Marketing Strategies For a Small Business I Learned One Summer

“Sweeten the Kool-Aid boys,” He said, spewing the Kool-Aid across the sidewalk. His face contorted as the sourness crept through his cheeks. This is one of the first marketing strategies for a small business I learned one summer while on vacation.You see, my friend and I decided we would open a Kool-Aid stand. Take the five-cent pack of Kool-Aid and become cold drink moguls. We would take the profit from the sale of our first batch, invest in more, and expand until we had stands on every street corner. We were the first stand of the summer, so profits should be a windfall. Or, so we thought. We soon realized it does not matter if you’re the first in the game, if your competition has a better product than you do, then you might as well go home.That is precisely what happened; a couple of other kids from the neighborhood had seen our idea and decided they would do the same thing. The difference being they improved on our product, they added sugar to the Kool-Aid! Now, it doesn’t take an MBA to figure what happened to our customers. They fled to the competition. We tried to get back our customers by cutting our prices we went from 25 cents, to 15, then 10, a nickel. You see it does not matter what your price is, if the other guy has a better product or service, they will out sell you every time, period.After a day of drinking sour Kool-Aid, we packed up our wagon with all of the stuff, dumped out the rest of the Kool-Aid, took the fifty-cents we had made and bought Kool-Aid from our competition. We grumpily put our heads down, took turns pulling the wagon and kicking stones on the way home, wondering what we had done wrong. In a world of stiff competition, having an edge over your opposition can mean the difference in profits or losses.When choosing a particular product to sell you must believe in it, you must know it is the best product out there for your customer. If you do then this attitude will convey itself onto your customers. They will buy your product over the competition because they feel it is the best fit for them. I might not have made it big in the cold drink industry, but I did not go away empty handed either. I learned a valuable lesson that hot summer day, “Sweeten the Kool-Aid!”