I speak to hundreds of entrepreneurs each year, and I find that the biggest issue with cashflow is lack of focus and time spent in specific sales and marketing activities.

Most entrepreneurs and SME owners find themselves in the trap of doing activities which WILL NOT produce an increase in cash flow.

Operational activities, staffing, admin, unfocused social media and busywork are the activities I find MOST entrepreneurs are distracted by and spending a lot of time on.

That’s not to say these activities aren’t important for any business, but they must be focused and have the correct time allocated to them. To me, they aren’t the solution for a quick increase in CASH FLOW.

I recommend SME’s and entrepreneurs that have startups to spend majority of their time in the following activities to generate maximum audience and lead generation potential: Creation of Strategic Partners with the same target audience.

1. Creation of Strategic Partners with the same target audience.

2. Development of Affiliations who have large databases of clients.

3. Networking with Community Groups and Local Organisations.

4. PR and Media Releases with promotional opportunity (creation of competitions).

A recent client of mine in the construction industry recently developed a partner who was an online construction recruiter. This partnership has allowed my client to advertise to a huge audience (10 x the audience they have online). In addition to this, they are also developing co-branding and marketing plans to reduce costs.

Working out a ‘What’s in it for them / What’s in it for me?’ strategy is key to the success of such affiliations and partnerships.

Finally, I would say that a SME’s organisation, planning and strategic direction (execution and accountability) all play a direct part in ensuring growth of cash flow.

Understanding your business financials and having consistent monthly and quarterly meetings to discuss KPI’s and targets are all key fundamentals to not only understanding your SME’s current position, but are also essential to planning the strategy to be implemented.