Marketing For Entrepreneurs - Marketing Essay Example

Introduction

Marketing can be defined as an organisational function and a set of processes for communicating, creating, implementing and delivering value to customers and for managing customer-business relationships in a way that will benefit both the organisation and the stakeholders involved - Marketing For Entrepreneurs introduction. Such processes succeed in moving people closer to making a decision to purchase and facilitate a sale. In the long run, these processes will anticipate, identify and try to satisfy customer requirements successfully and profitably.

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Marketing is important for entrepreneurial businesses. According to research, many entrepreneurs carry out their marketing in what can be termed as unconventional ways. They do not adhere to the concepts of a marketing mix. The market place is monitored by entrepreneurs quite informally. They greatly use interactive means of marketing like word of mouth. [1]

 

This paper is dealing with an analysis of entrepreneurial marketing. It is also dealing with an analysis of networking carried out by an owner manager in an entrepreneurial business. An analysis of business behaviour of people concerned has been addressed in this paper. This is in relation to the theories and frameworks in entrepreneurial and small business marketing literature.

 

An analysis of entrepreneurial marketing reveals that many initiatives are taken by entrepreneurs in their venture to market their businesses. Analysis of these marketing ventures show that many entrepreneurs use brochures as a way of marketing their businesses. Many entrepreneurs concur that these initiatives do not have much effect on their sales. Normally the brochures show the kind of business that they operate where it is found and how customers can contact the business. Many entrepreneurs distribute these brochures within the business’ vicinity. [2]

 

Though there is much effort carried out by entrepreneurs, most of them get very minimal feedback from customers. Entrepreneurs use business cards to market their business. They make business cards of which they distribute to their customers. They rely on their customers to talk to friends and relatives about their business. The feedback can be termed as of a low percentage. This is because most of the customers lose the business cards or they don’t even bother to look at them. There are other small business owners who make leaflets showing what their business is all about and distribute them in their vicinity. A large percentage of people given such leaflets simply discard them immediately. There are also others who read and discard without keeping contacts of the business.

 

This clearly shows that entrepreneurs make effort to market their products and services but the out come or the feedback is normally very poor that it does not even cater for the costs incurred in their marketing strategies. The marketing initiatives used by entrepreneurs reach a very small area within their premises. This is quite limiting to the entrepreneurs. According to research, many entrepreneurs normally start off with minimal income. This means that they are limited to use other means of marketing like advertising through radio, television and newspapers which are too costly. There are very many small businesses that try to advertise in the initial stages and since they do not experience positive feedback, they end up doing it on a very minimal basis. Many entrepreneurs concur that they had very little time to decide on the business and therefore did not give much thought to marketing. [3]

 

A very large percentage of entrepreneurs never have any marketing materials at the on set of the business. They don’t use any business cards, brochures or letters at the start of the business because of lack of resources. With time they start incorporating one by one as the resources allow them. This explains why the businesses have got very minimal profits at the on set. They simply rely on other factors like whether one is known in the vicinity or not.

 

How I identified the owner manager

I wrote a letter to the owner manager of Humble Beginning organization showing that I was interested in talking to him. He replied my request and gave me an appointment. We met on the agreed date and this gave me an opportunity to find out more about the organization. We had a lengthy face to face discussion concerning the business and the following is an analysis of feedback given. This included the marketing ventures undertaken by the organization and the business behaviours that are exhibited by people in this organization.

 

Networking

This is an initiative that is normally undertaken by many business owners. This is whereby there is a group of people that have a relationship that is commercial in nature. This can be termed as the relationship between various stakeholders in the business sector. They include relationships between employees, manager and employees or even between buyers and suppliers. This is normally based on having a mutually beneficial relationship. This helps in the expansion of stakeholders’ knowledge in business matters. [4]

 

As I interacted with the owner manager of Humble Beginnings organization, I found out that networking is practiced in therein. This is done both horizontally and vertically. It is done vertically as the managers interact with the employees in the business. This is carried out through informal and formal meetings that the managers have with the employees. The informal meetings are done in restaurants as the managers have a cup of tea with the employees. In these meetings, they casually discuss how they can improve the business and their marketing strategies too. Formal meetings are carried out in the organization through open forums between the managers and the employees.

