The success of any business depends upon an effective marketing plan. Marketing can occur in many forums utilizing varying tools. Many small businesses do not create a comprehensive and coherent marketing plan. They engage in scattered shotgun approach which ends up with a diluted message and poor consequent sales.
The first thing that needs to be done is to identify a niche market. A niche is a smaller group within a larger group. An example would be in the travel business. Potential niches would include eco travel, cruises or golf travel. Once you have drilled down into this smaller group you are able to custom tailor a message which is meant to resonate with its members.
Ideally you will pick out what is termed an underserved niche. Some niches might have a multiplicity of companies pursuing it. Others might be ignored and left to searching far and wide on their own in order to find the services they desire. This type niche is prime grounds for a small business. The need is there, but the competition isn't.