A true entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to wear many hats helps Mike Rowan steer his forward-thinking marketing agency to success. Find out how FINSYNC helps him continue to pave his own way.
When it comes to Mike Rowan’s professional journey, impressive is an understatement for this jack of all trades. After mastering several areas of business for others, Mike decided to go out on his own with his robust skill-set and experience. Not once, not twice, but three times.
And even though it hasn’t always been easy, he assured us that it’s all been worth it — as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. “If you believe in your concept, believe in your team and believe in what you’re doing, really the only thing holding you back is the ability to work hard,” he explained. “And that’s something that you have direct control over.”
Digital marketing is the industry you can find Mike thriving in today, running his multi-faceted marketing and media agency, KPItarget. He took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss the rewards and challenges of being a small business owner, and to share some advice for those looking to pave their own way.
What sets KPItarget apart from other marketing agencies?
A lot of firms claim to be data- and audience-driven, but we really are. Every aspect of what we do is focused on that core philosophy. When you bundle that on top of robust analytics tracking and complete transparency with clients, it provides a winning solution that a lot of agencies promise, but very few deliver.
Responsiveness, customer service focus and excellent communication means you’ll never have to worry about being unable to reach us — we’re never out of pocket. I think when you combine our data- and metrics-driven approach with exemplary customer service, there are very few firms out there that deliver that combination.
What are some of the biggest rewards of owning your own business?
Honestly, it’s having complete control of our company’s destiny. You get out of it what you put into it. What I’ve found is that the harder and smarter you work, the more potential rewards you get to glean. You get to hire smart people, develop relationships and work with great clients.
It’s an all-encompassing, wonderful experience for the most part because in our industry we get to deal with a lot of different types of companies. We’re not necessarily restricted to just working with Fintech, or SAS, or CPG companies. We get to play with a lot of different types of companies and really influence their success through digital marketing.
What are some of the challenges you face as a small business owner?
A lot of our challenges deal with cash flow management. In today’s world of net 30, net 60, net 90, and I’ve heard of some companies going to net 180, cash flow is just an extraordinarily important part of what makes a business tick.
Obviously if you have employees and you’re honoring your obligation to them and paying them on the 1st and the 15th of the month, and a client may be paying you net 90, you have to develop a large enough buffer to make that happen.
That’s probably the biggest challenge these days from a projections and cash flow perspective, along with having the proper tools to manage all that in a way that helps the business hum along. It can be very problematic, especially given the terms that continue to shift outwards and outwards and outwards.
How has FINSYNC helped with some of these challenges?
FINSYNC’s software and their lender network really gives you a nice one-two punch. Beyond helping us manage cash flow, it helps us foresee trends and future needs, and predict surpluses and dips into the red. FINSYNC really helps us to be proactive in running the business, as opposed to reactive.
They also provide the partnerships and the tools, whether it’s bookkeeping or accounting or financing, to really serve as an all-encompassing resource to run your business.
Has FINSYNC made running your business easier?
There’s no question. The simplicity makes it a lot easier to run my business. With every aspect of FINSYNC’s software, whether it’s the cash flow management capabilities, financing, even bookkeeping and accounting — they really provide all the tools and resources that I need to run my business in one spot, which is very important to me.
You recently refinanced your line of credit with FINSYNC. What was that experience like?
It was completely seamless. The application process was simple. I had to sync up our bank accounts, which was very easy to do once I dug out my username and password. It took a couple of minutes for all the transactions to import and after that, you just hit the submit button and it was that easy. I had lenders calling on me within the same day.
FINSYNC was great throughout the process, not only answering any questions I had leading up to it, but after the fact. This is not the type of company that’s just looking to resell your information to a million lenders.
I even touched base with their customer success team. I told Santi what type of loan I was interested in and he was able to talk me through which of my potential matches was the best fit. I wanted a loan with no personal guarantee that isn’t tied to me.
Obviously, interest rates are very important as well. And he was able to take the information and match me up with a lender that met my specific needs better. With other providers, you’re really just a number. You’re going through the process and then all of a sudden you end up getting 20 phone calls a second and it quickly becomes unmanageable.
What advice do you have for other small business owners?
I would advise them against doing what I did for the first couple of years, which was winging it. Software like FINSYNC is as affordable as you want to make it. I think we first signed up for their base package, which was a great value when I saw it was really equivalent to 3 or 4 pieces of software in one.
At first, I made the mistake of trying to manage everything through a spreadsheet and cutting checks manually. Plus, I fell victim to what is considered “easy” by immediately running payroll through one of the larger companies out there, but it cost an arm and a leg and still required a lot of my time. Tools like FINSYNC ensure that you don’t have to do it yourself, at a fraction of the cost.
It really helps manage your business smarter, and you end up saving quite a bit of money from an opportunity cost perspective. You can assign an hourly rate to what your time’s worth.
When I was just starting out, I would balk at a piece of software that may cost $50 or $100 dollars a month, without realizing that the software would save me five hours a month. So effectively I was losing money by not buying the software. It’s an investment that will absolutely help you scale your business better.