One of the reasons many small businesses cease operations is their failure properly to segment the market. Much of the decision-making entailed in defining a market has been based on owners' speculations regarding their customers. The more alternatives open to a firm, the less vulnerable the firm will be to unexpected customer opinions and actions. One method for increasing the firm's alternatives can be found in an economical strategy to facilitate communication between a firm and its customers. The combination of depth-type interviews and Q method is employed in an actual case study with a Small Business Institute client to facilitate communication with his customers and, in so doing, to assist in properly segmenting the market.

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Journal Operant Subjectivity
Leonard J. Barchak, & Paul R. Arnold. (1991). Reducing Vulnerability by Assessing Customer Business Styles. Operant Subjectivity, 14(2), 49–60. doi:10.15133/j.os.1991.001