How to Start Your CBD Business in 2020

08th, Jun 2020

The booming popularity of cannabis-derived products means individuals planning to start a CBD business must stand head and shoulders above all competition. To make it in the CBD industry, you must:

  • Know the law and marketing restrictions
  • Develop a strong business plan
  • Find a reputable CBD supplier
  • Know your products
  • Establish a professional brand
  • Get social
  • Optimise your website
  • Understand challenges in the industry

The hemp and CBD market has expanded considerably over recent years, thanks in part to changes in legislation surrounding the application of cannabis-derived products. An official study estimated that the European market would grow by as much as 400% between 2018 and 2023.

Interest in formulations of this kind have steadily grown following a 2015 amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. This trend seems unlikely to slow and, as a result, more and more individuals have decided to begin selling CBD products.

This means that, while the CBD industry may appear to provide a great business opportunity, there is likely to be a great deal of competition for those who decide to start stocking these types of products.

The team at CBD Ultra provides high quality hemp and CBD oil products to outlets across the UK. They’ve helped numerous CBD merchants to build a successful business and access top quality formulations that meet all legal and quality-related standards.

In this article, they’ll provide useful advice to anyone who wishes to begin selling CBD products – ensuring that they’re well-prepared for whatever the future may bring. Here are a few tips to get you started if you’re interested in selling CBD.

1. Know the law and marketing restrictions

It is absolutely legal to sell cannabidiol (CBD) in the UK, as long as the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – cannabis’s chief psychoactive ingredient) content of any formulation is below 0.2%.

However, it is extremely important never to make explicit claims regarding the capability of your CBD products to treat any diseases, illnesses or conditions.

CBD suppliers must never suggest in any way that CBD is a medicine, and should never make or share claims that formulations containing CBD can cure any specific ailment.

Sellers should not direct customers to articles or online content that suggests any of their products can be used to treat illnesses, nor should they give their goods names to suggest this.

It’s also vital for any products you sell as a CBD stockist to display correct labelling. Every item containing CBD should state this ingredient clearly on all packaging, along with all other contents. There should be no medical claims made on any labels.

2. Develop a strong business plan

When you set up any kind of business, you need to create documentation that lays out the purpose of the company, information about its practices, an idea of its marketing strategy and an estimation of its income and expenditure for the coming years.

CBD stockists need to follow this approach to the same standard as any other company. Having your business plan to hand will help you to plan for the future, apply for loans or appeal to investors and to prove that you are a professional company that adheres closely to legislation.

You can find free business plan templates via gov.uk.

3. Find a reputable CBD supplier

You’ll require special licenses and permissions to grow specialist hemp or cannabis plants for the production of CBD, and it can be incredibly challenging to manage this alongside the sale of formulations.

That’s why we highly recommend that you choose a safer and easier way to acquire stock – finding a great wholesale supplier.

The best companies from whom you can source your CBD should hold particular certifications to guarantee safety and quality. They should only supply products and ingredients that are completely traceable.

It’s also extremely helpful if they can advise you on the legal aspects of selling cannabis derivatives, including labelling queries.

4. Know your stuff

Take time to research the types of products you wish to sell, then seek out the perfect formulations. Ask your supplier for full details and recommendations for use.
Keep yourself educated at all times. After all, you need to know the difference between industrial hemp (used to create heavy duty lubricants and plastics) and hemp skincare products!

Never stock a product you aren’t sure about. You need to believe in everything you keep on your shelves.

5. Establish a professional brand

Your company should have a clear identity that is upheld across all of your actions and product ranges. Decide on a look and feel, a logo, a typeface and even two or three signature colours to represent your brand.

Your online presence should have a consistent “tone of voice” too, so that clients can easily recognise the “personality” of your brand.

CBD Ultra offers “white-label” wholesale products – goods for which you can design your own packaging in order to keep everything “on-brand”.

You’ll need to work with the team to ensure that everything is properly labelled, but otherwise, you’ll have completely free rein, giving your products a “private label” appearance.

Learn more about our white-label CBD wholesale products. [Link to wholesale]

6. Get social

Social media is one of the best ways in which you can create a brand image while paying next to nothing. Post interesting, relevant content on your channels regularly to maintain interest, and be sure to interact in a friendly, proactive manner with those who mention you or make contact.

Share relevant images and news of your activities or post content you’ve written to build public engagement and spread details of your brand across the internet. Only follow relevant individuals and brands to create a positive online environment in which your company will thrive.

Remember, always use relevant handles and hashtags to make sure your content reaches the right people.

7. Optimise your website

Your website should be the most complete representation of your brand that is possible to achieve online. It needs to contain clear information and be easy to use and navigate.

It’s important to ensure that your site works well on all devices, from smartphones to tablets to desktops, so that potential customers can find you whether they’re on the move or sitting at home.

Include strong “calls to action” throughout your site, directing users to your contact information or guiding them to an order form wherever you can.

You should also seriously consider using SEO or search engine optimization. This is a valuable tool that will ensure that your brand is discoverable and that your website will appear as far up in the search engine results as possible.

To perform basic SEO, you can research popular search terms using free online tools like the Google Keyword Planner and insert them organically into the content of your website.

It’s a great idea to keep a regular blog so that you can add new keywords to your site periodically. Search engines like Google prioritise sites that are regularly updated, so this approach will help to improve your ranking still further.

8. Understand challenges in the industry

There are a number of obstacles that are unique to the CBD industry, so it’s important to understand these before you commit to selling products of this kind.

The first is the industry’s relationship with banks. Because the CBD industry is still considered a risky business by many, it can occasionally be difficult to persuade a bank to lend any capital.

There are still occasions where CBD stockists have had to switch banks due to the sudden closure of their account or hesitation for lenders to provide further funds.

The second issue is that of payment processors. The providers of some payment processing platforms have been known to increase their asking prices when approached by CBD stockists. This, again, is chiefly due to the perceived risks involved in the industry.

Finally, finding affordable insurance can occasionally be a problem. Risk, again, is a major factor here – as legislation regarding CBD sales continues to change and fluctuate.

It is expected that, as the industry grows, there will be an element of “settling” which will reduce problems of this kind.

To ensure the success of your new CBD business, you should consider your legal obligations, your business plan, your supplier, your research, the quality of your branding, your web and social media performance and your approach to the challenges inherent in the industry.

Once you’ve made decisions and taken action regarding all of the above factors, you’ll be ready to make a start!

For further help and advice when opening a CBD business, contact the team at CBD Ultra today.

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