There is a law of nature that applies to businesses both large and small. The law is that a business either grows or it dies. There are no alternatives. The status quo is not acceptable. The failure to grow and mature spells certain death for plants, animals, and, yes, businesses.
Your business must grow, so the question is: How do you go about getting a small business to grow? Well, the most obvious way is to get more customers, sell more products, and make more money, right? That's true, but there is another source of business growth that is often overlooked.
Customers come in at least three varieties: repeat customers (I LOVE repeat customers), first-time or one-time customers, and POTENTIAL customers.
Let's concentrate on that last group, potential customers.
Where do potential customers come from? Advertising, of course, does turn potential customers into first-time customers, but there is an even better way of tapping into that potential customer base than advertising. Referrals!
When your customers or other reputable businesses refer you to their friends, family or customers, you are much more likely to convert a potential customer into a real paying customer.
So here is what you want (and need) to do. First, you want to make it very easy and even rewarding for your existing customers to refer you and your business to their family and friends. "Tell-a-friend" software is readily available for online businesses and coupons that can be given to friends are easily to make available to the customers of a brick-and-mortar business.
Don't overlook businesses that are complimentary to your business for referrals, either. If you sell doghouses, then businesses that sell animal training devices might be perfectly willing to refer their customers to you if you will refer your customers to them.
Referrals are one of the most overlooked avenues to making a small business grow and thrive!