Great Harvest Bread has achieved success by bucking franchising trends and encouraging stores to cater to their own markets. Each store has its own menu, recipes and ingredients, and some franchisees share ideas through an online message board.
Many of the marketing strategies used for consumer marketing -- which hinge largely on demographics and attitudes -- can be applied to the small-business owner. Generally, small-business owners have higher-value homes than average, are more likely to be married with children, have a college education and have similar preferences in how they like to receive communication -- directly and by e-mail.
Sometimes businesses need to fire their customers to become more profitable, says Doug Hall, author of the "Jumpstart Your Business Brain" series. Declining profit means customers don't value what a business offers or perhaps that hangers-on are taking advantage of the business owner.
New York City officials are working to help restaurateurs understand new, sometimes confusing, regulations that ban many trans fats. The city has offered a series of workshops and created a Trans Fat Help Center, including a hotline and a Web site at notransfatnyc.org.