Entrepreneurship is a difficult, yet rewarding journey, especially when you’re in an emerging market. The unique challenges business owners face are amplified by a lack of familiarity with your brand or stigmas for the product you’re selling. Those in the cannabis industry understand these challenges particularly well. They face the additional pressure of making sure everything about their business remains legitimate despite differing laws and regulations from state to state.
Entrepreneurs need to take notes from innovators in the cannabis industry. California-based cannabis sourcing and lifestyle company Seven Leaves successfully navigates the balance between selling a product in a challenging market.
From real estate restrictions to credit lines to the fact that the product is still illegal under federal law, the cannabis industry is a difficult one to break into. Seven Leaves, however, has forged a path for their brand to emerge the right way and against all odds.
Here are five lessons you can learn from the founders at Seven Leaves in how they were able to build such a successful company in the cannabis industry.
When You Come Up Short, Learn to Adapt
Those looking to start their own business must quickly learn to take on multiple roles and roll with the punches. Instead of turning in the keys when they couldn’t get a line of credit, Seven Leaves hit the ground running and did everything possible to make their company a success. While it seemed a daunting challenge at first, now that the business is profitable, they can look back and track their company’s success based upon their efforts.
When you’re investing your own money in yourself, you’re more motivated to work harder because you have more skin in the game.
Respect The Rules Of The Game
If you want to achieve long-term success, you have to play by the rules.
Cannabis production is governed by restrictions large and small. The team at Seven Leaves found that their energy was better spent learning to ace the regulations than trying to cut corners. They went the extra mile and cultivated relationships with the people who regulate the sector, building a solid relational foundation that allows them to communicate better if issues arise in the future. They ensure that they can meet regulations by keeping documents on hand, studying information around the cannabis sector, and reviewing the requirements weekly. This way, they always stay above board and set a good example for their team and others in the industry.
Build a strong company culture from the start
Company culture can become an afterthought — especially if you’re the only one on your team to start with. But positive company culture is essential for success and can save you money in the long run. According to Gallup, employee turnover can cost companies from one-half up to twice the original employee’s salary, and a study done by Glassdoor showed that the vast majority of employees now expect their employers to support the balance of work and personal life.
The team at Seven Leaves advises companies to create a positive work environment that encourages employee retention. They do this by offering continued education and promoting from within. Showing your people that you care goes a long way in your company’s long-term success.
Don’t get distracted by shiny things
The most important thing for any entrepreneur is to stay focused on the main goals of the company so that quality is ensured. Don’t lose sight of the process, employees, and customer base that got you to where you are now. When you are considering a new product or a collaboration with another popular brand, ask yourself – will this diminish what we have now? Look at the track record of your business. Analyze trends and take action based on data. Don’t get caught up in new ideas and overextend yourself so much that you reduce the quality of your product.
Make sure the industry matters to you
It will always take longer than you think to build the company you want. If you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, make sure that it matters to you. People can tell if you believe in what you’re selling. This will make all the difference in taking your company from good to great. Entrepreneurship takes time and energy, and the only thing that can sustain that effort is the perseverance to move forward, no matter what obstacles come your way.
Whether you’re selling a service or a product, cannabis or not, the lessons Seven Leaves learned as they’ve grown their company applies to any entrepreneurial pursuit. Business owners need to stay passionate about their craft, learn the industry, plan for the future, and create a positive culture that sustains growth. Seven Leaves is now carried in over 300 locations all across California and continues to set the benchmark for high-quality cannabis products. Seven Leaves’ founders, Ty Kearns and Mike B continue learning and applying new efficiencies and economies of scale to this dynamic and growing field. Under their leadership and with the help of the team they’ve built, Seven Leaves is guaranteed to continue leading the way as a cannabis industry titan.