As you can see, marketing encompasses much more than just advertising or selling. For example, a major part of
marketing involves researching your customers: What do they want? What can they afford? What do they think? Your
understanding and application of the answers to such questions play a major role in the success or failure of your
What is my market potential?
The principles of determining
market share and market potential are the same for all geographic areas. First determine a customer profile
(who) and the geographic size of the market (how many). This is the general market potential. Knowing the number
and strength of your competitors (and then estimating the share of business you will take from them) will give
you the market potential specific to your enterprise.
What about advertising?
Your business growth will be
influenced by how well you plan and execute an advertising program. As it is one of the main creators of your
business' image, it must be well planned and well budgeted. Contact local advertising agencies or a local SBA
office to assist you in devising an effective advertising strategy.
How do I set price
The price of a service or item is
based on three basic production costs: direct materials, labor, and overhead. After these costs are determined,
a price is then selected that will be both profitable and competitive. As pricing can be a complicated process,
you may wish to seek help from an expert.
Are some locations better than others?
Time and effort devoted to
selecting where to locate your business can mean the difference between success and failure. The kind of
business you are in, the potential market, availability of employees, and the number of competitive
establishments all determine where you should put your business.
Is it better to lease or buy the store (plant) and equipment?
This is a good question and needs
to be considered carefully. Leasing does not tie up your cash; a disadvantage is that the item then has no
resale or salvage value since you do not own it. Careful weighing of alternatives and a cost analysis will help
you make the best decision.
How do I find out about suppliers/manufacturers/distributors?
Most suppliers want new accounts.
A prime source for finding suppliers is the Thomas Register, which lists manufacturers by categories and
geographic area. Most libraries have a directory of manufacturers listed by state. If you know the product line
manufacturers, a letter or phone call to the companies will get you the local distributor/wholesaler. In some
lines, trade shows are good sources of getting suppliers and looking over competing products.
Why do I need a sign for my business?
There are many reasons, the most
primary of these being:
Signs are the most
effective, yet least expensive, form of advertising for the small business.