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What does marketing my business involve?

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of your business. Without marketing, potential clients can't find you. Marketing consists of four elements often called the "four P's": Product - the item or service you sell. Price - the amount you charge for your product or service. Promotion - the ways you inform your potential clients about who, what and where you are. Provision - the channels you use to get your product or service to the customer. Marketing encompasses much more than just advertising or selling. A major part of marketing involves researching your customers: Who are they? Where are they located? How do you reach them? What do they want? (Great product? Great customer service? Follow-up support?) What can they afford? What do they think? Your understanding and application of the answers to such questions play a major role in the success or failure of your business. For assistance in creating a marketing plan for your business, contact your nearest Idaho Small Business Development Center.

What kind of market research can you help me with?

SBDC advisors have access to SBDCNet which is a national clearinghouse of market research data such as ring studies, industry reports, articles and archives. Our advisors also have access to university databases such as Reference USA and federal databases like the US Census Bureau and IBISWorld.

How do I obtain a domain name for my business?

Start by going to any online directory of domain names at,, or other. If the name you’ve chosen is not already registered, you can pay the online directory an annual fee for the rights to use the domain name. You can also buy an existing name from its owner at a typically higher cost.

How can I find profiles on typical industry customers?

There are a few places you might try to locate these kinds of statistics: Trade Associations: Trade and industry groups often conduct extensive market research and make this research available to members. While they often focus on national or statewide trends, you might find local statistics through a group’s local chapter. You can also get valuable trade information from ocal Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Centers and business sales tools like IBISWorld. The SBDC can also provide relevant, up-to-date information on your industry though tools such as this one. An SBDC consultant can be valuable to address this issue.

How do I find suppliers for my business?

Besides using online search engines to find specific suppliers, SBDC consultants have information concerning international, governmental, and private suppliers for your business. Another option is to attend trade shows. Trade shows are a great place to track down suppliers and wholesalers. Trade Show News Network at is a way to find those shows and the suppliers who attend them.

What are some resources to help with marketing research?

Free: SBDCnet Industry Links – resources by industry (click on the “Industry Information Links” in the blue bar). Industry Resources Reports – guide to industry information, research, and analysis for over 400 industries. County Business Patterns – lists establishments, payroll and employee size for all U.S. counties by SIC. Paid: Northern Light Market Strategic Research Portals – market and competitive intelligence. BizMiner – reports on industry, market and financial trends by size of business. or IBISWorld (see a SBDC consultant) – search U.S. markets by SIC code. – databases of market research reports

What is a Sales Pipeline?

A sales pipeline is a visual snapshot of where prospects are in your sales process. Sales pipelines show you how many deals a business is expected to close in a given week, month or year.Typically a sales pipeline is a plan viewed or maintained in a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free service Google provides to help your buisness claiim and manage its free Google listing. The listing is a panel with details about your business that appears in the right side of the search screen whenever a user searches for your business by name.

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