I have been fortunate to work with all levels of clients, from startups to fortune 500. One thing that I’ve learned through this experience is that there is a certain level of business acumen needed to be able to speak to all levels of clients in order to build relationships, but also in order to effectively push progress. I know that communicating with the customer service team is not going to be the same as it is with a C-suite executive, and from my experience, this is even more true within the cannabis space.
Today, as I connect with certain professionals in the business world, whether in finance, or tech, there is sometimes an uninformed bias that people that work in the cannabis industry are just high budtenders with a chill and take-it-easy attitude. I can say that almost every professional in this industry that I’ve personally met have the highest regard and respect for cannabis as plant medicine, a business, a culture, and most importantly, a fundamental right for their fellow humans. Their passion for cannabis drives these professionals to live their business.
Given where we are, in the US anyway, operating a cannabis business is like playing a video game on hard mode and with hardly any ability to level up your character. If it weren’t for the passion for cannabis of these owners and operators, they would surely find a new profession. At least one that easily allows for writing off legitimate business operating expenses and being able to have commerce between states.
Why is it like playing the game on hard mode? With every regulation, every non-taxable expense incurred, no inter-state commerce, and everything else you can think of that a typical business professional wouldn’t need to think about, the cannabis owner and operator is accountable for. This leaves a lot of ambiguity regarding the ability to run a business and be profitable.
This is why communication is so critical, especially in cannabis, that you have a professional staff running your back office function of your cannabis business. These professionals are required to be able to communicate effectively with all levels of your organization, internal and external. Your back office professionals – the finance team and the management team are ensuring everything is moving as it should for your business, that operations don’t have any blockers, and that processes are efficient, reviewed, and working as required.
Luckily, you can absolutely find and hire professionals of this caliber to join your organization and be able to do their duties, have excellent communication skills, and not need any training. However, the time and energy to source qualified candidates directly, train, and supervise are burdensome and expensive.
Please consider the value that outsourcing these back office functions can add, specifically the outsourcing of the finance function. Northstar provides all of these functions, for a fraction of the time and cost of hiring a team in-house. Northstar allows you to tap into a dedicated finance team when you need it. From managing the day-to-day bookkeeping, monthly reconciliations, and running your payroll to providing direct CFO advisory and management services. Building an internal team that can perform all of these functions is great, but what if you need to scale up or down? What if you have to train all of your new employees? What happens if someone is on holiday or out sick? Who reviews their work? Who manages the team? And more importantly, who does the liability fall to for each of the staff that you hire? The answer is you.
A dedicated team, like the one that Northstar assigns to its clients, provides all of the functions necessary to run a lean, efficient finance function, and ensure 100% compliant financials at a fraction of the cost of having an in-house team. A fraction of the cost, and no disruption in service if someone is out of the office, or if there is a need to quickly scale up your business.
I believe in the cannabis industry, and the work we do at Northstar, as exemplified in our corporate purpose: “To deliver high-value, high-performance support to dispensaries, growers, and other leading-edge cannabis businesses we ensure you’re compliant, profitable, and prepared for all that comes next in this fast-paced, always-changing industry”.