This guest column is written by Jalen Jones, Senior Account Manager at Dutcheswhere he provided retail training for CAURD licensees. Dutchie is the exclusive point-of-sale (POS), e-commerce, payment and insurance technology provider for CAURD dispensaries in New York. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of NY Cannabis Insider.
As work continues in New York to open more dispensaries across the state, this intense and sometimes fast-paced process can be a dizzying ordeal for CAURD licensees. If you’re one of these people, whether you’re waiting to open your space or have already started working, it’s easy to get overwhelmed amid all the excitement that can rob you of your experience, your accomplishments, and prevent you from making decisions as a business owner.
For CAURD operators who are starting to feel this way, here are the three main concepts you should be focusing on as you prepare to open your store:
The ambition is big, but scale responsibly
Obtaining a license and then opening the doors to legal cannabis production can be overwhelming, exciting and surreal. It is likely that this is what you have long dreamed of and, of course, want everything to be exactly as you imagined from the very beginning. But remember not to put the cart before the horse, especially if you’re still learning the ins and outs of owning a retail business.
It’s great to have big ideas and ambition – these qualities probably played a role in your success in obtaining a license – but remember that building a retail operation takes time, especially in a nascent market like cannabis where rules and regulations are not only complex, but it is always evolving.
Make sure you stay realistic when delegating your resources and keeping the dispensary running. If you focus on making your work sustainable, you will give yourself the opportunity to truly make it your own in the future.
Block out the noise
Especially at the initial stage, it is very important to act effectively, pursuing one goal: to build a profitable business. You are opening a dispensary to sell well-regulated, high-quality legal cannabis products to consumers, and this should always be your primary concern from the moment you open your doors.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want your pharmacy to be something more than a retail business, but that should come later after you learn how to run a retail cannabis shop.
There is definitely science to building a strong retail brand. Determining the right range of products, delivering the perfect customer experience while maintaining a healthy bottom line, are all key components that should be the ingredients in your recipe.
Try to block out the noise. A large number of unlicensed stores and limited range products are certainly early barriers, but if you stay on course, you will have the opportunity to realize your broader vision for your store, whether it be stocking certain products, introducing new innovations and technologies, or becoming a mainstay for your communities.
The only constant in cannabis is change
Having a CAURD license comes with a lot of pressure. Not only are you one of the first people in the state to open a legal recreational dispensary, you are also one of the first places cultivators and processors can sell their products.
Not to mention, New York State is making a big investment to first license CAURD applicants and help them get started. But that doesn’t mean that prioritization doesn’t come with high expectations and a lot of pressure to succeed.
This is something anyone who decides to start and run their own business faces, but you also get the attention of legislators, the media, and the rest of the supply chain that currently depends on you. It is easy to feel the weight of the market on your shoulders.
Nothing is going to be perfect right from the start, and you don’t have to figure everything out on the first day. Feeling anxious or insecure is normal, but remember that starting a business takes time and a lot of trial and error.
Take advantage of being one of the first retailers in the state and give yourself the opportunity to solve problems. And most importantly, use the resources you have that you can rely on when you start working.
There are many people in society and in the industry who want to help and want you to succeed, and there is no shame in accepting help from them. If you are making steady progress and slowly improving your operations, you are on the right track.
If you keep these three core concepts in mind as you start and manage your business, you will not only feel better, but you will also be more likely to achieve and maintain success. Eventually, the market will become more competitive.
If all goes according to plan, there will be 300 CAURD dispensaries alone. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize what matters most now: run a profitable business, learn and grow in your role as an owner, and take advantage of the opportunities and resources presented to you early on. .
If you keep this focus, you will feel better and be better prepared for success.