November 2022

LEADING EDGE™ For Entrepreneurs

START DATE

January 17, 2023

WHEN

Tuesdays, 11:00AM - 1:00PM

LOCATION

VIRTUAL (ZOOM)

LENGTH

8 Weeks Cohort Series

COST

$395

Who Is It For?

LEADING EDGE is for business owners and entrepreneurs positioning for growth stage, that desire focused education and planning, accountability, networking, and the tools to build a strategic business plan to take their company to the next level. Must be in business for at least 1 year but no more than 5 and must have at minimum, 1 employee.

What To Expect

  • Eight 2-hour sessions, including interactive group work, guest speakers, and roundtables with subject matter experts
  • A minimum of 3 hours of one-on-one consulting with certified SBDC consultants
  • Direct connections with local and statewide lenders, key business leaders, and industry experts
  • Continuous feedback on your business plan and strategy during the course
  • Free subscription to LivePlan that continues 3 months after the program
  • Free registration to workshops at the Larimer SBDC while enrolled
  • Graduate with a completed business plan, multiple mentors, and a key network of resources, champions and friends!

 

The LEADING EDGE™ Entrepreneurship Series is a hands-on, step-by-step strategic business planning program for early-stage businesses across any industry. Through this 8-weeks Cohort Series—with expert help all along the way—you can test the feasibility of positioning your company for growth, solidify your business model and build a road map in LivePlan. You can finish the series with an actionable, strategic business plan to access potential financing or to use as a blueprint to manage your business. LivePlan subscriptions are included with the program and available for three months afterward.

The LEADING EDGE Entrepreneurship Series makes you an active participant in a program designed for (and with) entrepreneurs just like you. Facilitators and guest presenters are knowledgeable entrepreneurs and specialists who are attuned to the issues you will face every day. Thoughtful, insightful—and above, all practical—the series covers all aspects of successful business planning for growth.

Graduation Requirements

  • No more than two unexcused absences from the training series
  • Completing at least 3 hours of one-on-one consulting throughout the course
  • Turning in a completed business plan by the end of the course

Canna World Market Loveland CBD

Canna World Market Loveland not only sells CBD products but offers education.

Mixed in with the CBD products Eric and Rachael Sudhalter sell at Canna World Market, is an assortment of plants against a backdrop of earthy greens and browns.

“You walk in here, and it’s not all dark,” Rachael said. “It’s comfortable. It’s the whole vibe.”

The Sudhalters aren’t about the quick sell. They like to take their time with customers, educating them about all the research around cannabidiol (CBD) and its botanical sources, and they like to be part of the Loveland and Northern Colorado community.  

But to do this, they needed to learn about building and growing a business, since their backgrounds are in education and they hadn’t taken any business classes. They’re both sign language interpreters—something they did for more than 15 years and something Rachael still does. Eric also served as an elementary school teacher for five years and Rachael, while interpreting, studied yoga and worked as a postpartum doula.

Wanting something different, the Sudhalters moved from Oregon to the Roaring Fork Valley, where they lived a short time before landing in Fort Collins in 2019. A week before their move to Fort Collins, Eric had dinner with a parent from the school he taught at, who told him about Canna World Market’s desire to expand. Eric and Rachael decided to open the recently incorporated company’s first franchise in Loveland, Colorado.

“When this opportunity came up, it brought together so many interests and skill sets, I couldn’t say no,” Eric said.

Eric has a love for plants, permaculture, fermentation, and plant-based remedies, while Rachael’s work in retail gives her skills in merchandising, branding, and customer service. They wanted to learn more about how to operate and grow a business, so they connected with the Loveland Business Development Center a month after they opened in September 2019. 

“We didn’t know what we were doing, with all the paperwork,” Rachael said.

The Sudhalters worked with Kat Hart, Program Director and a consultant at the LBDC. Eric primarily met with Hart, who advised him on networking, advertising, customer review campaigns and hosting store events. He and Rachael also worked with other LBDC consultants on preliminaries, such as human resources and social media.

“Working directly with mentors has helped us leaps and bounds,” Eric said. “There was so much I didn’t know that I didn’t know, and oftentimes it was bringing something into my awareness I was then able to learn about.”

The Sudhalters faced a few challenges along the way, including opening their business six months before the start of the pandemic and having to temporarily close their doors for two weeks. Since their business was new and nobody knew they were on East 29th Street, they pivoted to selling their products at farmers markets and started going to LBDC and Chamber of Commerce networking events to make a presence in their community.

They do not diagnose or prescribe but rather offer tools to supplement Western medicine—they are motivated in helping people find additional forms of healing. They sell full-spectrum, broad spectrum, isolate and nano-CBD products. The products come in the forms of tinctures, salves, flowers, vapes and snacks like gummies, honey and chocolate, plus a chocolate hazelnut spread through a collaboration with Loveland Chocolate.

“Our product line is carefully curated to make sure there aren’t any negative impacts in it,” Eric said, adding that the line is “super clean.”

Eric and Rachael want to educate and dispel misinformation surrounding CBD and other plant-based products. CBD is not sold as a treatment but has been shown by research to support the symptoms of pain, stress and issues of sleep and to have few side effects, except from sensitivities. 

“From there, there are other things it possibly can do, but it’s not peer-reviewed,” Eric said, adding that he can talk about CBD in terms of anecdotal evidence of what works. “I truly want to make a difference for each person. That’s why each person is worth sitting down with.”

Eric and Rachael operate Canna World Market as a DBA of their LLC, Rock Your Soul, so named for their love of music. They operate a second business, Orion’s Apothecary, where they make a variety of products to support wellness such as fire cider, honey fermented garlic, osha root tincture, elderberry syrup mix and restful tea—the products are made at a commercial kitchen in Loveland and sold to Canna World Market.

The Sudhalters also sell CBD products for dogs, cats and other animals, recommending their customers first speak to a veterinarian before administering them. They offer CBD dog treats and CBD oil in pet-friendly flavors to support symptoms of stress, pain and issues with sleep, just like with humans.

“Customers will ask, ‘Does it really work?’ Just ask my dog,” Eric said. “It does physically work, not just psychosomatically, because you can see a difference in pets.”

The Sudhalters want to grow their business by bringing back the workshops they offered before the pandemic, including CBD 101 classes and classes offered by health and other practitioners, starting in the fall. They also plan to open up their classroom space for the community to use.

“The way forward is through collaboration and education,” Eric said. “It’s absolutely with the relationships we have built.” 

Canna World Market Loveland was voted the #2 CBD Store in Northern Colorado by the Loveland Reporter-Herald, and celebrated their 3rd year anniversary at the beginning of October.

Orion’s Apothecary opened up to wholesale on July 1, 2022, and already has products in 13 locations around Northern Colorado.  If you are interested in carrying their Fire Cider, Elderberry Syrup Mix, or Restful Tea, contact eric@orions-apothecary.com.

Canna World Market Loveland CBD www.cbdloveland.com

Orion’s Apothecary www.orions-apothecary.com

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