NEW YORK ( MainStreet) - What's happening in small business today? 1. How to build a business that cannot fail. Most people start a business because they think they can sell something or know something that others don't (and hope that others will pay to receive). However, a primary reason why so many businesses fail is because they aren't focusing on their customers - especially finding and keeping profitable customers, according to John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing.
"No matter if you're an accountant, consultant, plumber or jeweler, your main job is to get out there into some segment of the market you hope to serve and ask them what they want, what they don't have and what they are willing to pay for, even if what they want isn't what you want to sell - or maybe especially if that's the case," Jantsch says. Jantsch warns that the process will take time. He suggests entrepreneurs test their marketing - everything from packaging to pricing to branding to the business model with their target market and learn what works and what doesn't. "Once you do this, you can move to building and scaling a marketing action plan that turns this process into consistent and predictable results," he says. 2. Two fashion entrepreneurs try their hand out at owning their own stores. Clothing and lingerie designer Julie Erinc and her husband, Metin, a former wholesale clothing seller, seem to be taking the NoHo section of Manhattan by storm. In just one year they've opened up four clothing stores and hope to open three more, according to DNAinfo.com. Their stores -- BrowNY International, Designers' Collective and pop-up store Hip Hop USA -- all opened on the same block in the past year. They opened their fourth store this month, a women's clothing boutique that sells new and vintage clothing and jewelry, DNAinfo.com says. Erinc, who has designed for companies including Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropology and Dillard's, says she wanted a place where she could sell items she has collected and her own designs. She opened multiple stores because she didn't think she could turn a profit with just one store opened.