Small Business Marketing – Opportunities

In the third of this four-part series, we will consider another of the most important considerations for analysis of the marketing efforts of a small business. A small business’ opportunities are the third part of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and reveal where the business has future growth and development chances. Opportunities can take many different forms, and should be examined and periodically reviewed to notice any changes, as they may happen suddenly, then disappear again just as quickly. Business opportunities can include some or all of the following:

  • Emerging trends which require your products and services
  • New technologies which increase demand for your product or service
  • Favorable changes to customer characteristics (demographics, psychographics, etc.)
  • Changes in customer tastes, preferences, or values
  • Poor competitor performance leading to dissatisfied customers ready for a change
  • Newly unsatisfied customer needs
  • Problems or gaps in existing offerings (creating opportunities for follow-up sales, cross sales, and up sales)
  • Completely new desires on the part of customers
  • Discovering new uses for old products and services which satisfy other market segments
  • New or expanded product and service offerings for your firm
  • New or expanded product and service offerings for other firms which complement your offerings
  • Changes which make substitute goods or services less desirable
  • Additional applications of recent research and development activities
  • Changes to current laws, regulations, or rules which allow opportunities which had been restricted
  • Beneficial changes to a supplier’s terms and conditions, or new suppliers becoming available
  • Beneficial tax changes or incentives for business development
  • Favorable side effects which are realized from using your product or service
  • Access to a greater supply of human capital with industry experience, fresh perspectives, or both
  • Less competition, as some competitors leave the market or go out of business
  • Decreased cost of raw materials used in making your product or providing your service

Put simply, the more of the above patterns that are present, the greater the amount of opportunity that exists in the market which can be utilized to start a new venture, or continue an existing operation. Even when there are fewer opportunities to make use of, highly successful businesses can still be established, but the amount of skill required to do so is significantly greater. Generally, the businesses which make the best use of their opportunities in a rapid, efficient, and effective manner are best positioned for success in the future.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays

Do Courier Companies Ship Goods For People That Don’t Have Accounts?

There are many times when a company can go for a long period of time without needing to ship anything, especially if they are in a service rather than product based line of work. However, there usually comes a time during the course of any business’s lifespan when they will in fact need to use their Albuquerque courier company to ship something for them. When this happens, the question immediately becomes whether or not they are going to have to open an account just to ship one item with a courier company.

Usually, if you want to ship something with a courier company without opening an account first this is an option that is going to be available to you. There might still be a limited number of business courier companies out there which are only going to ship for corporate clients that have opened an account, but these are going to be in the minority. Most courier companies will have at least some form of their service available to everyone, regardless of their account status.

If you do want to ship something with a courier company but don’t want to open an account first, realize that you’re going to be treated differently than those customers who do have an account with the courier company. The first way in which this will manifest is in the fact that you will have to pay for all shipping up front. You will not have the option of charging the delivery to your account and settling the debt at a later date.

If you ship with a courier company without opening an account with them, you are also not going to have access to their full complement of services. There are a number of services that courier companies offer which are usually reserved for people that have accounts with the company. This will include most of the online features that you have to sign in to use, including online order placement and in some cases GPS order tracking.

There are some advantages to not having an account with a courier company though. This means that you’re able to shop around easily to as many companies as you want, obtaining shipping quotes and ETAs. This can help you find that perfect courier company that is going to serve you best, which will then prepare you to open an account, but to do so with the best possible company.

What is an Emergency Courier Service?

Emergency courier service is something that is offered by many if not most courier companies in order to respond to those concerns for shipping which cannot be handled by the regular service options which they make available. Many times this will include services from an airport courier service, as if speed is truly the most important thing for an emergency delivery than anything which is traveling a significant distance will have to be carried at least part of the way via air transport.

You can basically break down the emergency services which are offered by couriers into two different categories. There is medical emergency courier services, and business emergency business courier service. The business model is far more common.

Medical emergency courier service is only offered by those companies which already have all of the required permits and vehicles that allow them to transport medical material to begin with. These couriers have special training and equipment that allows them to move things like blood, test samples, and drugs. Sometimes, a medical emergency arises which demands a STAT delivery, which is what the emergency courier service will provide.

Business emergency courier services are used when time sensitive deliveries absolutely must be made as fast as possible. A good example of when this happens is when a manufacturing or industrial facility has a breakdown and needs parts delivered as fast as possible in order to get back online.

Typically speaking, all methods of transportation will be used for emergency shipping. This means that ground vehicles will be used when most practical, but air travel will be utilized if cross country shipping is required. Helicopters are also used sometimes for emergency shipping if they are deemed to be the most efficient shipping method.

Emergency couriers always have extra vehicles in their fleet which are solely dedicated to the shipping of goods on an emergency basis. If they were to use these vehicles for their regular shipments as well, they could be too far away or already full of cargo when an emergency order came in. Instead, they are kept ready and waiting, usually with drivers notified of being ‘on call’ so that they can be called in on a moment’s notice to make a delivery. This has been found by most couriers that offer this type of service to be the most efficient model under which emergency delivery service can be offered.