Project Management – Think Backwards

Got a big project to complete?  How will you approach it?  What are the steps?  Well…here’s an idea.  Work backwards! How do most people approach a big project?  They just start.  They do something, anything, that makes them feel like they have taken a step toward their goal.  They do a little bit here and a little bit there, and hope that all those bits will eventually come together as a completed task.  And sometimes they do actually produce something, but probably not in the most efficient manner and probably not without undue frustration. My dad once took a car engine completely apart, down to the last bolt and nut, cleaned each piece, then put the whole thing back together.  He wasn’t a mechanic, although admittedly he had a decent understanding of a combustion engine.  Nevertheless, he had well over a hundred parts that had to go back together in a certain order, for the engine to run.  I always wondered how he did that.  And I think I finally learned how. You see, as he was taking that car apart, he had to think about how it would go back together.  He didn’t organize the parts by what when in first, but by what went in last.  In other words, he worked backwards.  In essence, he arranged the pieces in the order of what went in right before the car was finished, and what went in right before that, and right before that and so on, until the car was an organized string of parts on the garage floor. So what if you took on a project in...

Leadership – How to be badass

When you look back to the leaders who made the greatest impact on you, what was it that held your attention, caused you to wonder how they did what they did?   These are the leaders I call “badass”.  They’re not necessarily a Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon), but the ones in my camp were generally quiet, focused, thoughtful, with an underlying strength that defied expectations.  What makes a badass leader?  Are you born with the qualities or can you develop them?  It’s a little bit of both and it doesn’t happen quickly.  You should shoot for it though, because badass leaders are the ones that the world, whether you define the world as the globe, or your own little business corner, looks to for inspiration and guidance.  So here are some steps to becoming badass, however you define it: Find your competence and expand it. Most of us are competent at something.  If you’re in the cannabis business no doubt you have some knowledge of mj and mj products.  But are you an expert?  If not, become one.  Learn as much as you can, whether it be self-study, mentoring or some combination of both.  You’re also in business, so learn all you can about business (let’s hope that’s why you’re reading this).  Many successful business people don’t have MBAs; many didn’t finish college.  They read, studied and became experts.  Think Michael Dell. Be open to being wrong. Send the message, through your demeanor and your actions, that you’re not afraid to be wrong, and understand that you often are.  If you screw up, admit to it.  When you state...

Accounting for Inventory in Cannabis Industry

Accounting for inventory in any business is tricky and the cannabis business is no exception. For producers, processors and retailers like yourselves, it is the main driver of profitability. I once had a client who owned a cookie business. She had a large market and her cookies were in high demand.   Her sales were climbing, yet she was making less and less.  When we delved into the calculation of her costs, everything seemed in good order. She had accounted for labor, materials, supplies, space, equipment, all of the “ingredients” to making her cookies. Each cookie cost $.79 and she sold them for $1.50, around a 47% gross profit. But as I investigated more, I discovered that she packaged the cookies in twos, so in fact the cost of her cookies was double what she thought, at $1.58. Selling them at $1.50 had her losing $.08 right off the bat and as her sales increased, so did her losses. Now that may seem like a novice mistake for some of you. But you can see how a small mistake in calculating the cost of your inventory, could lead to disaster. So what’s the secret to accounting for inventory in the marijuana industry?   A complete understanding of everything that goes into creating the product that you sell. It’s different for each category of sales. A producer has to consider the cost of land or space where they grow plus seeds, water, nutrients, labor to maintain and harvest, packaging for sale. Can they include the cost to maintain an office where orders are taken and bookkeeping is done? Probably not. What about...