Products and Services: Product strategies may include concentrating on a narrow product line, developing a highly
specialized product or service, or providing a product-service package containing unusually high-quality
Promotion: Promotion strategies include advertising and direct customer interaction. Good salesmanship is essential
for small businesses because of their limited ability to spend on advertising. Good telephone book advertising is
also important. Direct mail is an effective, low-cost medium available to small business.
Price: The right price is crucial for maximizing total revenue. Generally, higher prices mean lower volume and
vice-versa; however, small businesses can often command higher prices because of their personalized
Distribution: The manufacturer and wholesaler must decide how to distribute their products. Working through
established distributors or manufacturers' agents is generally easiest for small manufacturers. Small retailers
should consider cost and traffic flow in site selection, especially since advertising and rent can be reciprocal: a
low-cost, low-traffic location means spending more on advertising to build traffic.
These all combine into an overall marketing program.
The nature of the product or service is also important in citing decisions. If purchases are based largely on
impulse, then high-traffic and visibility are critical. On the other hand, location is less of a concern for
products or services that customers are willing to go out of their way to find. The recent availability of highly
segmented mailing lists, purchased from list brokers, magazines, or other companies, has enabled certain small
businesses to operate from any location, yet serve national or international markets.
After implementing a marketing
program, entrepreneurs must evaluate its performance. Every program should have performance standards to compare
with actual results. Researching industry norms and past performances will help to develop appropriate
Entrepreneurs should audit their
company's performance at least quarterly. The key questions are:
Is the company doing all
it can to be customer-oriented?
Do employees ensure the
customers are satisfied and leave wanting to come back?