Dispensary: Things to know before opening a store
- Select your product containers and racks well before opening. Pick high-quality, sturdy, metal rolling racks that are at least six inches off the ground. When selecting your product containers, there a few things to consider. If your product containers are going to be customer-facing, they should, most likely, be aesthetically pleasing, but functional for the budtenders at the same time. If your containers will not be customer-facing or you have a mix of the two, you can find, cost-efficient, wholesale cardboard boxes online. You just want to make sure that you have enough room to label it with the product name weight, MTRC IDs, lot numbers, and any other state-compliant information, on both types of containers. You can easily spend tens of thousands extra on your containers and racks, if you don’t plan it out, effectively. These are two store supplies that I never thought we would have spent as much money on, as we did, at the dispensaries. It may not seem like an important task to take care of before opening, but it will dictate how efficiently your team processes orders from the beginning. That is a process you want your team to understand quickly and with ease. A little planning will make life a lot easier for everyone by completing this pre-opening task.
- During your grand opening, there can be a variety of things that can go wrong. One such scenario would be if your Point-of-Sale system goes down during business. Having manual receipt pads and preprinted, blank product labels available for your staff will ensure that business continues. Also, have a sheet or document on the POS’, that shows the most common price breakdowns, with taxes, so that your team can accurately and quickly quote prices and complete transactions. Train your staff well before opening, on how to handle business when your system goes down or technology fails. The goal is to be able to continue the business, accurately and with compliance in mind, but, also, be of little inconvenience to the customer. This is easier said than done during busy and stressful times, so it’s best to train your staff well in advance on these procedures.
- Before opening, map out how you would like your lines to flow. If you are going to use line stanchions, purchase some extra ones for extending or changing line directions. Be proactive and manage the lines before they start to back up. Have a staff member available to pass out swag, keep customers informed on the process inside or even entertain them while they wait.
- Going over your business flow is vital to a successful opening. Give your staff the opportunity to rehearse the business flow from beginning to end. This will give them more confidence during live operations. If you have a deli-style process, be sure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities thoroughly. Deli-style is ideal in some markets but be careful that customers aren’t walking around, aimlessly, trying to find assistance. If you have a traditional check-in process, be sure to rehearse the check-in process, the customer/patient consultation, and the payment transaction before opening.
- Have a process in place for making change, consistently, so that budtenders can concentrate on their interactions and provide excellent service. Nothing slows down a line more than multiple budtenders needing change at the same time. It doesn’t look good to your customer’s when there is a long line and budtenders are in the back getting change for their registers. Additionally, make sure to stock up on change for your registers before holidays, weekends, and special events.
- Be sure that your product menus are easy to read, and prices are accurately represented. Your lines can slow down a bit if customers are making their decisions at the register, rather than while in line. Things can, obviously, change when the customer gets to the register but they will, at least, have some idea of what they want by the time they get to the budtender, if your menus are displayed conveniently and are easily interpreted by the customer.