Back in March, weGrow, a hydroponics supplier, announced they were offering would-be dispensary owners in Arizona to fill out permit paperwork. Now they’ve expanded the service to Washington DC, where permit applications are due at the end of next week Sept 16th.
The service is a hybrid of how-to reports and hands-on permit massaging. Kind of reminds us of a resume writing service, only they are buffing and polishing your application to impress a city council instead of an employer.
Competition in the hydroponics space is quickly growing so fierce that just sticking up a storefront (online or off) isn’t enough to win marketshare. So, vendors are adding on levels of personal service to get that all-important customer engagement. For example, GrowLife is using an Avon-lady approach.
Business model-wise, the profits in hydropinics could be in a long-term customer relationship as they turn to you to order supplies on an ongoing basis. So actually gaining a new client account can be a loss leader. You can spend a lot to get that new client in the door… after that it’s fairly cheap to maintain the relationship.
We think dispensaries should pay attention to this model as well. Dispensaries are also in an incredibly competitive niche, but one with the potential of long-term client accounts. Are you spending what it takes to get that new client account in the first place? Are you building that consultative relationship that keeps the client from switching stores?
One thing’s for sure, price wars and price-based advertising aren’t the way to do it.