Increasing Your Revenue: Become Your Customer’s Advocate

Being a small business owner can cause you to be so focused on your own business you overlook one of the most gratifying reasons for being in business in the first place, the opportunity to help other businesses grow.

One method of doing that is to become your customers’ advocate. This practice isn’t just limited to buying the product or service your customers’ offer, but taking the time to understand what business they’re in and looking for opportunities to provide a reference or referral.

The synergy between businesses whose owners practice this is contagious. My hairdresser, Lauri, is the poster child for this.   In her salon she has a display that holds the business card of every client she has who is a small business owner. When one of us is in the chair and another customer is waiting, she introduces us by explaining what business we are each in.

She’s not doing this to grow her business, she’s doing this to because she has taken the time to learn about each of her customers’ businesses and is personally invested in supporting their success. As a result, we are all invested in Lauri’s business being successful.

What opportunities are there for you to become an advocate for your customers?

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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