The good thing about starting businesses is that you don’t need to do it alone. One great support that you can lean on is association groups. In this episode, Anthony Frischknecht guides us into the world of these information-based groups and why you need them. He shares tips for finding the right association group that can help you throughout your business growth and further explains the things you need to understand in fitting in your association. Don’t miss out on the valuable information that Anthony is going to share and more!
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Association Groups: Why Do You Need Them?
Getting The Information You Need
I’m going to talk to you about association groups and why you need them, what they’re good for and how to find the right one. These groups are a great place for information. Over the last several years, there are people who have been around since 2010 and they’re working on a lot of the bills in Congress. They’re also working in your local community. The local community part, I didn’t find out until I experienced it myself. We are in such a fast-paced business. The cannabis sector feels like you’re running in light-years. There is a lot of information that’s missed because of it. If you’ve been working on this for the last few years, you understand how essential this was for your survival.
When medical marijuana was starting to become regulated in 2010 in the city of Denver, we had to keep up with the city and state, which you still have to do. The only way to get that information was to be a part of a group because you’re running a business. You don’t have time to go to all these city council meetings and local meetings. There are a lot of these groups that are within the community. If you have a business and you need to understand where they fit in this stuff, unless you have the money to hire somebody to specifically have this as your job, it’s next to impossible to follow. There are some groups out there that are working on it. I’ve got an episode with one of them that’s following regulation. We’re starting to see more information like that. You can do google searches and stuff like that. When it comes down to it, it’s easy to miss key things that are happening in your business community. That’s why these are so important.
Associating With Business Owners
Number two, you’re associating with business owners. They have great ideas and they’re willing to share them and that’s a valuable point of an association. It’s probably not talked about nearly as much as it should be because I still talk to a lot of guys and I don’t hear that many discussions about associations. Especially when you’re in the beginning stages, it’s essential to your survival. For example, if there is some compliance information I’ll make, in Colorado, we had some packaging changes. All the edibles companies understood this. I would say the good ones did, but there were a lot that failed to get this information in the right time period. What this forced a lot of these companies to do is to change their packaging completely.Create friendships that can understand what you are going through because it is lonely at the top. Click To Tweet
This is a couple of years ago but you’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars in inventory that now is garbage. If these companies got this information a week before they were changing the regulations, you would be in a hard situation. If you weren’t able to adjust in time, I’m sure there were a lot of guys out there that were like, “We’ll fix this as soon as we can,” hoping and praying that they didn’t get caught off guard by the regulatory system. Going into that a little more in depth, some of the newer states that are starting recreational, not everybody’s right on top of it. You might have a little bit of leeway, but I can’t guarantee anything in your state. Your legal counsel will probably be the best to ask that question. That was one thing we worked through. We were honest and transparent with the city and state most of the time and we were able to work through our issues.
Contacts With The Higher Ups
Sometimes they draw a line in the sand and they say no. It’s pretty scary when that happens. Back to the association groups, a lot of these guys will have contacts with the higher-ups. They can take your information specifically. Say it’s Tom’s Dispensary, they can go talk to the city council members or the enforcement agencies. We have a marijuana enforcement agency here in Denver. I’m sure they’re building something like that in your state. They would go talk to him directly and say, “We’ve got Tom’s Dispensary down the street. He can be compliant. He’s not able to switch everything over on the fifth of the month, but he will able to get it on the tenth of the month.” This is an example.
They would at least understand that the situation is going to be fixed right away and they’re not hiding anything. You’re dealing with a lot of ex-law enforcement guys that are going into these enforcement divisions. They’re cops so it isn’t easy to able to talk yourself out of a speeding ticket. Some of these guys don’t care. What you would normally be able to be renegotiated or negotiated in a business transaction, you can’t negotiate with some of these guys. Unless you have some waiver that you’re able to produce and show them, it could cost you a huge fine. It could cause you to get your license suspended or potentially even a revoked, depending on how big this infraction is.
Power Numbers: Having A Say
The old saying, “Power in numbers,” that’s one of the association group pranks. The power to be able to say, “We’ve got a group of individuals that want to work hand in hand to make our industry better,” that brings a lot of clout to many situations. To give you some ideas, we were spending $100 on association per month. We also had another big association that we were tied to and we were spending $2,000 a month. I don’t think that’s necessary now, but at the time, it was extremely necessary because we didn’t have a whole lot of options. We had smaller groups so we had to come up with more capital to fund our group to be able to work with city and state and legislation.
Number four is having a say in where your business is going and how you can control it. Showing up one day and realizing that you’ve got an extra 5% tax is crippling to a company that’s already paying hundreds of thousands of taxes per year to the city, state and federal. You guys out there, we’re paying federal tax. It sucks because we have the representation, but we’re paying the taxes. These are all great points for joining an association group. I find that there’s a lot of people that think it’s a waste of money when it’s not. I learned a long time ago that if you want to be successful, be around successful people.
The movers and shakers in this business are going to be ones that are tied to these association groups. They can create some amazing opportunities for you and your business. If you are cheap about the situation and you think it’s a waste of money, I would look at myself in the mirror and say, “Am I willing to invest in my business?” This is an investment. Everybody has different goals. It may have long-term or short-term, but I’d have to see what this is about. The beauty part about this is that the association groups are you only have to dedicate to a month. Now you can pay annually they do discounts of some sort. It’s not a lot of an investment but it could potentially save your business from so many disastrous situations.If you want to be successful, get around successful people. Click To Tweet
Great Friendships Created
Many times, I found out that the information was not being filtered down to the business owner. That happens in so many industries. That’s why they have these industry groups so that there’s a voice and a place for the entrepreneur and small business owner to get solid information. Also, to understand that this is what they’ve got to do to keep their business going and keep this afloat. The fifth great thing about this is there are some great friendships created. I still talk to a couple of guys from back when we were in the trenches. These guys at the time were the only ones that understood what I was going through because they were going through it too. Not being alone when you feel your back’s against the wall is huge. It is lonely at the top and it takes one to know one. I’ve received some long-term friendships through this and I’ve got some amazing stuff that happened to me.
