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Build A Better mousetrap and customers will beat a path to yourdoor, right? Wrong--unless you advertise, says Richard F. Gerson,owner and president of Gerson-Goodson Inc., a marketing, managementand consulting service in Clearwater, Florida, and author ofMarketing Strategies for Small Businesses (The Crisp SmallBusiness and Entrepreneur Series, $20. To order, call 813-726-7619;mention this article for free shipping and handling).
"You must promote that mousetrap," Gerson says."To do that, you must first know your unique selling position.What is different or special about your product or service thatwill make the customer want to buy it? Then, determine your uniquemarketing position--such as being the friendliest florist in town,or the most service-oriented or the lowest-price provider. Afteryou have defined your niche, then define your customerbase."
Brian Senjem, Minnesota's 1996 Young Entrepreneur of theYear and co-founder of Senjem Enterprises, a Mankato, Minnesota,accounting and computer-consulting business, says, "It'simportant to give high priority to marketing and advertising whenyou draw up your business plan. You should have marketing goals andknow your target market (including its demographics), yourindustry, and the economy. Small Business Development Centers(SBDCs) and Small Business Administration (SBA) offices nationwidewill provide materials and resources. Know the psychology of yourtarget market. Brainstorm with marketing professors and graduatestudents."