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M.B.W. Enterprises

Mercurio and Stettner started M.B.W. Enterprises in October. So far, the operation has amassed a catalog of 3,500 instructional and specialty videotapes and won business from firms like Paychex Inc. as well as from a number of Rochester-area Head Start programs.
Thousands of specialized videotape titles are on the market, says Stettner, who notes that business training tapes for firms like Paychex and parenting tapes for Head Starts are only the tip of the iceberg. Other tapes tell you how to train a dog, improve your golf game or teach a bird to talk.
However, very few are available at local video stores, which concentrate almost entirely on best-selling entertainment titles.
Furthermore, Stettner says, no one else systematically markets a catalog of such titles to retail buyers.
The partners, both of whom have long experience in marketing, say they have extensive knowledge of available titles, especially those related to business. But while Stettner sees a vast and virtually unexploited market, he admits the firm is not quite ready to cash in on it.
M.B.W. cannot yet afford an 800 number or advertising in national print media to hype its catalog. Thus, it is limited to regional marketing efforts.
Overhead costs are low. Stettner and Mercurio are the staff, and M.B.W. buys from a Pennsylvania wholesale cooperative that maintains some 70,000 titles.
Titles are shipped directly to customers at M.B.W.’s request, so the Rochester firm can keep zero inventory.
By carefully building its own catalog and selective, direct-mail marketing, M.B.W. can methodically build its customer base, Stettner says.
He calls the firm’s first four months very encouraging. If sales continue to build at its initial rate, M.B.W. will have an 800 line by year’s end, with national advertising and a computerized ordering system to follow in 1996.
Says Stettner: “I don’t know how far we’ll go, but the opportunity is unlimited.”

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