Is Fractional Leadership Right for your Cannabis Company? Part 2

In Part 1 of our look at Fractional Leadership in the cannabis space, we talked about how fractional hiring can help larger businesses that have downsized their staff in order to simply “keep the lights on,” and keep product going out the door. Now we would like to touch on how startups and smaller companies can benefit from this strategy.

As previously mentioned, fractional leadership is essentially outsourcing talent from a specific field on a non-permanent contractual basis instead of hiring, training, and paying benefits to a full-time executive. Lean startups and fledgling cannabis companies can utilize fractional leadership in order to advance their company’s standing until such a time that they are fiscally able to place craft-focused team members in full-time positions.

In many cases, these outsourced leaders can help build and launch programs, products, and facilities. They can also assist with or own application writing, compliance formatting, SOP drafting or revamp, branding and marketing strategies, vendor management, accounting, and so much more.

So, what’s the catch?

While we have painted this wonderful landscape whereupon you can hire more experienced staff at 1/3 of the cost, all without paying for health benefits or being responsible for throwing a holiday party at the end of the year (kidding, you should still do that), there are a few considerations that you should make before seeking the services of a fractional contractor.

The first, and maybe the most important, consideration is that you won’t get 60 hours a week from a fractional leader. While providing guidance and expertise on special projects and the overall enhancement of your footprint, fractional leaders can be a bit diluted in time offerings compared to a regular full time employee. Most fractional leaders dedicate somewhere around 20 hours a week to each client, depending on their original agreement with the client. If you are needing more of their time, they will need more money. The scalability of using fractional leaders should be strongly considered so you can make sure to balance both the immediate needs of your company with how much of their time you can fiscally afford in order to retain their services on an ongoing, longer term basis. We recommend clearly identifying and aligning on a project, or set of projects/goals, the fractional leader is to accomplish, with a clear agreed upon timeline for completion. Long story short: fractional leaders are a finite solution.

Another consideration is that fractional leaders make their money by hosting several clients. While fractional leaders are generally great at keeping clear lines separating each client’s intellectual property, it’s always best to have a well-written non-disclosure agreement signed by both parties. Most companies offering fractional leadership will have a robust NDA to offer with the package, but be sure you read those agreements closely to ensure it fits your comfort zone, or utilize your own NDA if you have specific terms and considerations you want to incorporate.

Overall, fractional leadership is a viable tool that can be used to elevate your company in hard times as well as when a company is needing battle-tested folks to help get them into the game.

Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more about how Spara Group orchestrates our fractional service packages for security, compliance, learning & development, retail operations, and more. Many thanks for spending a few minutes of your time with us!

Is Fractional Leadership Right for your Cannabis Company? Part 1

One of the services Spara Group offers is a Fractional Leadership package.  But what is fractional leadership, and how do you know if this is the right outsourcing option for your company?  We’re going to break this down into two parts:

  • How fractional leadership packages can help businesses that have been forced to deplete staff and their support departments (we’ll be talking about that today here in Part 1)
  • How fractional leadership packages can help younger businesses thrive without breaking the bank (Part 2, coming soon)

Chances are, if you have spent more than a few minutes on LinkedIn over the last few months, you have undoubtedly watched the storm clouds begin to collect on the cannabis horizon. From the denial of safe banking (again), to slumping sales, many companies are deploying downsize techniques in order to make it through to calmer weather. The unfortunate process of staff cuts and department elimination has eased overhead constraints for many surfing the crazy seas of cannabis, but not without producing a cost that may be intangible at early onset.

The cost of functionality.

During the infancy of most cannabis companies, the battle plan involves maiden staff wearing several hats, or servicing multiple functions. Early on, this scramble is achievable, because not many businesses start with more than a few locations. However, as the company grows, so do its obligations. With a larger footprint, that initial crew simply cannot keep up with the demand of operations. But there is good news: with growth usually comes more capital, and businesses are afforded the ability to hire additional staff and create departments that serve as support functions for the profit-generating parts of the organization. 

Now comes those storm clouds.

When hard times present themselves, the capital begins to wane, and companies are forced to trim spending. Decreasing output doesn’t help the depletion of money coming in, so companies are forced to decrease spending in other areas, which almost always equates to cutting their staff and respective support departments.

So, what happens now? You’ve made those awful breakroom announcements and lured remote staff in to zoom calls where they are met with that surprise visitor from HR. Now you now have to figure out how to fill the functionality void created by saving all of that money. After all, you hired them for a reason: your needs surpassed the abilities of that maiden crew of staff that we just spoke about. Now then, can you expect to maintain the same footprint while also reducing your support teams without burning out your remaining staff?

Enter fractional leadership contracting.

Fractional leadership contracting allows businesses to maintain the benefit of having craft-specific support in the absence of the talent that was depleted, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. These packages also offer experienced professionals who hold tenured histories in the cannabis world, eliminating the downtime required to train new staff members. Finally, fractional leadership contracts are scalable, so they can be dialed down to suit the client company until they are back on their feet or drawn out for better pricing over a longer period of time.

Please note: While Spara Group does offer Fractional contracts for all things Compliance, L&D, and Security, we are not suggesting that companies downsize their staff. We endeavor to help businesses that are in need, be it due to cuts that were necessary for survival, or because they are just beginning their journey. Times WILL get better, but until we see clear skies again, it’s nice to be aware that there are cost-effective offerings out there to help you along the way.