As a cannabusiness owner, you’re likely proud of the results you’ve achieved in the past – from winning your license application lottery to actually opening the door to your dispensary. But when it comes to the value of your cannabis business, your future is critical.

That’s why your growth potential is one of eight factors that drive the value of your business.

And, if you’re thinking about exiting your business in the future or gaining investors, one metric that acquirers may use to evaluate your growth potential is your revenue per employee.

Alphabet (Google’s parent company) generates around $1.3 million in revenue per employee. Compare that to the advertising agency WPP Group, whose average revenue per employee is around $100,000. For every dollar of revenue, WPP needs more than ten times the employees than Alphabet does.

Interestingly, cannabis industry giant Curaleaf generates more than $125,000 per employee, which exceeds the per employee revenue of the mainstream ad agency they work with.

[W]hen it comes to the value of your cannabis business, your future is critical.

It takes time to recruit, train, and motivate people. So, the lower the revenue per employee in a particular company, the slower the growth and the lower the business valuation when compared to less people-heavy companies.

Measuring your revenue per employee is just one of many ways an investor may evaluate how quickly they are likely to grow your company.

Looking Skyward

For an example of some of the other ways acquirers assess growth potential, take a look at Verizon’s recent acquisition of Skyward.

Jonathan Evans started Skyward in 2012 when he spotted companies like Amazon and Walmart using drones for package delivery. Evans was working as an air ambulance helicopter pilot and realized widespread use of drones would eventually create air safety issues.

Evans saw an opportunity where others hadn’t and launched Skyward to develop software that could safely route drone traffic. While he wasn’t a programmer, he did have extensive aviation experience. And, that experience enabled him to understand how the current airspace management guidelines could be turned into applications that created “digital train tracks” for drones.

Early adopters like utility, construction, and media companies used Skyward’s software to manage their drone fleets. Investors also came calling. Within a few years, Skyward had raised approximately $8 million.

One of those investors was Verizon. Drones would require fast and reliable Internet connectivity to operate safely, and the telecom giant wanted a piece of the future.

Airbus came calling too. And when Verizon heard of the aerospace corporation’s interest, they leaped into action and offered to buy the company. For Evans, marrying his nascent technology to the country’s largest telecommunications giant was an ideal match.

Within days, Evans had sold Skyward to Verizon for top dollar. Investors enjoyed returns of between three and five times their original investment.

Given the growth of the industrial drone market, Verizon knew Skyward had the potential to expand quickly as significant companies started to adopt drones. Verizon also understood that as Skyward grew, so too would the customer’s need for Verizon’s data because drones rely on a data connection to communicate with the ground.

The Takeaway

Even though most of these examples are from mainstream industries, the critical takeaway is to remember that the value of your cannabis business, just like any other business, is determined less by what you have done in the past and more by what you will likely do in the future.

Want to learn more? Speak with us about how we can help you grow a very valuable cannabis business while staying compliant with the myriad rules and regulations, including helping you grow the value of your business.

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