Charting One's Course: Exploring the Marketing Strategies & Practices of Small Businesses
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Generally speaking, three months in the life of a college student is just a blip of time. One's activities are often routine and rarely life altering. But during the three months I worked at The Stratford Company from 9:00-3:00, Monday through Friday, my business horizons expanded. I was transformed from a fledgling, inexperienced senior to a confident and knowledgeable business student eager to chart my future and make my mark in the world. Thus, I selected for this written product, the title Charting One's Course: Marketing a Small Business From Theory to Practice. The assignments and projects I experienced during my WE SIP (Work Experience Senior Individualized Project) were rich and varied. I was challenged to think creatively and critically. Under the tutelage of my mentor, Tim Moffit, I explored areas of marketing and brokering businesses, valuing properties and managing small businesses. I was treated as a valued employee; in fact more like a personal assistant then a student intern. I was given a great deal of responsibility and even the key to the office. Due to the broad-based, multi-dimensional nature of my work at the Stratford Company, the option of conducting comprehensive research was impossible. I therefore narrowed the focus of my research to strategies specific to Stratford's marketing needs. The work contained herein reflects three months of research, hands on experience, work products, personal thoughts, and feedback from Tim Moffit, Donna Hetzel and my parents. The documentation is divided into three main sections. The first section consists of a research-based overview of successful marketing strategies employed and documented by noted professionals. Several of these researched strategies I implemented successfully at work. Part two focuses on my day-to-day work experiences and includes excerpts from daily journal entries as well as substantive products that I completed. The paper concludes with my evaluation of the eleven week WE SIP experience and the relationship of my SIP to previous academic work and future career goals.