Donâ€™t forget a marketing plan: As a smaller business, you should to be able to get closer to the customer and Thompson points out many of the more profitable businesses have been relationship based businesses. â€œYou have to be really focused in your marketing to make sure you get the right customerâ€”a profitable customer thatâ€™s a continuing customer.â€ He adds that marketing is a two-way street. A company can gain valuable information from the consumer. He cites Internet film rental company Netflix, which launched a contest and 50,000 customers competed to come up with better ideas on how to get people to order more video. â€œThey got the customer doing the marketing and R&D departmentsâ€™ jobs for them,â€ says Thompson.