Business Resource Library


Learn about the 5 P’s of marketing, and how to apply them to your business.

Focused Marketing: Targeted Effort, Tangible Results

Are you doing too much marketing for the return on your investment? Do you feel tired and frustrated at the amount of money and effort this marketing requires? What if you could find a way to reduce the scatter, efficiently manage your time and get better results?

That is what focused marketing means: concentrating on your best potential customers and delivering a clear, consistent and appealing message that improves your "batting average". With this guide, you'll develop a better understanding of your customers and how to effectively reach them.


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How to Write an Effective Marketing Plan

A good marketing plan is an invaluable tool for any business owner, whether you are just starting your new enterprise, expanding or changing strategic direction. It provides you, the entrepreneur, with a clear “roadmap” to follow to best reach your target customer and encourage them to purchase from you.  This document will help you create a marketing strategy and write a marketing plan, including determining objectives, breaking down the Marketing Mix and setting sales goals & targets.

Six Keys to Common Sense Marketing

While developing marketing strategy requires considerable research and thought on the part of the entrepreneur, it’s not rocket science.  There are some basic common sense principles at work. In fact, although some experts out there will tell you differently, a lot of marketing boils down to concepts that you already know and, in fact, most likely already use in your day-to-day lives. The secret is in knowing how to use them to maximize business potential.

Marketing's Four P's: First Steps for New Entrepreneurs

From the Department of Agricultural Economics (Cole Ehmke, Joan Fulton and Jayson Lusk) comes this document and worksheets that will help you understand the 4 P's of Marketing.  The four P’s—product, price, place, and promotion—should
work together in your marketing mix. Often, decisions on one element will influence the choices available in others.   Selecting an effective mix for your market will take time and effort, but these will pay off as you satisfy customers and create a profitable business.  The worksheets that follow will help you construct your marketing plans.

Pricing Your Products and Services

The right price has to be low enough to attract customers and high enough to make them profitable. It's part art and part science, and there are several factors, which go into the development of an optimum price.   Here are the steps to follow tomake sure your price is right.

Cost-Based Pricing For Services

Many small businesses are not making a profit today because they do not know the basic concepts of costing and pricing. The situation is most serious in the service business because each service performed has a different cost. Frequently, the service business must bid for jobs by making a price quotation in competition with similar businesses. Can you calculate your costs for your service and quote a price that is competitive and returns a profit?  This math-based Aid discusses costing and pricing of services to assure that each job earns a reasonable profit.

Pricing For Small Retailers

This aid is a checklist for the owner-manager of a small retail business. These 52 questions probe the considerations--from markup to pricing strategy to adjustments--that lead to correct pricing decisions. You can use this checklist to establish prices in your new store, or you can use it to periodically review your established pricing policy.  This checklist should be especially useful to a new retailer who is making pricing decisions for the first time.  However, established retailers, including successful ones, can also benefit from this aid.

Pricing For Small Manufacturers

As a small manufacturer, you should not compete on the basis of price unless you are the low-cost producer. Usually you should compete on the basis of product performance, quality, delivery time, or whatever advantages you can offer customers over your competitors.  Good pricing practices require an understanding of the influence of market factors, the economy, technology, competition, and resources. The owner-manager must consider each of these factors in addition to cost-related factors internal to the company.

Ten Ways to Stretch Your Ad Dollars

Smart business people are always looking for ways to make their dollars go further. That's particularly true with advertising. You want every marketing tool to work at maximum efficiency.  Here are simple things that will make your ad budget do extra duty.

Don’t be Afraid – Pick up the Phone!

Professional marketers tell us that if you have no work at all, and you really want to develop a firm, there is no question that cold calls will work. A specialist in cold calls told me he makes l5 cold calls per day. He reaches seven people, and from them he makes one appointment. For every five people he sees, he makes one sale. This results in 50 sales per year, just from making cold calls.  Action brings results.