Opening a new business in any sector can bring its fair share of challenges, but when you’re the new dispensary on Main St. flanked by a hair salon and a pet store, you might not get the kind of warm welcome you hoped for. Certain socioeconomic factors might play into your success, like starting up a shop in a college town or a liberal city, but how can you overcome the negativity when you move into more conservative or rural areas? Believe it or not, it starts from the inside out.
You’re Not Different
We don’t mean that in a bad way; your business plan is solid, funding is secure, and your branding has been extensively developed. If these facts weren’t true, you probably wouldn’t be interested in a dispensary POS, right?
What we’re trying to say is that your business is just that - a business. Just because you sell a product that is questionable by some doesn’t mean that you have to attack success from a completely unique vantage point. On the contrary, you probably have many of the same goals as other entrepreneurs and just happen to be in a very polarized industry.
So what does this mean in terms of community acceptance? Ultimately it starts with having your own viewpoint in order. You’re in this business because you’re passionate, committed, and believe in the power of the marijuana industry. If you start to look at yourself as an outlier who needs everyone’s blessing, you’re already losing the race.
Presentation Is Key
Those in your community who have negative perceptions of the marijuana industry probably picture your organization run by a group of stoners who are legally peddling pot to other local stoners. The legitimacy of cannabis can be easily communicated through one key element: the professionalism of your dispensary.
The more clean, modern, and sophisticated your dispensary looks, the more of a chance you have to convert the naysayers into becoming customers. Your goal should be that a first-time patron walks into your shop and thinks, “Wow, this looks legit.”
One of the ways this can be achieved is through the use of digital signage, which allows you to feature seasonal messages, advertise upcoming promotions, or just show off the latest strain you’re really excited about. You might even think about putting quick tips or statistics into your rotation.
Acceptance Through Education
It’s probably a safe assumption that those who are against marijuana are unaware of the true benefits it offers and grossly over-exaggerate any potential downsides. Overcoming this obstacle requires education about the value of your product. Some areas are starting to see events like cannabis fairs that reduce the stigma associated with the plant, and there’s no reason that your business couldn’t get creative with your marketing efforts
Once you have customers in your door, think about how you want to present information to them. Opting for a POS at your cannabis dispensary that allows you to get in-depth with each strain and uncover your customer’s needs will go a long way toward breaking down age-old barriers. For dispensaries who offer recreational product, these efforts can greatly reduce the negative stereotype that comes along with the industry.
Each shop will have its own set of unique challenges depending on the level of acceptance in their community, but no matter how tall of a task you have in front of you, we have tools that will help you reach your highest potential.
Contact Cova today to learn more about how our POS designed for cannabis dispensaries can help you.