Getting to know Mark Donahue, CEO of 4SCORE.
What do you do on a typical day at the office?
I am an early person, so I am typically at the office before 8:00am. I have a routine where I make my coffee go through emails and look at activity from the previous day. After that I spend time with our field sales representatives – I meet with our Michigan reps face to face and for reps out of state or traveling we jump on zoom calls. Most of my day from there either consists of marketing activities or most recently meeting with attorneys focusing on compliance issues.
How long have you been in business for?
I have been in the industry for over a decade in several different aspects. I started 4SCORE in the first part of 2018.
What do you expect from your employees?
One of the most important things to me is finding people that are self-driven. We all have our own responsibilities, and it is critical that individuals take on their role with pride. I genuinely love seeing employees surprise themselves and achieving goals that they may not have found possible. I expect all of our employees to enjoy what they do and to do it well. I want our employees to be proud to be a part of the 4SCORE team.
What are you most proud of regarding 4SCORE?
I am proud of our reputation. We strive to provide the best experience for our clients and consumers. We take our customer service/satisfaction first and foremost. Without our clients we would not be here.
What is the one thing you would change about 4SCORE?
I am working on creating a larger national presence. If I could change one thing right now it would be that, having a larger impact nationwide.
What do you do when you are outside the office?
I am a family man. I absolutely love spending time with my wife and two daughters. We are an active family, we hike, kayak, etc.
What city did you start?
Detroit, Michigan – same place I was born!
How many employees and how big is your office?
Our current team is roughly 15 people and we are actively hiring right now. Our office space in Michigan is about 5,000 square feet.
What is your office culture like?
Laid back but focused on our responsibilities. When everyone is working the energy feels amazing! We all feed off it from one another.
Is there a lot of travel involved for work?
Before COVID we did travel a bit more for tradeshows and such. We still travel locally quite a bit visiting each dispensary that we service. It is important to us that we are in front of our clients and consumers.
How did your company begin – story and influence behind it?
I was originally involved in a group that was moving towards a large-scale vertical operation. Not all people that were involved at the time were as passionate about the project. Needless to say, the project never got off the ground. Once that group disband, I decided that I was going to start on my own company without relying on others. I already had the idea about the name, branding, etc. I was then set on creating a company with products that I would want to use and consume. From there I wanted to create an image/lifestyle that appeals to a large audience. I wanted to created an image that says you can be a cannabis consumer and be successful!
What’s in store for the future of your company?
I am pleased that we are now in growth mode. We will be launching several new products in Q2. Launching new products is always an exciting and learning experience.
Where do you see the industry heading?
I see the industry heading towards a period of enlightenment. Almost daily you hear about new products or procedures. I believe that as more research opens up on a national or even international scale we will continue to learn more about cannabinoids, terpenes, THC, THC-V, etc. I feel that there is so much more to learn and understand about the cannabis plant, it is really an exciting time to be in the industry.
How did your company get its name?
I wanted a creative name that is discreet but let’s you know who we are. Most people do not realize that the definition of score is 20. 4SCORE is a nice discreet was of saying 420! Discreet name – just like our products!
Who designed the packaging?
I am incredibly involved in our packaging design. I will work with a couple different designers to try and pull various ideas into one unique design. Packaging is important, after all it is our first impression.
List 3 challenges in the industry.
Banking is still challenging. It can also be challenging keeping up with the ever-changing regulations. This is especially true since each state has their own unique set of laws or regulations. The 3rd challenge would be marketing and advertising. As you know we are restricted from advertising on most traditional platforms.
How are you dealing with these challenges?
List 3 great amazing things about this industry.
Without a doubt the number one amazing thing about this industry is the community and the people that represent it. The people within the industry are amazing people! Second would be the speed of growth within the industry. This industry is growing and changing so quicky. Everyday something new is happening, it is very exciting! Lastly would be the reaction we see from folks that have once believed the cannabis plant to be an evil thing. Once these people realize how wonderful the plant the reactions are priceless. It is these people that become your largest supports and advocates!
Are there busy and slow times or is the work activity fairly constant?
For the most part it is constant. We do have busier times then others, like 4/20 or major events.
How does your company differ from its competitors?
We strive to set ourselves apart through our quality products and customer service level. We also know that our job is not to just sell to dispensaries but to help the dispensaries educate and sell the products to consumers.
What is your favorite social media outlet? Why?
Our favorite must be Instagram. We get more feedback from Instagram over all other social media outlets combined. Instagram allows us to interact with our consumers and that we love!
What are some of your current goals?
We are currently working on expanding our national footprint. We are focused on growth and expansion at the moment. Our primary goal is to grow with limited growing pains.
What advice would you like to give people entering the industry?
When I first moved into my office, I put a quote above my door. I stare at the quote every day. It is the best advice I can give anyone, it says “Never give up.” No matter how tough or bad things may appear – Never Give Up!
Do you have any special words of encouragement or warning as a result of your experience?
Be ready for the unexpected. It is always what is not expected that you end up focusing your attention on.
What inspires your company today?
We are driven to provide a premium experience for our clients and consumers. Satisfied clients inspire us daily!
What are some of the 4SCORE employee’s favorite ways of smoking? Anything In Particular?
We have been a vape company from the start, so I think it is safe to say that most of our employees enjoy 4SCORE cartridges. Although we do have some new products coming soon!