Imagine a row of trees with only one or two thriving and in full bloom. Where does your attention go? Your focus doesn’t go to the small spindly looking trees with no leaves but rather to the ones with full blossoms and leaves. Many businesses tend to cut back their marketing and wonder why they’re not attracting the business they need in order to thrive.

Scores of business owners cut off critical marketing and promotion limbs because they hallucinate they can’t afford such things in times like these.

I’m here to tell you that someone in your industry is thriving during these economic times. Hopefully it’s you. If not, you are in luck since this article discusses how you can start to blossom, be more attractive to your ideal clients, and grow your business.

There are plenty of things you can do that won’t cost you anything but some time, energy and ingenuity.

Here are eight simple and effective ways you can grow your business.

  1. Give a talk – leverage your time and message by sharing your story with more than one person at a time. There are alway groups in your area that are looking for people with a good message to speak to their organization. This is not the time to give your sales pitch. This is the time to let people see and hear who you are and how they can benefit.
  2. Write an article – Provide information on how you help, or have helped, people with your products and services. Suggest tips and tricks that can help make your prospect’s life easier, better or less stressful.
  3. Ask for referrals – One of the best prospects for your business is someone that has been referred to by a satisfied client. The mistake many business owners and sales professionals make is never asking for referrals. They hide behind the false assumption that it is unprofessional to ask for referrals. Here’s the newsflash, it’s unprofessional to not ask if you wish to grow your business. If you don’t ask, you will be out of business; without out a profession.
  4. Provide discount coupons – Incentivize people to come to your place of business or website by offering discounts. It works. Determine what works for you and your client and just do it.
  5. Leverage social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, etc.) – This could be a whole article unto itself. Leveraging these tools is the new gold rush. Growing your business is all about growing your database of prospects. Social media makes this so easy. Don’t miss the “Land Grab” opportunity.
  6. Maximize your website – Is your website set up to convert visitors to clients by being interactive or is it just a nice and expensive electronic brochure? Have a compelling , targeted to your ideal client, that engages them and invites them to take action to either buy or learn more.
  7. Offer free reports – Create a special report on how your client can either avoid making costly mistakes or benefit from a better strategy. Offering this as a free download from your website is a great way to capture prospect contact information and grow your business.
  8. Pick up the phone and call 8 – Good things happen when people connect. Imagine how your business would be different three months from now if you were in the habit of making eight outbound calls every working day. Connect with prospects and existing clients to communicate new opportunities.

If you are not implementing these ideas, you are starving at the barbecue. I would suggest introducing one or two of these strategies into your business plan starting this month and implementing a couple more starting the following month. You and your clients will be glad you did.

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