Marketing Tips for Small Businesses: Case studies that will remind you to think ahead.

by Nov 6, 2014Brand, Tactical0 comments

One of the best things that a new company can do is have a long-term focus. Start-ups are extremely dynamic. Business owners are constantly making crucial decisions during the early stages of their small business’ life. It is very easy to overlook the impact that these initial decisions can have on a company’s future performance. Here are a few examples:

Think ahead.



Burtan spends $170,000 to produce 10,000 units of their unique snowboard carrying cases. It is only after the product is produced that the business owners observe a flaw in the design. They don’t have enough cash on hand to finance yet another production run. It would be tempting to sell the snowboard bags, despite the defect, to offset their production costs and increase their cash flow. However, selling a defective product can lead to a warranty-claims crisis and ruin their brand’s reputation from the get-go.



Oreganic Botanical Garden purchased an off-the-shelf point of sale (POS) software because it is much less expensive than having one custom made for them. Besides, the standardized program they opted for has more than enough features. By the 4th year, their business has seen tremendous growth. The business owners are considering franchising Oreganic, but have run into a serious problem. Their off-the-shelf POS software doesn’t have the ability or capacity they need to track, store, share and analyze their inventory and purchase data across multiple locations. A significant financial investment is needed in order to build and implement an entirely new program, let alone train 62 part time employees on how to properly use it before they can even think of selling their franchise.



Word quickly spread about Mecanfix Garage, as they only charge $70/hour as compared to region’s $105 /hour standard service rate. James, the owner and sole mechanic, is a recent trades school graduate and is specialized in repairing Japanese makes. Mecanfix was doing very well. They were booked from 8-4 everyday for a few weeks at a time, when most garages were finding it hard to fill an entire day. Soon enough, James started servicing more and more German luxury cars, because their owners were tired of paying $150/hour at the dealership. General maintenance, like brake and fluid changes, was easy to perform on any vehicle, regardless of the make. One day, one of James’ regular clients asked him to rebuild his Audi’s engine. Although it would be tempting to take on a $3000 job, James has never worked on German turbocharged 4 cylinder engines and knows very little about Audis to begin with. He could risk his garage’s reputation if something were to go wrong with the job.

Key take-away:

Think about the long-term consequences that can result from your business’ short-term decisions!

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Meet the author.

Taro Abarbanel-Uemura

Marketing Strategist

Meet Fortified Marketing's founder and lead marketing consultant. Taro loves reading fascinating articles on various marketing-related subjects, just as much as he enjoys writing about them. When he isn’t savouring a latte while working on his newest blog post, he can be found at a coffee shop in Ottawa's Little Italy, or marathoning shows and documentaries on Netflix.

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