The legal marijuana industry is growing across the US, and new business opportunities are opening every day. Yet it can still be challenging to make a profit in this world of federal uncertainty and razor-thin margins. Nobody likes to talk about software purchasing, but let’s be real–this is a key part of any business owner’s budget. Having the right software can make or break your operation. Literally, being compliant is no joke. We created a ‘Hierarchy of Software Needs’ to help business owners understand where this financial investment can have the most impact. We still get questions about how to decide between two pieces of software within a category. In this blog, we’ll walk you through our five key points for choosing between different types of software and what to look for to make an effective choice for your business. 

Pricepoint 

Price is always the biggest concern for many business owners, especially because software can often price itself in different ways. Some companies bill with a flat monthly rate, while others scale based on a per-user fee. We recommend that you do a bit of research using our price comparison charts in order to understand what a typical spend is for each category. Another factor to keep in mind is the contract term. Some companies will lock you in annually, whereas others offer monthly renewal. Some business owners like the one-time payment options because it is less to think about, while others need monthly flexibility so it is all up to you. 


Scalability

As a business owner, growth is the goal. Making sure that your software can grow with you, so aren’t switching systems in a year or to, is essential. Consider your software growth as part of your business plan. Look at not only how the pricepoint will fit into your future budget, but also the logistics of scaling the software. For example, maybe your HR & Payroll system is optimal for 100 employees or less, but you are planning to grow to 200+ and open a multi-state business. Consider an HR solution that can support this growth, both now and next year when you open that new business. 

Reliability

The reality of the legal cannabis industry is that we are cutting-edge and creating an industry that hasn’t existed before. The flip side of this is that when it comes to a software especially things can be a bit of a ‘wild west’ of functionality. Software outages are a reality! So when it comes to protecting the future of your business and the happiness of your customers, consider this as a factor. CUE Cannabis Experts are a good resource to answer your reliability questions. Book a pressure-free consultation from a cannabis expert to help compare the software you are considering. 

Integrations

Does your software play nicely with other software? Your software does not operate in a vacuum, but rather is connected to everything else in your business. Therefore, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Does the software have an open API? This will allow more flexibility for custom integrations or access to information that could enhance your business operations in the long run. 
  • What types of software am I required to integrate? Compliance integration is the obvious one here, but with dispensaries, for example, your Point-of-Sale must integrate with the compliance in your state
  • Where will integration make my life easier? One example where integration will make your life easier is when Point-of-Sale software talks with online dispensary directories and in-store or website menus. This integration is helpful to update inventory automatically and reduce human error. It also offers real-time inventory data of products and edibles to your customers.  

Customer Service

Last, but certainly not least, is to consider the customer service reputation of the company you will be working with. Terrible customer service can make your life a living hell in any industry. On the other hand, many companies in this industry pride themselves on excellent, responsive customer service to answer your questions. Customer service can come in many forms, including initial online or on-site demos to set up your software or a support method (e.g. phone vs. email) that fits your communication style. 

We are on a mission to make every software research process efficient and easy. CUE will transform how you think about this process, so if you have any software questions get in touch! We genuinely love talking about software. 

If you have any questions about how your current or future software purchases rank in each of these considerations, set up a call with a CUE Cannabis Expert and we can answer your questions.