A study of the Foundation of Entrepreneurship conducted in 2013 indicated that “only 30% of entrepreneurs operating in Quebec want to grow their businesses, compared to over 40% in the rest of Canada”. Furthermore, “only 15% of them want to export, compared to 30% of active entrepreneurs across Canada”.
Quebec Inc. is made of one-man entrepreneurs with all the strengths and weaknesses that it implies. For production reasons or simply because they have reached a comfortable size, these entrepreneurs may face limits when it comes to their growth, yet these men and women have sufficient skills to manage and operate their business. As proof, they have reached a size and income level that they are satisfied with.
What skills are required to progress to the next level of growth? What about the effort required getting there? At some point, growth requires a new organizational structure, investment and the acquisition of new skills.
Reach your next level of growth
One-man entrepreneurs are accustomed in many cases to manage everything themselves. Now they must learn to delegate, to be surrounded by others and to formalize, among other things, sales and marketing functions.
In this process, formalizing the sales function is the most natural. Hiring a sales team is logical, expectations are quite clear and the tasks that need to be done are too. As for marketing however, this is not always the case. Too often the marketing functions are limited to that of the “marketing communication”. Yet, marketing has a set of core disciplines in business growth, such as market research, online marketing, direct marketing and of course, marketing communication.
The question which then arises is: is it beneficial to have a full-time team with all these disciplines within a small company?
The most sensible answer is no. No, it is not necessary to hire a full marketing team within a small business, but hiring an experienced resource within your team for this function, is. Supported by one or more resourceful suppliers, it becomes possible to optimize the use of resources and make your business grow.
The challenge lies in the multiplicity of stakeholders. Often in silos, suppliers do not coordinate their efforts with each other and the client becomes the project manager. In such a case, appealing to a small number or one single company able to meet all of the business’ marketing needs can be very useful, provided you talk about integrated marketing!
The first steps towards growth
Only 30% of entrepreneurs wish to grow their businesses and this is of course, their decision. Who among them will be able to create their next phase of growth? We can bet that those who have refined their expertise in the relevant fields will be able to carry out their objective.
To do this, I invite you to participate on May 30th in Quebec City at the 3rd stop of the B2B APCM tour, whose theme is “B2B marketing: a question of survival for Quebec Small Businesses.” The topic of discussion at the workshop (to be presented in French) will be on best practices in business marketing and the process to implement the tools and activities of sales and marketing to help grow your business.
It would be a pleasure to assist you to your next level of growth.
Worth reading: La Presse on May 3rd “La compétence pour entreprendre” by Nathaly Riverin, General Director of the School of Entrepreneurship in Beauce (EEB)