Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mila Grandes, Founder of GrowGrandes Creative Engine, Inc., located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help companies outsource marketing tasks. They can develop new products, optimize their sales teams, or hire a Fractional CMO. How? With a straightforward and personalized approach to their needs. Our clients are SMBs in rapid growth. They know they have to scale their operations to increase their growth potential. We help them reach their profit goals and increase their ROI through smart marketing.
Tell us about yourself
Straight out of my undergrad, I jumped from a job that I loved in data analytics to a job that didn't fulfill me. My supervisor didn't understand the growth opportunity of digital marketing. She also dismissed the importance of integrating sales and marketing channels. Trying new things was unacceptable. For a cutting-edge large tech company, I was worried.
In my heart, I knew that nimble and agile competitors would eat at their market share. Daring and assertive marketing that connected with our audience was the way to go. I chose not to be afraid. So, I turned my side hustle into a full-service marketing agency.
The first year was a whirlwind of success and champagne showers. Not quite. We did land big accounts. My biggest success still makes me smile. In nine months, we remediated the reputation of a company that suffered a brand crisis. They went from losing half their employees and clients to being nominated for a global award.
Now, we help founders scale up. What sets us apart? Knowledge transfer. We train their teams to keep going and be independent once they outgrow us. Those goodbyes, for us, are happy, planned moments.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I try not to focus on the past. I guess that's the same for everyone else who's a founder. The exciting part is always yet to come. Although, here are some notable accomplishments that give me bragging rights:
- 700 subscribers became 100,000 community members.
- +12,000 podcast listeners in 200 episodes.
- Team members I supervise recommend me on LinkedIn. It's also very warm and heartful praise.
But, the most important part is that none of our customers are on yearly contracts. They can cancel anytime. And yet our longest-standing relationship lasted eight years. Why? We focus on profit, ROI, and growth. Not making us look good with truncated, abbreviated KPIs and shiny reports. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Knowing what your weaknesses are and owning up to them. If you can't do this, you can't lead, and if you can't lead, then your business will never grow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Before you get your first client, invest in incorporation. Not only do you get several tax benefits, but you can also access benefits for small companies. Even if it's a discount on your phone and wifi, it all counts.
- Be smart about who you partner with. Try to find someone who is a good person and also complements the skills you lack.
- Always be understanding of the people who are helping you grow. They can be anywhere else than here. Value that. You won't go anywhere without them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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