Resources for Entrepreneurs at Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) website at sba.gov is a great business resource for information to help create business success for Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners not only here in the US, but abroad as well.

One of the drawbacks is the sheer volume of information out on their site, so I have decided to cull through it all to find the best of what’s available and then present a series of posts here on my blog with the consolidated info.

I am planning on doing a couple of posts every week for a while with the business resources that I find and maybe I’ll even put together some series’ when I find a set of closely related information.

I’m starting out today with with some basics on marketing – we’ll start with Marketing 101.

For Small Businesses Target Marketing is key, even if you think you have a larger marketing budget, if you aren’t properly targeting your marketing you are wasting your money.

By concentrating your efforts on one or a few key market segments, you’ll reap the most from small investments. There are two methods used to segment a market:

Geographical segmentation: Specializing in serving the needs of customers in a particular geographical area.
Customer segmentation: Identifying those people most likely to buy the product or service and targeting those groups.

Other keys to successful marketing of your products and services include:

  • Conducting Market Research - Successful marketing requires timely and relevant market information. An inexpensive research program, based upon surveys or questionnaires given to current or prospective customers, can often uncover either current dissatisfaction or possible new products or services that your chosen market niche wants or needs.
  • Creating a Marketing Strategy - Identifying customer groups which your business can better serve than your competitors, and tailored product offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts and services toward those market segments. Having a good strategy helps your business focus on the specific market niche or sub-niche you can serve best. Ideally, your strategy should address unmet customer needs that offer adequate potential profitability.

And every marketing campaign contains these four key components:

  1. Products and Services - Product strategies include concentrating on a narrow product line, developing a highly specialized product or service or providing a product-service package containing unusually high-quality service.
  2. Promotion - Promotion strategies focus on advertising and direct customer interaction. Good salesmanship is essential for small businesses because of their limited advertising budgets. Online marketing is a cheap, quick, and easy way to ensure that your business and product receive high visibility.
  3. Price - When it comes to maximizing total revenue, the right price is crucial.  Generally, higher prices mean lower volume and vice-versa; however, small businesses can often command higher prices because of their personalized service.
  4. 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.

For more details, you can see the whole article here.

Now while of course marketing is a critical business skill, it is just one of many that you need to master in order to own a successful business. Keep coming back to check out future posts about those other critical skills.

Please post a comment below to let me know which business skills you would like to get more details on for your business or based upon past experience you think are most important for other entrepreneurs and small business owners to master.

Also, don’t forget to like this post and tweet it to the small business owners that you know.

Have A Prosperous Day!

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