The cannabis industry is becoming more competitive as new markets, companies, and innovations arrive. The industry was founded on outside-the-box thinking, and imagination and innovation remain imperative for those who want to grow and thrive. We are not dismissing conventional wisdom, as some established business practices are essential for cannabis retailers, but when that is not enough you may want to consider these three unexpected tips from experts to increase the bottom line. Brad Rigoni of Terrapin Care Station: “Follow the customer’s lead.”
Customers are any business’s lifeblood. Their feedback could be more valuable than you think. Your shop likely is not the only one your customers have visited, and they certainly have ideas and expectations about what improves their experience. The director of store operation for Terrapin Care Station, a cannabis retailer with several locations in Colorado and Pennsylvania, believes acting on customer feedback is essential to increasing profits. “If a customer has thoughts on where we should place our merchandise, or how we should process intake, or how to move the line faster, then we listen,” Bradd Rigoni said. “In some cases, customer feedback has resulted in us highlighting our eco-friendly recycled packaging practices, or even moving merchandise and in-store literature to make it more easily accessible for customers.”
Kyle Sherman of Flowhub: “Eliminating employee theft.”
You paid for inventory, and suddenly you are without both hard-earned money and product to sell, thanks to mysteriously disappearing wares. Considerable attention is paid to eliminating customer theft and outside criminals, but it may not be those on the outside ripping you off. While shops have measures in place to prevent employee theft, Flowhub Chief Executive Officer Kyle Sherman said deterring potential internal issues should be a much larger priority than it is for many retailers. “Creating a loss-prevention plan early on can help enhance margins,” he said. “One of the biggest concerns for dispensaries comes from the inside. Because cannabis is a primarily cash-only industry with a high risk for internal theft, it’s important to be diligent about tracking inventory, limiting access, and establishing security measures.”
Owen Weber of Uniweb: “Friendly security personnel create a good impression.”
No matter how trite, the old saying is true: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. While we typically think of a receptionist as a dispensary’s first chance to set a positive vibe, many dispensaries may be squandering their true first opportunity: security personnel. Store security often represent the first person with whom customers interact. “While hiring in-the-know sales associates can be very important, most business owners underestimate the importance of friendly security guards,” said Owen Weber, a sales executive with Uniweb, a company that specializes in optimizing retail space and product displays for the cannabis industry. “There is enough stigma within this new industry that anything to help add positive opinions to your store environment will help.” If potential customers are turned off or intimidated by those guarding the doors, it could set a bad tone for the rest of their experience.