I think in this culture, with people in general these days wanting to support the little guy, constant bad news about the big guy, the small guy will always do okay in the market as long as they focus on being craft or specialized / personalized - but trying to out compete the big players when it comes to bulk, strictly price point, which includes landing long term relationships with Walmart for example, etc… Yup… Anyone without a B in front of their “illions” will get crushed. It is already going that way. So, my advice is to stay the little guy or sellout to the big guy. Anywhere in the middle to me is pending doom [meaning if you try to stay sort of upper mid-sized the market will make you an offer and eat you alive if you don’t take it]. It reminds me of that movie “Up” - that old man could have sold his land for more than it was worth to the high rises around him, instead, he ended up flying away in to danger and accidentally kidnapping a child.
My farm in WA did well because I focused things on a needed [obvious] niche, outdid people in quality, and had really good practices - but most people around us started to have major issues as more and more money came in [joining more and more licences together to form bigger and bigger groups]. Mainly, the issue that i saw, is that for some reason a lot of people in this business think they are bigger than they are and try to use a model meant for someone much bigger than they even can or could be [at least on their own. They are way over confident that they are special]. They think they are cut-throat business execs willing to do what it takes in a dog-eat-dog world [when really they are just, most often, a common license holder with a finite amount they can produce] but the truth is that they are a puppy and should use that cuteness to survive instead of trying to show their teeth. Ego. The one thing they could do to fight back is create their own more powerful groups [than their current level of authority] but they refuse because they don’t ‘need anyone else’. They all have a plan until they get punched in the mouth basically [ - Mike Tyson ]. I figured… I should stay in my lane as an operation and not join the race to the bottom. I think another 50% of the problem is a lack of experience [in general].