Sales and marketing are No.1 challenge to growth MARKHAM, ONT. The results showed that whereas a quarter of respondents reported “fund- O nly 25 per cent of small and medi- um-sized enterprises in Ontario report funding to be their biggest chal- ing and financial management” to be their biggest challenge, a larger portion lenge to growth, according to results of cited sales and marketing issues as their a study released last week by the number 1 growth hurdle. Innovation Synergy Centre in Specifically, they cited challenges Markham, Ont. with “sales” (13 per cent), “marketing” Sales and marketing issues are of (12 per cent), “branding” (11 per cent), greater concern, with 53 per cent of “competitive intelligence” (seven per small and mid-sized businesses, or cent), “market research” (five per cent), SMEs, identifying those areas as their and “export strategy” (five per cent). major growth obstacles, the research The other respondents claimed their finds. greatest concerns were with “business The study, conducted by ISCM — a strategy” (11 per cent), “human not-for-profit business advisory centre resources” (five per cent), “manufactur- for SMEs — polled 200 SMEs across ing” (three per cent) and “public rela- the province, through a combination of tions” (three per cent each). written questionnaires and face-to-face meetings, about their main business issues.