This is a follow up story for CBD Store of Michigan. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Many of you may remember us from our Story Starter a couple of years ago. A lot has changed for the better since then. My name is Rod Glupker, my wife and I started selling CBD out of a bag 3 years ago. We started the CBD Store of Michigan with zero capital. I was given 3 bottles of CBD to sell by a friend. It took 3 months to sell those 3 bottles, I then bought 6 bottles and sold them and then 12 bottles and so on. Fast forward to today. We are now selling approx. $500-$1200 worth of CBD per day.
The global CBD market is currently valued at somewhere between 1 and 2 billion USD with current projections for 2025 between 5 and 20 billion USD. While projections for how much this market will increase over the next decade vary, most agree that there will be substantial growth in the years to come.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
CBD Store of Michigan has grown exponentially in the past 3 years. We started in a small storefront with about $600 worth of product and moved to our new location 6 months ago and have over $75,000 of inventory. Moving to our new location has easily doubled our sales. Our new location is on a busy highway with great visibility to our store. We have increased our marketing tenfold as well as started our brand of CBD. We started Blue Lake CBD 6 months ago with 100 bottles of spearmint tincture. Now we have two flavors and two different potencies in each flavor. We also have gummies, a pain cream, bath bombs, goat milk soap, and isolate. We continue to grow our line with our next project being for pets.
Having our brand has helped us get into the wholesale industry. We now have our Blue Lake CBD brand in 4 locations but hope to have it in hundreds of locations by the end of 2021. We started slowly to make sure we were doing everything right. We are excited about our growth in the wholesale industry.
Not only being in a bigger storefront with more visibility and having our brand of CBD, but we also carry over 60 brands of CBD. We have something for everyone. From different price points to a variety of products. Tinctures, gummies, coffee, tea, energy drinks, sodas, water, honey, protein shake mix, gum, caramel corn, drink mix, hot sauce, bbq sauce, olive oil, and suckers. Then we get into topicals, smokeable, and pet products. The list goes on and is always expanding.
We have an extensive knowledge center with free coffee. Our guests can come in and watch videos, read up on the latest information about CBD as well as sit with us for a free consultation. We keep the store clean and sanitary. We do not have pictures of pot leaves or a big section full of marijuana paraphernalia. We do have a small section of hemp flowers, prerolls, and vapes. But we are not trying to compete with marijuana dispensaries. We want those people that would rather not feel high to be welcomed into a place that they can feel comfortable in.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
We have learned to take it slow or should I say my wife has forced me to take it slow. I often want to jump in headfirst without a lot of thought. She is my equalizer. She keeps me grounded and together we thrive. I have learned that going slow will get us farther than going all in at once. I know too many businesses that fail by overdoing it.
Learn everything about the industry you are getting into.
I have learned what marketing is working and what is not. I keep track of all marketing and ROI. We have stopped doing a lot of the newspaper ads (except one local newspaper that is giving us a great ROI). We have slowed down on magazine ads. We still have a few that are working for us. We try to target the higher income demographics with magazine ads. Golf Magazines, Lakefront Living Magazines, and Pet Magazines.
Our next marketing venture will be TV and Radio. However, they have limitations as to what we can say in those ads. CBD is still not FDA regulated and wording must meet their criteria. We do not do any social media or Google ads because they are not CBD-friendly yet. We do take advantage of social media and Google with regular posts and photos without going against their rules and regulations.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
We hope to hire within the next year. We have not had a vacation in 3 years. If it were up to me, we would have hired someone already. However, my wife (The Accountant) has made it clear that we can not afford to hire yet. I now have a daily sales goal to get to before we can hire someone. When we reach $750-$1000 per day on average, then I can hire. We are currently averaging around $600 per day. That average grows every month.
With our Blue Lake CBD wholesale taking off, I think we will surpass $1000 per day in the next 6 months. My goal is to hire someone that can travel and sell our Blue Lake CBD wholesale as well as set up booths and run them at trade shows. That person will also be able to work in our storefront when needed.
On a longer-term goal, I hope to have a production facility making all of our products vs. buying white labels from a manufacturer. That will bring us to a whole new level of business. But baby steps!
I would also like to open more stores within the next few years. It would be nice to be in a position of also starting to franchise new locations with multiple owners. I have several goals for the next 5 years. Let's see where we are at in the next 5 years. I look forward to giving an update at that time.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
Honestly, I do not find much time to read many books right now. I have always wanted to write a cookbook. It may turn into a hemp cookbook as time goes on. But let's get through the next 5 years and see if writing a book is up to my alley.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Take it slow. Even though we started with no money, I would not recommend it. If you can start a business with at least 3 years of income when starting, that would be much easier.
Learn everything about the industry you are getting into. Work for someone in the industry before jumping into an industry that you have never done before. I love seeing all these people on “Restaurant Rescue” shows with no experience in the restaurant industry and think they can just do it. Running a business takes a lot of education, money, and time.
If you are considering getting into the cannabis CBD industry. Know that it is a very hard industry to get into. Banks are not CBD/THC friendly, media is not CBD/THC friendly, Landlords are not always educated on the industry, merchant accounts are not easy to get into and only a few accept payments in the CBD industry and cost more for a high-risk account.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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