 

The horizontal networks are done between the managers in this organization. This is where they meet to discuss how to better the business. An analysis of networking practiced in this organization shows that it has been very effective in helping the organization to grow from level to level. This is clearly seen from the meetings that the managers have with the employee. Such informal meetings help employees to provide information to managers on how to better the organization. This creates good relations between managers and employees and hence employees help in finding more customers for the business.

 

Networking is also carried out in this organization with other business managers. This greatly increases the customer base of this organization. The owner manager of Humble Beginnings also carries out networking by communicating to customers through emails. This saves time that he would have wasted travelling.  Through these the owner manager of Humble beginnings has learnt more and has also had the opportunity of expanding the customer base for this organization and increased the marketing therein. [5]

 

Word of mouth

This is whereby business owners communicate through word of mouth as a way of marketing the enterprise. Word of mouth can also be defined as having relationships with people around you who then end up trusting you and they simply talk about you. In this case businesses have good relationships with customers and businesses that end up marketing the enterprise. This can be built through good customer service. The owner manager of Humble Beginnings organization carries out marketing through word of mouth. This is done by simply talking to friends, relatives and everyone he comes across about the business.

 

This has been very effective in expanding the customer base in this business. Through word of mouth customers have known where the business is found, its products and prices. Word of mouth has also been enhanced through good customer service in this organization. According to the owner manager in Humble Beginnings organization, their excellent customer service has helped in marketing them. This is because these customers have talked to their friends and relatives about the business. This shows that marketing has been effectively carried out through word of mouth. [6]

 

Analysis of business behaviour of people concerned

An analysis in Humble Beginnings organization shows that there are diverse business behaviours therein. For instance the discussion with the owner manager shows that he is very strict to the employees. He ensures that they comply with the rules and regulations in the organization. This includes adherence to matters concerning time management in the organization. He ensures that employees sign their arrival time and departure time. Any employee who does not comply or arrives at work late without a very good reason is punished. The punishment could be extending the employee’s working hours. In some other cases the employee is denied his annual leave.

 

This is based on Deontological theory.   This theory encompasses moral rules that are normally non-consequential in approach. When the consequences of an action are not taken into account for any decision made, the rule will remain the rule regardless of the consequences. [7]This theory considers the outcome of the decision as part of the initial decision process to avoid harsh outcomes. It advices that we must do things regardless of the circumstances or consequences considered to be a threat.

 

In this case an analysis of owner manager in Humble Beginnings organization follows the policies and the rules in the organization strictly. This has been very effective because it has really minimised absenteeism. It meets the Deontological theory since the owner manager’s behaviour shows that the rule will always remain the rule no matter the consequences of the action taken. He does not consider the consequence of the employees being denied their annual leave or extending their working hours.

 

There are employees in this organization who are very notorious of breaking the rules and regulations therein. For instance some of the employees have a tendency of absenteeism from work. According to the owner manager in Humble Beginnings organization, these employees normally say that they never feel like going to work on such days. So they simply decide to be absent. To the employees, it is how they feel that is important and not what they ought to do. This is based on a theory called Values Clarification theory. This theory emphasizes that what is important is awareness of ones own feelings values and beliefs. In this case the beliefs themselves are not as important as the awareness. This implies that a value is not what someone ought to do but what he wants to do. In other words, what he or she likes to do literally equate feelings of the values .This theory puts much emphasis on the person’s feelings.

 

It projects that there are no ethical absolutes or moral absolutes but only relativity in issues. This is what one can term as philosophical relativism. As in what is right or wrong in a context is relative to the individual. It uses the Socratic Method to solve ethical issues and questions. [8] An analysis this business behaviour shows that it is not good behaviour and can lead to great loss in the business. In fact such employees should be sacked by the management in the organization because they can affect the business negatively if such business behaviours persist. It shows lack of seriousness in their work. This can be quite laborious to the owner manager in the organization because he can not easily plan for the next day’s work.

 

According to the manager in Humble Beginnings, there have been cases where the female employees have complained that they are sexually harassed by the male employees. On investigation, this was found to be true. Inquiring from the male employees revealed that the male employees claimed that they were finding some pleasure in their actions. Now such behaviour is supported by Utilitarianism theory. This theory holds that, the moral worth of a practice or an action is solely determined by the practice or action of the individual.

