There comes a time for any business owner when you realize that your ambition will only get you so far. In the cannabis industry, in particular, there are uncharted waters around every corner and it requires a team of experts — each contributing value in their own area of specialization — to steer the ship successfully towards the goal.
As a leader in your business, it’s your responsibility to choose the team members who are going to get you there successfully, efficiently, and creatively so that you can stand out from the crowd and reap the rewards as a team.
So how do you go about finding those team members? And how do you ensure that the people you’re choosing are indeed the most qualified to contribute to the success of your business?
One option is to recruit, vet, and hire your own team. However, this is by far the least efficient due to the vast time commitment required and, simultaneously, the most risky because you’re taking people at their word during the vetting and hiring processes.
Alternatively, many forward-thinking cannabis businesses choose to work with a consulting company as their one-stop, trusted resource for guidance, industry knowledge, specialized expertise, staffing, and more.
But what is a consulting company? And what factors do you need to be considering in order to find the right consulting company to advance your cannabis business?
What a Consultant Is Not
Choosing a consulting company is not a decision to be taken lightly. You are trusting other people to provide you with information and direction; you are entrusting another established business with the success of your own budding business; and you are using your hard-earned dollars to indicate that trust.
At Higher Yields Consulting, we don’t take the significance of that gesture for granted. We respect how hard you’ve worked to reach this stage and we’re eager to take you the rest of the way. That’s why we want to ensure that as you’re shopping for a consulting company, you’re aware of what to look out for.
A consulting company is not…
- YouTube — Your business is unique. Be wary of implementing advice from a source that is not aware of your unique business, model, and goals.
- Cookie-Cutter — No two states have the same cannabis legislation, no two municipalities need the same strategy, and no two businesses are alike in the cannabis industry. Steer clear of templatized services that treat you and your business the same as the next.
- New — The truth is that you want a consulting company that has a proven history of growing cannabis companies with creative, innovative strategies.
- Multi-Disciplinary — The cannabis industry is unique and requires extensive knowledge of the complexities cannabis businesses face. Avoid working with consulting companies that cater to multiple different industries. Rather, choose a consulting company that specializes exclusively in cannabis.
Above all, trust your gut instincts. The best consulting company to help you grow and succeed is likely not the cheapest, and yet they must be the most well-informed, the most versatile, and the most committed to helping you achieve your goals.
What to Look for in a Consulting Company
Good consultants know what they do best and have processes in place for getting to the root of what you need and how to get you there. Yet, they’re also willing to adapt and deploy flexible solutions as the situation requires.
They also commit to a relationship of honesty because they know that hiding or minimizing the truth of the challenges ahead will not benefit you or your advancement in any way.
Good consultants know that success in the cannabis industry is all about maximizing resources and efficiency. The company you choose should be experts in mitigating risk and maximizing investment.
Every step of the way, your consulting partners should be setting you up to achieve your end goal. They should possess knowledge and connections all the way through the supply chain, and they will give you access to multiple resources to fill the gaps in your business.
Above all, great cannabis consultants have vast experience in multiple different cannabis businesses, including vertically integrated businesses and multi-state operators, and should have a proven pattern of success — not just a one-time wins. Yet, at the same time, they should be able to provide solutions that are custom to you rather than cookie-cutter solutions they have deployed with past clients.
Ultimately, your consulting partner should be invested in your success and committed to co-creative action. At Higher Yields Consulting, we take a phased approach to build each layer strong on top of another strong layer, all while maximizing your budget and timeline, so you can create the business and impact of your dreams.
The Power of a Pre-Qualified Team
If you are considering working with a consulting company, you’re likely looking at a few potential options that vary in size. Many solo consultants pride themselves on being a one-stop shop for cannabis businesses to rely on, but the truth of the matter is that there are far too many layers of the cannabis industry for any one person to be an expert in them all.
Frankly, if you’ve been burned by working with consultants in the past, it’s likely because the person or people you trusted tried to be experts in too many fields. As the old adage goes, “A jack of all trades is a master of none.”
Rather, look for a consulting company that consists of a team of individuals who are each experts in their own lane. Consider the areas of your business that you know you’ll need help with — such as cultivation, design build, marketing and branding, and more — and ask which member of the consulting team is the head of each area and why.
Also, be wary of a consulting company that takes the stance that they know everything there is to know. Rather, a consulting firm that has your best interests at heart will take a stance of learning and constantly improving their expertise in this ever-evolving industry.
For example, at Higher Yields Consulting, we consider ourselves a learning organization. We do have our proven processes and track record of success in countless unique businesses, stages, and license types, but we also know that there is always more to learn and there are always new opportunities emerging in this industry.
We believe in the cannabis industry and therefore we immerse ourselves as deeply as possible in every aspect. We are helping to craft the legislation in emerging markets. In established markets, we attend the city council meetings, we get involved in the lobbying efforts, and we are actively connected with the individuals who have the power to further shape the trajectory of our industry.
If you would like to learn more about Higher Yields Consulting and how we can help your cannabis business achieve higher yields, book a discovery call with us today!