Running a business of any type, including service-based businesses, is hard work, and increasing cash flow is no different. As a business owner, your hands are tied in both the day to day handling of things, as well as managing everything on the back end. If this is you, a simple and relatively hands-off approach to increasing your cash flow would sound enticing, wouldn’t it? Well, we’ve got one: referral programs.
Here is why your service-based business should have one!
- They are great for stimulating work-of-mouth marketing as customers will have a bigger incentive to share their good experiences with friends. This helps you establish greater brand awareness and build your good reputation.
- It will increase your customer base.
- You will acquire better leads; your existing customers will send friends and family to you and because these new customers have been referred by people they trust, they automatically have more trust in you.
- It is a great, fairly inexpensive way to promote your business compared to other means of marketing and advertising.
Here are a few ways to get started with a referral program.
- Use an incentive for existing customers to share their good experience with you and your service, like a discount on the next service they book, for example.
- We recommend offering both the new and existing customers a bonus or discount.
- Other incentive ideas are in-store credit (if you have a small retail section within your business), gift cards to use towards your services, an extra treatment added on when they purchase a different treatment, or entry into a draw where they can win a great prize.
- Put up signage throughout your studio, office, shop, or salon that clearly state what your referral program is and how it works in a fun, punchy way.
- Post about your referral program on all social media channels, and tell every customer before they leave.
- Always show your appreciation via email or a phone call once an existing customer refers a friend or family member to you! This recognition and appreciation goes a long way.