 

What is pleasurably happy is intrinsically good in some way. According to the male employees since this practice is pleasurably good to them then they say that this is moral. However such behaviours are not encouraged in the business environment. [9] This kind of behaviour can solicit for a legal action taken against the employees. Analysis shows that the owner manager has not dealt strictly with this issue as he would have otherwise done. More strict measures should be taken against the employees such that such business behaviours are not repeated in the organization.

 

Comparison with large enterprise

There are some similarities and differences in the marketing that is carried out in small businesses and that which is carried in large enterprises. In large enterprises, marketing is carried out following the four P’s and sometimes they are seven P’s. The four P’s consist of Price, People, Promotion and Place. All these are normally considered by large enterprises when carrying out marketing. The price of the products is considered in the marketing. This is whereby different prices are used at different times in order to maximise on the sales.

 

The specific target group is normally clearly elaborated in the large enterprise marketing. Promotions that are carried out by large enterprises are very elaborate in nature unlike that which is done in small enterprises. Large enterprises may not use word of mouth as a way of marketing. They carry out advertising through televisions and radios. These kinds of advertisements are very expensive that the small enterprises cannot afford.

 

Large business enterprises also carry out networking at a lesser degree compared to the smaller enterprises. While smaller enterprises rely on it as a marketing strategy, large enterprises do not. The similarity between the two is that all of them carry out marketing in order to improve sales and to make the products known to the customers. In large enterprises extensive research is carried out concerning the competitor organizations before marketing is done. [10] Large organizations will always carry out extensive research concerning the prices that the competitor products have. Research is also carried out on the places that the competitor products are sold. The entire marketing that is carried out in large organizations is steered towards outdoing competitors unlike marketing that is done by small enterprises.

 

In marketing carried out in large enterprises, promotion is carried out extensively and various channels of distributions. This includes using wholesalers who break the bulk. Retailers help large enterprises to easily reach the customers. All these are incorporated in the marketing strategies that are used by large organizations. They are however not used by small enterprises as a way of marketing. Large enterprises easily share with wholesalers some marketing roles while small enterprises bear the costs alone.

 

Large enterprises market themselves by using billboards to advertise their businesses. These billboards are normally placed strategically in towns such that many people can easily see them. Small enterprises on the other hand use posters that are normally placed within the business environment. This means that the small enterprises will always appeal to a very small group of people. Large enterprises use billboards to advertise not only in their vicinity but they can be placed country wide.

 

In large enterprises, one finds that there is a marketing department that deals with the marketing. [11] There is much specialization in this case. There are always marketing managers who have specialized in this area and hence can carry out marketing using prior knowledge. In the smaller enterprises one finds that the person starting up the business has the burden of carrying out the marketing by him or herself. The person may not have any prior knowledge in the marketing field.

 

Appendix

Personal learning

This module has helped me to understand what is meant by entrepreneurial or small business ventures. I have learnt to compare marketing strategies carried out by small businesses in comparison to the content in marketing textbooks. This module has helped me to know the differences of marketing in smaller enterprises and that practiced in larger ones.

I have learnt that small entrepreneurial businesses play a big role in a nation’s economy. Most of the large firms start off as smaller ones. I have learnt from this module how to carry out organization creation from ideas. I now understand that marketing plays an important role in the success of a business enterprise whether small or big. I have learnt that in an entrepreneurial business set up, owner managers have responsibility of carrying out decisions in line with marketing. [12]

From this module I have learnt how to analyse the marketing environment hence having a competitive advantage. This also included the essential skills that are needed by an entrepreneurial marketer. I have also learnt how word of mouth and networking can contribute to the success of entrepreneurial marketing. This module has enhanced my knowledge on the challenges faced in networking. I have learnt that word of mouth is important in marketing small businesses. There are problems faced in this venture which are now very clear to me. All this is very beneficial in my personal life as I plan to start up a small business.  I know what to expect in terms of challenges and problems that I will face in this venture. My eyes have been opened o the variety of ways that I can use to market my enterprise. This module has been very educative in nature not just for academic purposes but in our day to day lives. The knowledge gained is invaluable and if put in practice will go a long way in changing the lives of many students. This is very fundamental to enhancing our economy in general.

