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How to Start a Successful CBD Business in 2021

Chris Porteous
Dec 05, 2019
Content sponsored in partnership with BigCommerce

As the cannabis industry grows, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to capitalize on demand for CBD products.

Most entrepreneurs who have been paying attention to the marketplace in recent years will be well aware of the fact that the cannabis industry has grown at an astonishing pace. What far too few of them realize is that this growth isn’t likely to abate anytime soon, meaning you can still cash in on the ongoing cannabis bonanza if you know how to properly foray into the market with a solid business plan behind you.

By focusing on cannabidiol (CBD) products, for instance, any good cannabis entrepreneur stands to make a killing before long. You’ll need to do your homework before investing your money if you really want to succeed, however, so ensure you’re up to snuff on all things cannabis before trying to start a successful CBD business in 2021.

1. Understand the landscape of the cannabis industry.

The first step in starting a successful CBD business is to know what to look out for. Many entrepreneurs understand that the cannabis industry is tenuously regulated and subject to constant changes, but few of them are aware of the extent that commercial danger is present. By investing in cannabis products that won’t be widely deregulated anytime soon, for instance, you could be dooming yourself to commercial failure. That’s why a focus on CBD products is essential, as they’ll remain in hot demand regardless of whatever forthcoming political and social changes occur by the time your company is up and running.

CBD products can be sold in a wide variety of ways, including as oils, tinctures, edible gummies, and patches. To truly rake the cash in, though, you’ll likely want to specialize and become a recognized leader in a specific area so that you can hone in on a niche audience. Familiarizing yourself with the CBD trends that will define 2021 is the only way to make the right choice in this regard, as you must couple your business talents with market conditions to find and secure a target audience that will pay you huge sums of money.

Besides figuring out what niche area to specialize in, you should also be asking yourself how you intend to lure in customers. Many small businesses fail because they can’t drum up enough business in their opening days to keep the lights on, which is why it’s imperative that you come up with a game plan early on in the process. Do you have a social media presence, and if so are you exploiting it to the greatest extent possible? Brushing up on how leading cannabis companies make use of popular social media platforms is an essential part of guaranteeing that your business’ marketing strategy won’t backfire.

A stellar digital presence won’t be enough by itself, either. You’ll also need an excellent team of workers behind you to succeed, as no entrepreneur can single-handedly manage an entire cannabis empire, especially as it grows with time.


2. Know who to hire (and how).

If you’re interested in launching a cannabis company that can thrive throughout 2021, you should already be looking at prospective employees to determine if they can contribute to your commercial ambitions. Believe it or not, the founding entrepreneur isn’t the only person who matters in a new company; you’ll need a dedicated workforce of tireless and qualified professionals if you want your brand to take off where others have failed in the past. Many entrepreneurs who know their way around a cannabis plant have relatively little business experience elsewhere, however, which unfortunately leads them to hire the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

So, how should you go about the hiring process? For starters, don’t be afraid to accept those who have plenty of experience in other industries. Workers who hail from a wide variety of backgrounds that have little to nothing to do with cannabis can, under the right circumstances and with the right qualifications, still prove to be essential elements of your team.

Having a financial guru who can help navigate the tumultuous market environment and save you money could make the difference between commercial success and failure, for instance, yet few cannabis entrepreneurs think of hiring those who have little to nothing to do with the everyday management of cannabis products. You need workers who understand fintech meaning, can predict market trends ahead of time and will help you manage your company assets in times of trouble.

Still, you’ll always need qualified budtenders and retail workers for a marijuana business, even if you’re focused exclusively on CBD products. That’s why reviewing industry-specific hiring guides should be a major priority for any budding entrepreneur thinking about foraying into the cannabis sector in 2021. 

3. Have an emergency plan.

Everybody getting involved in the cannabis industry should have an emergency plan ready to be enacted at a moment’s notice. This is because cannabis is still beset by countless regulatory and political questions, and the future of even the CBD marketplace isn’t entirely secure. Those advocating to expand the war on drugs would be happy to see cannabis companies shut down in droves, for instance, so it’s imperative to know that sudden legal or social changes could alter your industry for the worse as you launch your business in 2021.

Preparing to deal with regulatory uncertainty is never easy, especially when you’re in an industry that’s still grappling with misleading social stigmas. The recent vaping crisis, for instance, resulted in cannabis companies around the marketplace losing huge parts of their overall valuation thanks to investor paranoia about the immediate regulatory future. A cloud of uncertainty has descended over the cannabis industry, and it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon. This shouldn’t thwart your commercial ambitions to launch a thriving CBD company, but you should be aware that it won’t always be easy to be a part of this still-maturing market.

Have an emergency plan in place in the event that your financial partners bail on you. Many financial institutions and banks won’t do business with cannabis companies, for instance, leading them to overdepend on payment processing providers who may pull the rug out from you at any moment. Being able to accept a wide variety of payments from customers is the only surefire way to establish financial sustainability until banks and traditional financial institutions finally embrace the cannabis industry.

Keep a close eye on CBD-related news, too, and know which athletes, celebrities and prominent influencers are lauding CBD products in order to capitalize on their social buzz. Take heed of successful CBD companies, like CBDMedic, that leverage athlete endorsements (CBDMedic recently partnered with NFL legend Rob Gronkowski).

Constantly reaching out to new customers to take advantage of temporary market trends will be of the upmost importance, so having your finger on the pulse of the average consumer will be an essential element of starting a successful CBD business in 2021. You may not need to invest in an influencer yourself, but you should always know what’s influential at the moment so that you can exploit it for your own gain. Before long, you’ll discover that starting a successful CBD company in 2021 necessitates foresight, flexibility and perseverance above all else.

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