Empower Your Cannabis Company’s Growth: Why a Financial Assessment Matters

Is your cannabis company heading in the right direction? Does it have the financial foundation in place to reach your current goals (such as expanding your dispensaries, partnering up with stores to sell your edibles, or attracting more investors)? It’s tough to address meaty questions like this on your own, when time is limited and you’ve got a business to run. It might be time for a rapid assessment—a quick check in on your financial readiness.

All you need is a quick moment: A rapid assessment of the inner-workings of your cannabis company, particular the financial parts, can reveal all kinds of information about its growth potential. Namely, it can uncover, through a series of thoughtfully crafted questions, whether the business is truly set up to achieve significant milestones—or whether it is set up to fail.

The results can be surprising to some companies. As companies in cannabis start out, they tend to be solely focused on the product or service they’re offering. They move fast to get to market as things are changing incredibly fast and they don’t want to lose out on their window. A crucial area of the business—the finance function—may not be fully formed or funded at first, and the cracks can easily show when they do take a moment to catch their breath and evaluate whether they’re doing things right.

Our recently unveiled Kukuza Rapid Diagnostic, a specialized, interactive tool, gives companies in cannabis a quick snapshot of where they stand in the finance department. With our interactive dialogue and guidance, companies rate how they’re doing along 16 fundamental  areas of finance and operations, and they receive an overall score on their financial “readiness” to reach their goals.

Companies with solid financial foundations could discover they do in fact have the processes and systems in place to understand their business, make progress on their business plan (if they even have one), and are meeting current regulatory compliance requirements. But what’s more likely to happen for a fast-moving cannabis company is they’ll uncover some gaps in their ability to scale and grow their business—and that’s where this informative diagnostic session can really help a company get at what it needs to do next. The information can help them face their finance roadblocks and begin to think through how to move them aside.

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Unfortunately, some companies find out the hard way that they don’t actually know what’s going on in the business. They may think seeing promising revenue numbers is all that’s needed right now, but how accurate are the reporting and projections? How secure (and regulatory aware) is their supply chain? The company knows how much cash they have today, but do they know how much they’ll bring in three months from now? Do they have trusted partners who will help them come up with viable pricing strategies and a clear view of the competitive landscape? Is there any strategy for scaling the company, or are they winging it?

Following a sequence of thoughtful questions about the current finance systems and processes, the joint dialogue offers a fresh perspective and valuable insights, quickly, on these topics and more. Knowing that some business leaders don’t always know the right questions to ask, we’ve designed the Kukuza diagnostic tool to give a rapid analysis of where businesses are at a specific point in time. Companies are asked to evaluate themselves on a 1-5 scale (with 5 being the best) on a range of topics, such as growth goals; operational and financial plans, processes, and systems; supply chain; and debt. Then they receive a score on each area, as well as a total score, and a report on the areas that need special attention. It’s all valuable information about the state of the company’s financial health.

With dozens of years of experience working with fast-moving startups that don’t always have all their finance functions in place, we have created a fast and easy way for cannabis companies to assess their current financial and operational strengths and weaknesses. Getting at the answers—by asking the right questions—will empower the company with insights to move forward, knowledgeably and upward.  Cannabis company operators can request a free diagnostic here.

CEO Dave Roberson leads the charge at Kukuza Associates to help cannabis companies of all sizes reach their full potential by having expert finance at their fingertips. He enjoys working with fast-moving companies in all segments (growers, extractors, manufacturers, distributors, retailers) across the Western U.S. He previously was senior vice president for Hewlett-Packard Co. and president and CEO at Hitachi Data Systems, where he also held the titles of COO, CFO, CIO and general counsel.