Walt Disney may seem like the ultimate success story when it comes to entrepreneurship but, true to most success…failure wasn’t missed!

Recently I had the pleasure of watching a movie called Walt Before Mickey, a bio-pic about Walt Disney’s life before the success of Mickey Mouse.

As an entrepreneur and someone who has only ever worked for entrepreneur’s (including when I had a paper-route at a young age)…many scenes in this movie depicted reality for business owners and idea-makers that still ring true today.

The most difficult thing about having a great idea is not knowing how to make people believe in what your selling! Cash-flow is a constant sore-spot for most small to medium size businesses. This ultimately means less full time employees and more consultants and/or project work. True decreasing overhead can help increase cashflow—but it’s still at a cost. As you see in the movie, this can easily get out of hand if you carry too much credit and have to increase cash flow to cover productivity.

A better strategy? GET BACK TO BASICS!
Just like Walt did…strategically partner with other organizations and/or individuals in your community with a like-minded business culture, and you trust have the same intention as you. Combining efforts to reach your targets will keep you all rooted in your community. Helping to get everyone connected and working on the same strategic page.

When communication is flowing trust and sustainability are too! This is what makes people and organizations invest, and believe in each other. It goes beyond sponsoring a sports team and putting your logo on it. It’s linking to the community and the people in it! It’s posting that teams information on your social media, and making sure people know to go cheer them on at the game. It’s a lot of things that never used to exist to reach your customers and find potential new customers. I bet Walt and his team would have loved this as a marketing tool to reach the masses with their vision when they first started out.

FACT: Facebook now has 1.65 Billion active users, and most are daily users! That’s a lot of potential doors to knock on. The problem is figuring out how to knock on the RIGHT doors to find your customers. This takes strategy and a lot of time researching industry standards and user data information to determine your best customer target markets, and their purchasing behaviour. The better you understand what your customers like and don’t like, the better you can service them, and ultimately gain and retain their loyalty.

So how do you reach your best target customers? (HINT: relationships require communication)
First, accept this is an industry, and that people get paid real money to tweet and post your brand communication to other people online to help find you potential and real customers. Knocking on a lot of doors at once for you…while you work at what you love and do best.

Second, remember you’re not an expert at everything! Sure anyone can create a post…they know how to do it, but not everyone can write social media with well-thought intention, and a marketing prowess that converts users into loyal customers. It’s the why and who, alongside a well-planned and executed online strategy designed to make people click, share and communicate your brand with everyone in their network.

Third, don’t dismiss an online strategy because you think you can’t afford it.  If cash flow is an issue you should still consider reaching out and strategically partnering with a social media trainer/manager to ensure you are reaching your targets for customers. Business-to-business or business-to-consumer, this is a vital part of the new marketing mix, and can be a powerful closing tool in your sales cycle. You’ll be surprised how the community can help each other sustain when they believe in what each other are selling!

BARTERING IS NOT DEAD! Not even close…
After 20 years in the world of entrepreneurship we’ve seen some amazing partnering in small, medium and large businesses. When the networks were in trouble they partnered and now The Walt Disney Company, ABC, and a slew of others are all under one strategic umbrella…helping each other sustain, create and innovate into the future…just like when Walt first created his company.

The lesson here? Don’t try to be a “jack-of-all-trades” and ask for help, but, recognize no one works for free.  Use bartering in-lieu of cash flow but, keep in mind…the offer needs to be of equal monetary value for a strategic partnering to thrive.

If you need help strategizing your brand, targeting campaigns, or just want some training on where to get started, contact us today for a FREE consultation. www.communitymarketing.ca