Before you open up your dispensary, it’s important to have a solid dispensary business plan in place. More than just a simple outline, this plan must be detailed and well-researched, so it’s never too soon to get started.
Ideally, you want to have finished your dispensary business plan before you talk to any investors. That way you can pitch your business to them in conjunction with your financial model and demonstrate your preparedness.
It’s also a good idea to make your business plan before you even apply for the dispensary license, because many of the items you’ll include in your dispensary business plan will be required for the application process anyway.
Here’s everything you need to include in your dispensary business plan, especially in terms of market research, real estate, marketing and branding, and financial modeling.
Dispensary Business Plan Essentials
A dispensary business plan consists of many different and detailed sections, all of which will help both prepare you to open up shop and entice investors to take a chance on your cannabusiness.
The main sections you need in your dispensary business plan are:
- An executive summary. An overview of your brand, who you are, and your goals.
- Team bios and qualifications. Information on each team member’s background and why they’re qualified for their intended role.
- Market research. Research on the cannabis industry as a whole, the state you’re looking to operate in, saturation, competition, and trends.
- Marketing & branding. A brand guide and plan for building consistency and consumer trust.
- A business roadmap. A plan for what will happen through your business lifecycle.
- Real estate and facility requirements. Information on the potential property, including its value and whether it meets local requirements.
- Your application: Information on the state’s requirements and how you’re able to meet those requirements.
- Compliance. Research showing that you understand the importance of compliance and how you plan to meet compliance requirements for your intended license type in your intended state of operation, including SOPs and employee training programs.
- Design and build. A step-by-step plan for the facility’s layout, construction, and timeline.
- A financial model summary. A summary of the financial plan for your business, including expected costs and projected revenue.
- Anything else of importance to the unique application. Research into processes you will need to learn, best practices — whatever you feel is important to include.
- Anything unique about your business to help you stand out. Plans for how you will make your brand stand out from others, especially if you’re entering a very saturated market.
- Future business development plans. A summary of your business goals and where you want it to go in the future.
Each section should be as detailed and concrete as possible to ensure you are thoroughly prepared.
Research, Projections & Brand Identity
Now that you have a general overview of the essential sections to include, let’s take a closer look at what’s required for a few of them — namely, market research, real estate, financial modeling, and marketing and branding.
The market research section of your dispensary business plan is there to show the value of the industry: how much it’s growing — in your state, nationally, and globally — and how much money is expected to be made over the next five years or so.
Your market research should cover aspects such as saturation, the market’s development over time, whether the state is competitive or non-competitive, and how many licenses the state will be giving out.
Articles from Forbes or other data analytics companies in the cannabis industry that project what the market is going to do over the next year and how much money is expected to be made can also help to beef up your dispensary business plan.
Additional market research is useful to show investors just how big the industry is, that it’s not slowing down, and that it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.
Real Estate Location
Your dispensary business plan should also highlight the property you’ve decided on, or all of your potential properties if you haven’t decided on a specific one just yet.
You’ll want to do a green zone assessment on the property to show that it will be zoned properly. Keep in mind that the state and the municipality will each have their own particular requirements, so you’ll need to look at both.
Also include information on demographics and spending trends in the area. If you know what the spending in the area looks like, you can get an idea of what piece of that percentage is going to come to you.
Finally, research the location in general. Is it on a main street or major highway? Are you planning to rent or buy? This information will also be important for the financial modeling section of your dispensary business plan.
It’s important to know all of your setup costs ahead of time and account for them in your dispensary business plan. What will it cost in terms of equipment, goods, utilities, and employee payroll to get your business fully operational?
Once you have your setup costs laid out, go over the anticipated first five years of your business, month by month. As your business grows, how much do you expect it to make over the next five years based on the costs and the projections from your market research?
Marketing & Branding
The marketing and branding section of your dispensary business plan should include a comprehensive brand guide that compiles your color scheme, font, all versions of your logo, and any other branding specifics in one place.
Your brand is your opportunity to tell your story and make it relatable to your customers, and it’s also a way to build trust through consistency. Keeping your branding cohesive across all online platforms makes it easy for customers to recognize and trust who you are.
At Higher Yields Consulting, our expert consultants have experience putting together successful business plans that can serve as the foundation of your application. For more guidance on crafting your dispensary business plan, reach out to us to schedule a consultation.