On Launching A CBD Brand And Doubling Revenue YoY

Published: March 15th, 2022
Josh Delaney
Founder, FAB CBD
from Milwaukee, WI, USA
started January 2018
Discover what tools Josh recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Josh recommends to grow your business!
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My name is Josh Delaney and I founded FAB CBD. Our flagship products include our organically grown Colorado hemp, full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD gummies and CBD cream.

I launched in the winter of 2017 with an idea and my laptop and have doubled in revenue year over year 3 years in a row. In May of 2021, the business was valued at $25,000,000 and 80% of the equity was acquired by a publicly-traded and strategic partner, High Tide Inc (Nasdaq: HITI).


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

Growing up outside of Milwaukee Wisconsin, I lived a normal life for the most part. The thing that set me apart as I started working almost full-time hours at the age of 14. McDonald's was my first job. My friend was the manager and let me get as many hours as I wanted even though I was younger than most. Once I was old enough to join the "work release program" in high school, I did just that. I was able to leave school at 10 am every day and start a real job. I did this through my junior and senior years of high school, 15-17 years old. Not many kids were doing this.

Working 2-3 jobs was much more than my school work. I think this is where I developed my work ethic and ability to just outwork most people. Work was my middle school sport, high school sport and then eventually led to me dropping out of college my first semester to go back to work. I was just better at my jobs than I was at school. I dropped out of college to start my first business selling local and long-distance phone services. It took off.

Stop taking advice from anyone who aren't doing exactly what you are doing or want to be doing. Qualify who you listen to, who you watch, who you network with. The wrong advice can send you way off course.

Fast forward almost 20 years, eCommerce is where I focus my time and have been for more than half of my career. We specialize in health and wellness products and consumables. I love this space because of our ability to help people feel better about themselves and perform better every day. Also, recurring consumption makes a great business model.

Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

In all my years in business, Iโ€™ve never had to raise funding from outside investors or take on partners I didn't want. Iโ€™ve bootstrapped my ideas and built strategic teams around me with similar visions for their careers. Iโ€™ve been homeless and lived in my car for weeks at a time and now reap the benefits of running multiple businesses online with people I enjoy being around. Itโ€™s been pretty fun.

Iโ€™ve built, bought, and sold multiple companies over the years. From selling phone service to vacuums, vitamins, dog treats, skincare, and protein powders, Iโ€™ve learned a lot about the manufacturing, marketing, and logistics behind major brands. I figured if they can do it, so can I, so off I went to build my own products and brands.

My most recent business, FAB CBD, has taken off and as mentioned earlier was recently acquired by a publicly-traded cannabis company, High Tide Inc. They are the number one cannabis retailer in Canada and now have a US eCommerce division that generated over $50,000,000 in sales in 2021. We are excited to have partnered up with High Tide as the synergies to grow our business internationally are very exciting.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We pride ourselves on having amazing team members who do their jobs so well that we can stay very lean as a company. This affords us the margin to grow into new products and invest in marketing that allows us to scale faster than most companies.

We have about a dozen core team members ranging from email, content, SEO, paid media, design and creative, operations, and customer service. We are bringing on a few more customer service team members as soon as we like to make sure our customers have the best possible support at all times. Our customer service team is the face of our business for sure and we love that.

Currently the goal is to expand our footprint globally into Europe and Canada. High Tide has over 100+ retail stores and we want to provide a line of our products in those stores soon. We are also developing a line of products specifically for European customers as well. We have our shipping facility in Amsterdam now that we are partnered with High Tide so that helps us move things along faster in that region.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The biggest mistake Iโ€™ve made in the last few years have been:

  1. Not delegating jobs fast enough and allowing them to take up too much of my time. Putting the right jobs into the right people so that I could spend more time and energy generating revenue and finding new marketing opportunities. Trying to do EVERYTHING on your own is hard after youโ€™re up to running and making money. Donโ€™t hire too fast, and donโ€™t hire too slow. This is an important lesson. Oftentimes I see people wanting to hire people because they have run out of ideas and have nowhere else to go and they think hiring someone is the answer. Wrong, you hire someone when the work is working and you need help handling it all.

The biggest good decisions Iโ€™ve made recently are:

  1. Having a BOSS manager of operations. Someone who knows everything understands all the pieces of the business like I do and takes ownership over tasks and holds the right people accountable to those tasks. This includes vendors, contractors, etc.
  2. Doing my books right from day 1. Keeping a solid record of your money is key. If you donโ€™t know where your money is or how it is working for you, then how are you supposed to grow your business? If you canโ€™t manage $10,000, you canโ€™t manage $1,000,000.
  3. Double down on what is working. Donโ€™t try 1000 new things. Focus on the 2 to 3 channels of marketing or sales that work the fastest and do them until your face hurts. Then take a rest and do it again. We try too many things too soon and never end up getting any traction on a sales channel. FOCUS young Jedi!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  1. Sprout Social - Social media scheduling
  2. WooCommerce & Shopify - Site platforms
  3. Klaviyo - Email marketing
  4. Refersion - Affiliate management
  5. Slack - Outsourced Team Communications
  6. Skype - Internal Team Communications
  7. Airtable - Internal Team File/Tasks/Biz Info/Data organization
  8. Google Analytics - Website Performance
  9. Google Sheets - Business Development Tracking & Data Storage
  10. Yotpo - Reviews

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Current Podcasts on my phone:

  1. Steven Furtick - Faith & Lifestyle
  2. Alex Hormozi - Business & Finance
  3. Shopify Masters - eCommerce
  4. TD Jakes - Faith & Lifestyle
  5. Tony Robbins Podcast - Lifestyle
  6. Capitalism.com - Business & Finance
  7. Nathan Latka - SaaS Company Interviews & Data
  8. Perpetual Traffic - Media Buying
  9. Huberman Lab - Human Performance, Science & Lifestyle
  10. Unofficial Shopify Podcast - eCommerce

Current Books on my desk:

  1. $100 Million Offers - Alex Hormozi
  2. One Week Author - Dana Derricks
  3. The Supernatural Lifestyle - Aaron Reed
  4. Help! I Work With People - Chad Veach

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My advice to you is, to pick a product (not a service), pick a target audience and perfect customer, narrow it down as far and specific as you can, then go find where those people are. Every channel you can access, Facebook, Instagram, forums, groups, and just hammer them with great content about you, your products, and offerings. Get momentum with your reviews and results. Pick just a couple of channels, social ads, PPC ads, and Facebook groups. Focus on those channels and get them to work together for you and just go go go go go. Focus, and work your ass off for 2-3 years before doing anything else. If you don't have much money, use what you have and make it count. Donโ€™t mess up.

Lastly, for the love of everything milk chocolate - make sure whomever you take advice from has done exactly what you want to do 10x more than you or anyone you know. Stop taking advice from anyone who aren't doing exactly what you are doing or want to be doing. Qualify who you listen to, who you watch, who you network with. The wrong advice can send you way off course.

Where can we go to learn more?

  1. Instagram
  2. Website
  3. Instagram
  4. Facebook