Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts by David Catalan

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines a business advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame.

If you are already in business, stop and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my company’s strengths?
  • Do I clearly understand my market niche or position?
  • What business am I in—what is my product or service?
  • How do I measure success?
  • What are my short-term goals?
  • Who are my customers?
  • Who are my competitors?

If you are ready to launch your small business enterprise, get a copy of South Pacific and pay close attention to Bloody Mary when she sings “you gotta have a dream—if you don’t have a dream, how are you gonna make a dream come true?” She is the epitome of a homegrown successful entrepreneur selling island goods and services to American Seabees on a remote Polynesian island during World War II (her specialty product is grass skirts). Mary’s “dream” is her marketing plan and she implements it with great bravado, resulting in a substantial financial gain.

If you’ve been in business for some time, are you implementing a marketing plan? Do you know what a marketing plan looks like? If you are not achieving your financial goals, it may be an indication that a plan is needed.

A marketing plan need not be a 30-page academic and theoretical document, which probably will sit on a shelf collecting dust. Your plan must be flexible and dynamic, responsive to changing market conditions. However, you do need one—even if it is a one-page summary.

Ready to build that marketing plan: Check out the book “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

 

Why We Market

marketAll of us go to market on a regular basis. Why? Well, we go to the grocery store to buy what we need, what we think we need, and for a sense of adventure to see what is new and what bargains we may find in the product-laden aisles. A television commercial that shows a family at breakfast triggers the need for cereal and milk. The morning newspaper that features a discount ad for Pepsi triggers the need for a Pepsi. READ MORE »

 

Data Needed?

Data NeededWhere does a small business owner go to find the important statistics, information, and other data needed to make sound business decisions? Generally, free information and paid data are available. The good news is that volumes of reliable information exist just for the asking or for clicking on the Internet. Most organizations in the business of data collection, analysis, and publication in easy-to-read formats are eager to share with interested parties.

Resources where the information resides include:

  • National consumer reports
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Product catalogs
  • Trade shows
  • Magazines
  • Web sites
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Library reference materials
  • Business journals
  • Testimonials
  • Direct user feedback and opinions

In today’s age of instant information, there is little shortage of facts, statistics, and revealing data, which can be put to use in the ultimate goal of market research: Know Your Customer. Want to learning more on market research?  Check out the “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

 

Brilliant Creative Design

National Geographic Magazine has been published for 121 years and hasn’t changed its cover design or format for as long as I can remember.  The magazine can be picked out at a distance at any bookstore, newsstand, or other venue where magazines are sold.  One of my friends has collected the magazine for the preceding 30 years—they are stacked uniformly in neat rows by date in his basement.  Brilliant creative design has sustained the publication through decades of the American and global experience. READ MORE »

 

Mortal Creativity

In our daily experiences, as we travel the path of personal and professional living, we are constantly called to action by visual and written advertising. Some we automatically file away in some part of the brain created for that purpose, some we take in through a more conscious part of the brain that processes the information, while some force us to stop and marvel at the creativity, which is being revealed before our senses. Advertising is creativity in action.

What is creativity? Is it a mysterious quality, like genius, that is present at the birth of each individual? Is it reserved only for the artist, such as a Rembrandt or a Mozart, and cannot flow into the essence of us, who are not blessed with an artistic flair? Why does the use of the adjective creative lift the thing being observed into a higher realm of existence? Why does the creativity label appear to be out of the reach of most mortals—an attitude that relegates us to a level of just being satisfied with what we assume to be our skills and talents?

Let me assure you that if you are informed, you are creative. Creativity, I believe, is a blossoming of information. The more you know about people and their environment, the greater becomes the understanding of their nature, or “what makes them tick.” With such essential acquired information, the better you can appreciate their attributes, and the more expressive you can be in recounting their strengths. On the flip side, the better you know their weaknesses and what to avoid.   Get your creative juices flowing by checking out the book Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics