I want to share tips from an article I read in the National Post, Five marketing growth tips for entrepreneurs. Author, Romina Maurino, states that most entrepreneurs shy away from marketing because it’s an area they worry will be overwhelming and time-consuming yet it’s what grabs people’s attention and is crucial to building a loyal following.

“When you start your business you are not just in the business of delivering your product or service, you’re also in the business of acquiring customers,” says Mitch Solway, Vice-president of marketing at FundThrough, an invoice funding service that helps small businesses meet their cash flow needs. He continues, “Marketing is going to be the engine that drives new customers into your business and, as your business grows, so will the demand for more and better marketing to continue to fuel the growth.”

Solway shares 5 tips to keep in mind whether you are just starting or wanting to grow your customer base:

1. As an entrepreneur, you have great marketing instincts: While marketing may not be your believed strength, Solway feels that as the entrepreneur your are often the best marketer in your company. He states, “Marketing, at its core, is about three things: a deeper understanding of who you are trying to serve, the problem you are solving for that customer, and what makes you different than the current alternatives.” These three areas is what prompted the entrepreneur to start their company: they identified a need for a market that wasn’t being served and are now doing something about it.

2. Don’t market to everyone – focus on your best customers With limited resources you will need to focus on a size of the market that you can start to chip away at. That means identifying your ideal customer, figuring out who’s ready to buy what you’re selling, whey they live and what they have been using before you came along. The same applies to your marketing- always come back to what’s the most important problem that you are solving for your customers, so you can identify who you really need to focus your marketing against. This will also help you figure out what channels you should use to reach them and what problems you need to tell them you solve.

3. There’s a ton of freelance and small agency help out there, so use it. What you do fro ma marketing perspective really depends on how early you are in your business, how much time or resources you have for it, and how much growth you are looking for right now. There are so many great small agencies and freelancers who can help with any of the basics, from building a simple website to doing some basic search engine marketing, to designing great print or presenting material and even writing and sending email campaigns.

If you are not ready to bring outside help, remember that you are often your own best sales and marketing department – you can hustle, make calls, meet people and make things happen on the promotional side, just like you did when you were getting your business off the ground.

4. Today’s happy customers are tomorrow’s best marketers for your business: Yes it’s important to get those first key customers in the door, however it’s also crucial to make sure they enjoy their time they spend with you. That’s because your customers can be one of your best marketing tools. “The best referral program is delivering really happy customers”, says Solway. “Take the time to really focus on making your customers feel great about having chosen you. That will always lift the extra marketing effort.”

5. Don’t let waiting on invoice payments slow down your marketing and other growth efforts: At the beginning you will rely on hustle however eventually you are going to need to invest in marketing to not only drive more growth but also to systemize and scale those marketing programs that work. That may mean hiring external or internal resources, and that’s going to take funds.
For many businesses, cash flow is going to get in the way being able to invest in marketing. You may have some great ideas on how you can drive more business with some marketing but if you don’t have the funds on hand to invest because you’re waiting on invoices to get paid on then it can be frustrating – even if you’re just waiting on 30-day terms.

An option is to use a third-party funding service like FundThrough that can help your small business keep the marketing momentum, because it allows them to get their invoices paid right away, for a small fee.

“It’s like instant cash flown you need it, and you can then use those funds to pay employees, increase inventory or invest in marketing to drive even more business,” Solway says.

The points are very useful and I encourage the small entrepreneurs to look into FundThrough. I don’t work for them but I know that cash flow is one of the biggest issues concerning companies, small and large!

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