A new survey has found that the top two challenges for start-ups are attracting new customers and accessing finance, with more than a third admitting they could do with marketing support and just under a third saying they found it hard to secure funding.
More than a quarter of those surveyed felt that their current marketing strategy was not as effective as they had hoped as far as attracting new customers was concerned, while almost a quarter admitted that they could benefit from advice on how to improve it.
However, interestingly, marketing was not a major focus for most of the businesses surveyed, with almost 60 per cent claiming they spent less than 10 per cent of their monthly revenues on marketing their business and only five per cent saying they spent more than 50 per cent.
Of those who did spend money on marketing, almost half chose to spend it on social media, particularly on platforms such as Facebook. Twitter and Instagram, with TV, radio and outdoor advertising receiving the least marketing spend.
Meanwhile, of the small firms that had secured finance, the majority said it had taken between two and four attempts to be successful, while of those who had failed, most felt it was because their enterprise was “too young” to secure investment.
In addition, of those who were looking for funding, over a third said they found it intimidating to pitch to investors, even for the most experienced entrepreneurs, despite preparing for months for the pitch.