possible way we could help fix that problem based on our experiences.

• Licenses:

This is the most important part and what separates the cannabis industry from others. You can’t operate within the legal industry without a license, so we had to find out what licenses to figure out our costs, what we could do, and what we needed to be successful. To create access and help others succeed, we knew the two core would be manufacturing and distribution.

• Unique Value Proposition:

What makes your business special? What value are you bringing? Well, we’re about 5% the normal cost for licensing, we’ll have a Michelin-trained chef creating edibles, we have 7+ years of distribution experience, and we are a collaborative, supporting an environment that our success thrives on our community’s success and we spark innovation, create social impact, and minority inclusion in the industry.

• Target market & competitors:

• KYC – Know your customer.

If you want to sell something, you need to understand who you are selling it for, and for us, we had to outline who would need our help, who wanted to buy our products, who would be the right person for us, and vice-versa. From there, we had to understand where they are and how can we can reach them.

• Competition:

Who else does what you do? It’s important to understand and analyze your market and that includes doing benchmarking analysis to understand your competitors. In our case, when we started, we realized no one was doing what we do or even following a shared-economy business idea since everyone was busy trying to fight each other for the “top dog” spot in cannabis.

• Startup Requirements:

You need to understand what you need to make your business work! From starting capital to legal, accounting, and licenses, we needed a LOT of help from our network to make this happen, no one succeeds alone!

Financials:

This is a hard point for a lot of companies but you will need to understand how much it will cost you to build your business and make sure it succeeds!  You can start this part by asking yourself: How much will it cost us to get started and how will we monetize so we can survive and repay the trust for our investors? We thought about this carefully and detailed it breaking it down as much as possible. That helped us not get unpleasant surprises down the road. Figure out what you think you’ll need to start and be ok for a while.

• Team:

Collaboration over competition! No business succeeds with 1 person only. A successful business requires having specialized teams! We built a team of passionate, expert, team players to put our plan in action and then highlighted their best experiences on our TEAM section on our cannabis business plan.

• Future:

Never start a business without thinking and planning BIG. It’s true, shoot for the stars but PLAN and MAKE IT WORK. In this section, explain what are your plans in 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. This will help you and your investors understand that you are serious about making your business work and that you are thinking long-term!  We’ve thought all the way down to 15 years for ourselves.

For us, business plans are living documents and we know we can’t predict everything. Heck, a lot of people might even say we missed a bunch of stuff. While we can give you a bit of a starting point, you might add or remove things for yourself. The nice part about MyGN is that cannabis entrepreneurs will have the help of support systems like ours that will make the process of creating a cannabis business plan less intimidating. 

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