Making it as an entrepreneur requires a high-risk tolerance and a willingness to do things that your friends and family may not understand.
Nowhere is this truer than in the Cannabis Industry, where we are not only dealing with a new market but also a product that is still federally illegal.
Although a willingness to take risks and go it alone has launched many successful businesses, the most successful business stories in the Cannabis Industry will involve brand partnership and collaboration.
As the Cannabis Industry continues its entry onto the national stage, there will be natural expansion and contraction, law and policy changes, and general turbulence. If you have strong partnerships you will be able to ride these waves in a much more calm and peaceful fashion.
Obviously, you don’t want to partner and collaborate with just anyone. You want to choose companies and brands that reflect who you are and your target market.
Here are four ways you can set yourself up for success.
Even if you are choosing to go it alone and have no desire to partner or collaborate with similar brands, you always need to know what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and who you do it for.
It is incredibly helpful to know these things way before engaging in partnerships with other small businesses. It’s easy to become hopeful and excited about every potential partnership opportunity that comes your way, but chances are that not every partnership will be the right one.
Having a clear picture of your “Who,” “What” and “Why” enables you to remain clear on your business goals and long term vision.
Without this clarity you risk creating a muddy brand that means nothing. If your partnerships aren’t in alignment with your brand, your brand’s guarantee may not make sense to your prospects.
Make a serious effort to learn everything you can about your potential partners.
When you collaborate with another brand, they become a part of your business. It’s imperative that you understand who your partners are, including their value systems because their values will become aligned with yours.
Every business has its limitations and smart business owners are well aware of what they are.
As a business owner, you must be willing to examine all the potential ways that you can grow your company, including strategic partnerships that can help you fill the holes.
One of the many traits successful business owners share is the ability to identify when things just aren’t working. If your partnership isn’t working you may have to walk away. It’s never easy to turn your back on something you had high hopes for but sometimes it’s crucial for the health of your business.
Being an entrepreneur can feel lonely at times. Being a cannabis entrepreneur can feel like being trapped on a deserted island.
We all share the same journey as we work towards acceptance and recognition. However, strategic partnerships can positively impact the growth of your business and can help you feel less alone.
The best thing you can do as a cannabis entrepreneur is to be open to partnerships and collaboration and find partners who share your vision.
There really is no reason to go it alone.
Alexa Divett is the Co-Founder and Marketing Director of Maya Media Collective (www.mayamc.com), a Portland, Oregon based marketing and design firm that specializes in the Cannabis Industry. Alexa and her team help brands achieve their goals through education, thoughtful design concepts and inventive marketing solutions.
Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]
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