Seven Leaves, a California-based cannabis sourcing and lifestyle company
Entrepreneurship is a difficult yet rewarding journey, especially when you are in an emerging market. The unique challenges business owners face are compounded by a lack of familiarity with your brand or the stigma of the product you are selling. Those in the cannabis industry understand these challenges particularly well. They are under additional pressure to ensure that everything in their business remains legitimate despite different 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 manages to strike 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 tough to break into. However, Seven Leaves found a way for their brand to find the right path and against all odds.
Here are five lessons you can learn from the founders of Seven Leaves on how they built such a successful company in the cannabis industry.
If you fall short, learn to adapt
If you want to start your own company, you have to learn quickly to take on multiple roles and to roll with the beats. Rather than handing in the keys when they couldn’t get a line of credit, Seven Leaves took the first step and did everything possible to make their business a success. While it seemed a daunting challenge at first, now that the business is profitable, you can look back and track your company’s success through your efforts.
When you invest your own money in yourself, you are more motivated to work harder because you have more skin in the game.
Respect the rules of the game
If you want to be successful in the long term, you have to stick to the rules.
Cannabis production is subject to large and small restrictions. The Seven Leaves team found that learning how to comply was better than trying to cut corners. They went the extra mile and fostered relationships with the people who regulate the sector and built a solid relational foundation that allows them to communicate better when problems arise in the future. They make sure they can comply by having documents ready, studying information related to the cannabis sector, and reviewing requirements weekly. That way, they always stay overboard and set a good example to their team and others in the industry.
Build a strong company culture from the start
Corporate culture can become an afterthought – especially when you’re the only one on your team starting out with. However, a positive corporate culture is critical to success and can save you money in the long run. According to Gallup, employee turnover can cost between half and double an employee’s original salary, and a study conducted by Glassdoor showed that the vast majority of employees now expect their employers to support work-life balance.
The Seven Leaves team recommends companies create a positive work environment that encourages employee loyalty. They do this by offering further training and promoting it from within. Showing your employees that you care is essential to the long-term success of your company.
Don’t let shiny things distract you
The most important thing for any entrepreneur is to focus on the main goals of the company so that quality is guaranteed. Don’t lose sight of the process, people, and customer base that got you where you are now. When thinking about a new product or working with another popular brand, ask yourself: will this decrease what we have now? Check out your company’s track record. Analyze trends and take action based on data. Don’t get involved in new ideas and overwhelm yourself so much that you compromise the quality of your product.
Make sure the industry matters to you
It will always take longer than you think to build the business you want. When you think about entrepreneurship, make sure it is important to you. People can tell if you believe in what you are selling. This will make all the difference when it comes to moving your business from good to great. Entrepreneurship takes time and energy, and the only thing that can sustain that endeavor is the persistence to move forward no matter what obstacles you face.
Whether you’re selling a service or a product, cannabis or not, the lessons Seven Leaves learned from growing their business apply to any business activity. Entrepreneurs need to get excited about their craft, get to know the industry, plan for the future and create a positive culture that supports growth. Seven Leaves is now in over 300 locations across California and continues to set the standard for high quality cannabis products. Seven Leaves founders Ty Kearns and Mike B keep 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 have built, Seven Leaves is guaranteed to continue to lead the way as the titan of the cannabis industry.