Founded in 2014, Baker is a CRM for the cannabis industry, servicing more than 1,000 dispensaries across the U.S. and Canada. Baker helps dispensaries generate more revenue and build relationships with their customers through a variety of products featuring online ordering, customer loyalty, messaging, and analytics.
Q&A with Entrepreneur & Baker
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions cannabis industry?
People seem to think that everyone is throwing money at you, investing in the ‘green rush.’ But this isn’t the reality for most cannabusinesses--and this presented a major challenge for us. Cannabis just might be the hardest business to operate in the world. We're faced with capital restraints, high turnover, and ever-changing regulations. Another misconception is that it’s an underdeveloped, unsophisticated industry. After all, it’s such a new industry and was historically characterized by black market and cash-based transactions. Yet, here we are offering the absolute latest in retail and cultivation technology and we are implementing it practically overnight.
How is your business innovating?
We are transforming how dispensaries operate and interact with their customers to drive one of the most future-forward retail experiences imaginable. Dispensaries need the proper tools, consolidated data and a single source of truth to achieve this, but as of now, none of these tools are talking to one another. Baker is solving this problem with an expanded integrations program and API. Ultimately, dispensaries can use Baker as a single source of truth while still maintaining full control over their data.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Early traction. Rather, a lack of it. What you may not know about Baker is that we started off as a B2C platform and within a year struggled for traction. Like us, everyone else in canna-tech was trying to solve problems for customers. With high competition and no one willing to pay for our product, we found ourselves strapped for cash. We were literally down to our last paycheck and I thought, “This is it. This is the end for Baker.” Then we repositioned to help dispensaries, and things picked up for us. We found product/market fit.
What is your favorite aspect of working in this industry?
This industry attracts awesome people that are creative, smart, and so excited about being a part of it--a part of history. It’s so new and fresh, with a high level of innovation. Change is hard. All industries fear it and push it away, but in cannabis we embraced it early on. Now we are pros at change and don’t let it hold us back from rapidly innovating.
What inspires you?
Working with the smart and passionate people that we are surrounded by each day. The passion is contagious, and the problems we come together to solve are inspiring. The mother of three children, juggling rides to soccer games, working and suffering from chronic pain ... a woman like this doesn’t have time to wait around in the dispensary to get her medicine. So when Baker enabled her to order online and quickly pick it up, she thanked us for helping. And I thought, “Wow, Baker just helped a person.” That was four years ago and we are still inspired by helping people and businesses each day.