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... tors." (Did et al, 2001, p. 1) This is the case for many larger firms however, marketing is different for small businesses as Gronroos (1994) advocates "the purpose of marketing is to establish, maintain, enhance and commercialism customer relationships so that the objectives of the parties are met. This is done by mutual exchange and fulfilment of promises." (Stokes, 2002, p. 284) 10. 1 SWE MARKETING TECHNIQUES The techniques used by SWE are cold-calling, word-of-mouth, direct mail, brochures and Internet. Mr. Desai's simple view of marketing; "It is a very expensive way of getting your view across." This view is taken by many owner-managers. 10. 1. 1 REFLECTION ON METHODS The methods used by most small businesses are interactive marketing, where they have preference for personal contact with their customers. SWE represents a perfect example where they seek conversational-relationships.
For example, word-of-mouth (Appendix 10 (i) ) is said to increase customers through recommendations, cited as the "number one source of new customers for small firms", (Stokes, 2002, p. 295) however, it is uncontrollable. The personal methods of telephone and direct selling are preferred as owners have frequent contact with customers and able to respond to needs quickly and is cost-effective. These active methods do have constraints, for example, SWE has avoided a few by employing a salesperson, thus eliminating training and support, although this could also cost them a fair amount. 10. 2 SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING IN RELATION TO SWE Marketing in small firms consist of the 4 I's, (Appendix 10 (ii) ) SWE conforms to the 'bottom-up' approach; innovation has been influenced by UCH's services, thus it can be argued that it is not classified as an innovation; the idea was looming and knowledge of promotion existed. Considerable amount of information emanates through the UCH network. This allows for 'surely but slowly' progression inheriting experience, profits and resources.
Disadvantages however prevail, for example, limited customer base, resource constraints, dependency upon management competencies, lack of planning and adventure. Small businesses are apprehensive about marketing, regarding it as "something that large firms do." Stokes (1997, quoted in Carter et al, 2000, p. 355) There is also a lack of knowledge of what marketing really is. Research by the Kingston University (1997) has indicated that marketing equates to "selling and promotion only" and "product development, pricing and distribution is largely ignored." (Stokes, 2002, p. 283) This conforms to SWE's marketing practices as evidence shows. 10. 3 IMPLICATIONS As SWE is fairly young, marketing practices have been successful in the past and match the company size and resources. The need for marketing strategies is essential for the future wish to grow and consideration of all 4 P's is necessary. 11. 0 CONCLUSION In conclusion, the outlook of SWE through critical appraisal has observed several positive and negative factors in relation to theories and research on small businesses. The theories can be criticised as some are out-of-date and do not directly relate to the general Courier and Despatch service sector or in particular to the company, therefore it has been difficult on some occasions to specifically relate. The performance of SWE has come with fluctuations in certain areas; however, Mr.
Desai and Mr. Thompson have overcome hurdles and dealt with arising concerns effectively and efficiently. The active and informal approach has led to the success in simulation with a solid foundation of customer base, UCH network and accession to resources. There are fundamental problems which could be the underlying causes of limitations or absence of strategic implementation, innovation, Human Resource Management, support and businesses planning, hence, these issues require attention.
The appraised issues of concern are of financial, marketing, management and growth in nature. The principal concern is the financial instability and uncertainty, if these are resolved with patience, time and vigilance, SWE could follow their wish to grow. The macro-environmental factors heavily influence the performance; they cannot be seized and are uncontrollable, though with careful planning of internal ities could be beneficial in the long-term to an extent. 12. 0 RECOMMENDATIONS Under close scrutiny from the succinct analysis and appraisal of SWE, it can be observed it has built something of recognised value. Identification of support elements has had a positive influence upon the company; however, it is still a journey fraught with difficulty, demanding strength as well as courage.
The market, economy, legal system and politics are four important sectors that can have an impact on company's performance but there is one particular issue that is prevalent throughout; RISK, this is inherent throughout. "The ordinary rate of profit rises with... risk." Adam Smith (quoted in Bolton & Thompson, 2000, p. 330) In discussion of future aspirations and issues of concern, recommendations have been sought to assist the desire to grow. 12. 1 ASPIRATIONS Additional resources - computer systems, E-commerce and booking collections Obtaining credit facilities from external sources, e. g. banks, and government Developing sales / doubling present turnover Setting targets Organizational structure Recruitment 12. 2 RECOMMENDATIONS 12. 2. 1 MACRO-ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Political, economical, social, technological, environmental and legal will affect SWE at any point; a watchful eye can aid in decision-making. 12. 2. 2 FINANCIAL Reduction of distribution, administrative expenses.
Buying land and buildings could be an option for the future, to increase space size. Overtrading due to widened financial gap; creditors period require a decrease in days to match debtors period, thus minimising errors in accounts to present a true and fair view. Precise financial planning necessary through managing budgets and cash flows to hypothesis future. Though Mr. Desai is apprehensive about approaching the government for funding, this could be dealt with at a later stage when financial accounts show a stable picture. 12. 2. 3 MANAGEMENT Need for further development of skills and reflecting them upon current / future employees. A simple flat organizational structure could be adopted for perceived professionalism. 12. 2. 4 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Recruiting and selecting suitable candidates, who complement others, bring skills, loyalty, creativity, commitment, reliability and diligence to the company.
Training and group dynamics enhance relationships. 12. 2. 5 BENCHMARKING Compare and measure the company on different business functions such as financial, management, production and general business excellence factors by employing a business consultant to reveal strengths and weaknesses of SWE. 12. 2. 6 INNOVATION Developing innovation for a competitive edge, this can only be undertaken with sufficient funds and resources at the later stage of expansion to seek market opportunity. 12. 2. 7 MARKETING Expansion requires awareness in the long-run goals and objectives. This will involve assessment of market potential and developing the capability to make SWE's service more competitive. Growth mission is to indicate how the service should grow through business planning of on-going reviews of progress; live, tactical and strategic and budgeting accordingly for the survival of the business. Any area where a downfall has occurred could put the company image at risk and a phase of rehabilitation may prolong growth.
Continuing the understanding of the present and potential customer needs will allow for a provision of superior customer service. As SWE is an integrated organization accompanied by a good network, they can respond to changing needs and competitors activities to exploit opportunities / threats and recognise strengths / weaknesses . Segmentation of target markets would be advantageous in the future for enhancing their tailored service. Consideration of the 4 P's. 12. 2. 8 E-COMMERCE AND TECHNOLOGY This goes hand-in-hand with innovation.
This should not be rushed, as research has shown that many business venture into this area without competencies and investment that is required; it is a known fact e-commerce is overwhelmed. If this technique is used
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Research essay sample on Human Resource Management Word Of Mouth