networking

Building Your Business Starts with Building a Network: How Referrals Work

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If you've followed Newton Peach Marketing for any period of time, know how much we value a referral system, and how we are big supporters of networking when it comes to building businesses of all sizes. When new business owners (or even longtime business owners for that matter) hear the terms "referral" or "networking" though, they could be confused by exactly what those words mean, and how they play into growing a client base and seeing their profits increase. It's important to know that knowing the meaning of the terms matters for sure, but knowing how to implement them in your own business matters just as much, and will be key in seeing maximum growth.

When we mention referrals, we don't just mean a positive review from a previous customer. A referral can be a customer, but it could also be a friend, a fellow business owner, or someone you've met through a specific referral program. Regardless of what your connection with the individual might be, what's important to note is how they help your business through a referral. While a simple Google review is helpful, and will help you build a reputation, a true referral is when an individual specifically connects you with a "hot" lead for a new customer or client. This essentially means they contact the lead and mention your name, give them your contact information (this could be a phone number, Email address, website, or even your business card), and encourage them to utilize your product or service. By using their personal relationship with the person they increase your chances exponentially over a simple cold call. We all know how important word of mouth is when it comes to business, whether finding the best place in town to get a good burger, to the best plumber for a leaking pipe. Referrals are really an "organized" word of mouth process. They help you get the word out about your product or service in a personalized way, and that can be huge in growing your business locally and beyond.

A network is also key in growing your business, and is essentially made up of referrals at its heart, although it goes beyond this. A network, in this context, is a group of people you can count on for continued referrals. This could be something you've just built on your own, or through a club or organized group of business owners, but regardless it's meant to grow on itself and lead to increased referrals over time. Picture it like a tree. You start with a single referral (the "seed" if you will) and that grows into a client for you. That client then refers you to three of their friends and/or fellow business owners (your first branches), which eventually turn into steady customers, and then refer you to several of their friends. Over time, that initial referral and new client turn into countless referrals and/or customers, and that can lead to explosive business growth if it takes off. This is why many business owners invest in clubs or organizations that are based on building networks. Newton Peach Marketing is proud to be part of our local BNI chapter here in Winter Haven. BNI has over 9,000 chapters around the world, and while they are a wonderful option for many businesses, there are plenty of smaller, localized options as well, including your own local Chamber of Commerce.

Regardless of how you choose to go about growing your business with referrals and networking opportunities, we hope you'll look into somehow incorporating the above techniques into your plan for the coming year. We've seen so many clients experience the excitement of growth by simply building a group of referral contacts. We've also seen business owners grow in big ways by taking time to invest in their business and intentionally work on building their brand and getting their name out in the community. Newton Peach Marketing specializes in customizing digital marketing plans for businesses of all sizes, and we tailor everything to your needs, your budget, and what YOU want for your business. How can we help you and become part of your network? Give us a call for more information or to schedule a consultation.