This was back in 2012. I was on my way to an association meeting in downtown Denver. This was a big meeting because we found out that there was going to be a reporter from Newsweek. They wanted to meet the people in the group. There were about twelve of us at the time and they asked us some questions. They wanted to see what our association was all about and write an article on us. It was exciting. I was pumped to meet these guys. I had to stop because I was so close to running out of gas and there’s a gas station right by my house. I quickly changed out of my farmer clothes and put in some nice clothes at home and hopped in my car. I was going to run out of gas before I even get downtown, but I only live a couple of miles away from downtown.
It wasn’t like it was a long distance. That’s how low I was on gas. When I’m running late, I’m stressing out. I stopped at this little gas station and it has six pumps out of it. I pull outside, hopped out of my car, opened the gas tank and I got to go inside because the credit card machine wasn’t working. I run inside, have him set my car, run back out, grab the gas pump and place it in my tank and I start filling it. I’m sitting there looking at my watch like, “I’m ten minutes late now.” I’m stressed out and I don’t want to miss them because this is a big deal.
What seemed to be an eternity was probably only three minutes because you know how fast it takes to fill your gas tank. I fill my gas tank up, hook it back up to the pumps and I’m in a quick stride up to the front door to sign my credit card statement so I can get the heck out of there and get down to the meeting. The clerk hands me my credit card slip. I signed it and sent it to him. I turned around and walked about four steps out the door. As I’m walking out the door, I see this old gentleman. He looked like he was probably homeless or at least halfway in between a home and halfway out. I see him pass out and fall over. He hits his head on the trashcan right at the front door.
I’m like, “This guy knocked himself out.” There’s a little bit of blood on the ground. He’s passed out and I’m like, “I don’t need this. I’ve got to get to this meeting.” The good part of me says, “You’ve got to help. You are human. You’ve got help this guy out.” I turn around, walk back in the door and I said, “Call 911, there’s somebody who fell over and knocked himself out on the trash.” The guy hands me the phone. I’m like, “Now, I’ve got to sit here.” I went through it in my mind, “You’ve got to do this. This is a human being. You need to take care of the situation before you take off to your meeting.”
I called the ambulance and they’re asking me questions and I said, “Send somebody down here.” I get the ambulance call and I’m like, “I feel better.” I’m looking at him and I tell the guy out front, “Are you okay?” He’s dazed out feeling whatever he was feeling. I don’t know if he passed out because he was drunk or sick, I couldn’t tell. I wanted to make sure that somebody is coming. I go back in, hand the phone back to the guy as I heard the ambulance pull up. I met the ambulance paramedics and they came over to look at him and I was like, “I’ve got to go.”
By this time, I’m 45 minutes late. I’m like, “What the heck is going on? I have to get to this meeting.” I get down to the meeting and they’re in one of the meeting rooms around the big round table. I looked through the glass and the shades were drawn. I’m like, “They’re in the meeting.” I got there right when they finished the meeting. I’m like, “I missed this whole deal. What the hell? I missed the whole thing because I had to help this guy.” I’m bummed about that. My business partner was talking to the reporter and he said, “Do you want him to come out and take some pictures at our grow?” I’m like, “That’d be cool. You can come and take a look.”
The next day, I met him at the grow site. He takes a bunch of pictures. It was awesome. He took some pictures with us, but they weren’t showing faces. Back then, anytime anybody in the industry showed their faces, they were always getting in trouble so we didn’t show our faces in this. A week goes by and the guy contacts us, “I’m putting some photos in the article. I can describe them to you, but I can’t tell you exactly which ones we’re going to put in.” I’m like, “Okay.” The reporter guy is talking to me and he says, “I’ve got one of you and your face is on it, but it’s only showing underneath your nose.” I’m talking to my business partners and I’m like, “Should I do this? Should I not?” I’m playing this whole thing, but I don’t want to get in trouble. It’d be cool to be in a magazine, especially Newsweek.
I came to this decision, “All right, let’s do it.” Three days later, I was talking to him on Friday. Monday comes around and he sends out the article in October 2012. I’m looking through this article online because he sent me a digital copy and I can’t find it. I go to the front and my face is on the cover of Newsweek. It blew my mind. I don’t know what happened and it was surreal. I go back to thinking, “Had I not been a human being and helped the person out, I may have not gotten this opportunity.”
Something happened. I was in the right place at the right time. All of a sudden, my face was on Newsweek. It was huge. It took me several months to even understand what happened. It goes to show you what opportunities can be created in groups of people. That’s what I had to share. I share a lot more of this in my book, From Black Market to the Man: 10 Steps to Being a Multimillionaire In The Legal Cannabis Industry. Please check it out on my website or on Amazon. I hope you guys enjoyed that little story. Hopefully, some of it was helpful for you guys. I appreciate your time and that’s it for now. Thanks, guys.
- From Black Market to the Man: 10 Steps to Being a Multimillionaire In The Legal Cannabis Industry
- Amazon – From Black Market to the Man: 10 Steps to Being a Multimillionaire In The Legal Cannabis Industry