Ask people what’s different about shopping at a local business versus a large chain, and they’ll probably tell you something like: “The owner greets me by name,” “They know everything about the products they sell,” or “They offer such unique products.”

Now, think about how often you hear people describe a big chain like that — probably not very often.

It’s the experience you provide that just can’t scale up.  You’re intimately knowledgeable about the products and services you offer and uniquely positioned to compete based on the great experiences you provide.

As luck would have it, experiences are also what people remember and like to tell others about. Those customers make up the “word” in word-of-mouth.

Small Businesses Recognize Its Potential

Alignable surveyed over 1,400 local business owners to ask about the best way to acquire new customers.  The results confirm the power of word-of-mouth marketing as the top response — chosen by business owners at a rate 3X higher than the closest alternative.

It’s clear small business owners recognize word-of-mouth as the most effective way to acquire new customers.

Graph WOM

It’s Closer Than You Think

Research shows that roughly 80 percent of local business customers come from a 5-mile radius around your business.  That means your “word” does not need to travel far, but the more “mouths” you have in the area that know about you the greater the likelihood that your best next customer will run into one of them.

That was the case for Rachael Wood of Bare Bones BARKtique dog bakery in Aurora, CO.  After joining Alignable, she was able to connect with other businesses in her local community, and establish relationships that led to increased word-of-mouth and  referrals.

Rachael reached out to let us know she had “connected with several potential business partners as well as customers in [her] direct industry.”

While you may already be thinking about generating word-of-mouth through your customer base, don’t overlook the importance of tapping into the collective wisdom of other business owners and establishing partnerships.

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about how you can get more word-of-mouth for your business, download Alignable’s Word-of-Mouth eBook.