With CBD business booming, reaching a whopping $813.2 million dollars in consumer sales in 2019, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs trying to get a piece of the million dollar pie. But starting a business in CBD can be cutthroat.
It’s an emerging industry, where the rules and regulations are constantly changing, and the number of competitive brands launching new products every day can make standing out hard.
We started our CBD business, Seabedee, one year ago, and since launching, we’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work and some odd lessons in-between. Here’s some important things to keep in mind your first year in business:
It’s Important to Give Back
CBD is a wellness-centric industry, meaning the main benefits are rooted in making people’s (and even pets) lives better. CBD can be used to treat muscles, anxiety and is even emerging as a treatment for seizures.
Knowing this, it’s important to align your brand with the idea of bettering the world and giving back. This can mean creating a discount program, like we did with American Legions, a veteran non-profit, or donating a portion of your profits, like we did for the American Cancer Society.
Find the Right Balance of CBD Product Options
Expanding your product portfolio is always the first step when trying to be profitable but finding the right balance at first can be tricky. We found it’s best to start off with a few products you want to specialize in to build brand recognition and show you’re about quality products.
Then once you’re comfortable, trust your vendors, and have found the right product formulas, expand into other offerings like beauty and pet products. By our first year, we launched 10 products on our e-commerce site, which was a great balance between being profitable and also creating quality products.
Creating Great Partnerships in CBD
From manufacturing to growing and distribution, having the right partners can make all the difference.
The biggest factors to consider when choosing a manufacturing and distribution partner are: selecting high quality products, and look for consistency and variety in ingredients, find someone with great service, who meets your standards and whose pricing and product selection seems in-line with industry norms.
We recommend vetting a variety of partners, attending industry events and looking to your own network for recommendations before settling on one.
PR, Marketing, and Branding Can Make all the Difference
In a saturated market like CBD, branding, and marketing/PR can really help your brand standout among the competition. Similar to vetting your manufacturing and distribution partners, select wisely when choosing agencies or freelancers.
Ask to see previous client case studies that show real results, enter agreements with a trial period if possible, and always trust your gut.
Starting a CBD brand can be tough, but one year in and we’ve already learned so many valuable lessons, and accomplished things we never thought we could.
Good luck to all the new entrepreneurs out there – it will all be worth it in the end!