In the UK, some 95 per cent of firms are considered small businesses. Although there is a general agreement in the literature that a market oriented firm is one in which all employees are committed to the continuous creation of superior value for the customer, what is not clear is whether the market orientation concept is appreciated by the small business owner. A postal survey is conducted among owner‐managers aimed at assessing marketing practices within the UK small business sector. The results identify three key strategies (management/staff relationship, profitability and changing markets) employed by owner‐managers. Conclusions, managerial implications and future research directions are discussed.
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