A business plan is an essential document that outlines your business’s goals and how you plan to achieve them. As a future cannabis retailer, you’ll be aware that competition is fierce and investors may see you as a legally risky investment.
We’ll run through how to make a business plan for your cannabis dispensary that will set you apart as an exciting yet “safe pair of hands” in this tumultuous industry.
Creating a Marijuana Dispensary Business Plan in 6 Steps
1. Identify your brand identity and goals
Your brand identity introduces your dispensary to potential investors and is pivotal to your business plan. To get started, you need to answer some important questions about your company, such as:
- Are you a recreational and/or medical marijuana dispensary?
- Why did you start the business?
- What are your long-term goals?
- What are your values and ethics?
- What milestones have you achieved so far?
2. Determine your target market
Demonstrate your understanding that your customers are an integral part of your dispensary’s success. This section will also create a compelling argument that there’s a need for a cannabis shop in your dispensary’s location.
Carry out market research for your dispensary’s demographic and find out:
- Who are the specific demographics you’re targeting as customers?
- How will your business appeal to their needs?
- How are they currently accessing cannabis products?
- What’s wrong with these methods?
- How would your business fix that problem?
3. Decide on your products and services
Describe the types of products you’re going to sell (flower, oils, edibles, etc.), where you’ll source them from, the logistics of getting them to the store, and the prices you’ll charge. If you’ll be manufacturing any of your own products, explain the process and costs of making them. Do you offer additional services? Outline them here.
As not all products are allowed to be sold in all states, this section should also reassure investors that you understand your dispensary’s legal restrictions.
4. Analyze competitors
Use your competitor analysis to describe exactly who your business rivals are:
- Which cannabis products do they offer?
- Who are their customer demographics?
- What is their price range (e.g. premium, budget, etc.)?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Once you’ve outlined your competitors, you can explain how you’re better. How will you fill the gaps they leave in the market, or go above and beyond with the products and customer service you’ll offer?
5. Create an execution plan
States limit the dispensary licenses they give out each year. This is where your execution plan comes in, to describe why your business idea is feasible and exactly how you’re going to meet your goals. In this section, plan your dispensary’s:
- Marketing and sales plan
- Go-to-market strategy
- Strategy to recruit employees
- Launch budget
- Everyday processes
- Technology use
- Involvement in community outreach programs
6. Conduct financial analysis
The financial section of your business plan is a focal point for your investors and licensing bureau. Launching and running a cannabis business is expensive, so you’ll need to make it crystal clear you can raise enough capital to meet its demands. Include in this area:
- Projected revenues, profits, and losses for the first five years
- Clearly defined assumptions for your projections
- Your plans for raising capital
- A cash flow statement
- Your dividend sharing policy
- Any existing investors already on board
Your Marijuana Dispensary Business Plan
Your dispensary business plan is a living document — it will change shape as your company grows and changes direction over time. To stay on top of this, update your business plan annually.
If you have any questions about how to put together and maintain a marijuana dispensary business plan, book a free consultation with one of our experts at Bespoke Financial.