 

Conclusion

Marketing is all about creating awareness of a business’ products and services in order to facilitate a sale. Entrepreneurs also carry out marketing on small scale basis since most of them have limited by resources. They use word of mouth and networking in their marketing ventures. There are various business behaviours that can be exhibited by different people in an organization. Such behaviours are based on theories like values clarification and Deontological theories. There are some similarities and differences in marketing carried out by smaller enterprises and larger enterprises. While larger enterprises follow the 4P’s smaller enterprises do not necessarily do this and rather maximises on word of mouth and networking. All in all marketing well carried out leads to success in the business enterprise.

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References

Blechman, B. (1991): Guerrilla financing: alternative techniques to finance any small business Houghton Mifflin

 

Bridge, S. (1998):  Understanding Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, London, Macmillan

 

Boyle, D. (1999): Funny Money: In Search of Alternative Cash; London; HarperCollins

 

Burns, P. (2007): Entrepreneurship and Small Business; London, Palgrave

 

Carter, S. (2006):  Enterprise and Small Business; Principles, Practice and Policy

 

Carter S. (2000): Enterprise and Small Business; Principles; Practice and Policy; Pearson Education Ltd; Harlow

 

Chaston, I. (2002): Small Business Marketing Management; Palgrave; London

 

Cox, T. (1994): Marketing in Small and Medium-sized Companies; The Marketing Initiative; Economic and Social Research Council Studies into British Marketing. London: Prentice Hall

 

Drucker, P. (1997): Managing in a time of great change; London; Butterworth Heinemann

 

Felsher, M. (1996): Working Alone: Making the Most of Self-Employment; New York

 

Kelly, K. (1998): New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Ways the Network Economy is Changing Everything, London: Fourth Estate

 

Lang, J. (2001): The High-Tech Entrepreneur’s Handbook; How to Start and Run a High-Tech Company; London; FT.COM.

 

Phillips, M. (1990):  Marketing without Advertising; Berkeley; Nolo Press

 

Rich, S. (1995): Business plans that win $$$ Harper and Row

 

Shaw, E. (1998): Network Constructs; Tool for Assessing the Relational Impact on the Development of Small Firms;   Special Interest Group Symposium on the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Interface; Dublin

 

Shaw, E. (2000): Networking and the Small Firm; Enterprise and Small Business; Principles, Practice and Policy S. Carter and D. Jones-Evans; Harlow; Pearson Education Ltd: 367-383

 

Stokes, D. and Wilson, N. (2006):  Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship, London, Thomson Learning

 

Stokes, D. (2006):  Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship; London; Thomson Learning

 

Thorelli, H. (1990): Networks: Between Markets and Hierarchies’ in D. Ford; Understanding Business Markets; London; Dryden

 

Weinrauch, J. (1991): Dealing with Limited Financial Resources; a Marketing Challenge for Small Businesses; Journal of Small Business Management; 29, 44-54

 

 

 

[1] Blechman, B. (1991): Guerrilla financing: alternative techniques to finance any small business Houghton Mifflin
[2] Bridge, S. (1998):  Understanding Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, London, Macmillan
[3] Boyle, D. (1999): Funny Money: In Search of Alternative Cash; London; HarperCollins
[4] Phillips, M. (1990):  Marketing without Advertising; Berkeley; Nolo Press
[5] Chaston, I. (2002): Small Business Marketing Management; Palgrave; London

 
[6] Drucker, P. (1997): Managing in a time of great change; London; Butterworth Heinemann
[7] Rich, S. (1995): Business plans that win $$$ Harper and Row
[8] Stokes, D. (2006):  Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship; London; Thomson Learning
[9] Felsher, M. (1996): Working Alone: Making the Most of Self-Employment; New York
[10] Weinrauch, J. (1991): Dealing with Limited Financial Resources; a Marketing Challenge for Small Businesses; Journal of Small Business Management; 29, 44-54
[11] Stokes, D. (2006):  Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship; London; Thomson Learning
[12]

Felsher, M. (1996): Working Alone: Making the Most of Self-Employment; New York

 

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