Revenues are the lifeblood of every small business in the United States. Without them, a company will not be able grow and prosper. And when revenues start to evaporate, a small business might end up having to close its doors for good. In order to keep a steady stream of revenue, small businesses need repeat sales and referrals from their best customers. There are a number of ways to increase customer retention, and this Balboa Capital blog entry features three of them. We think it’s fitting to share real-world tips on how to retain customers because this week marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week.

It’s who you know

Small businesses in just about every industry offer products and services that involve some form of ongoing relationship with customers. These include accounting firms, health clubs, restaurants, hotels, medical doctors and dentists, to name a few. And let’s not forget the relationship between equipment manufacturers and their dealers and customers.

The high cost of getting new customers

Acquiring new customers is one of the most time-consuming and costly undertakings for any small business. It requires a good strategic plan and business marketing efforts that target your best prospects. If your offline and online advertising campaigns reach the wrong audience, they are a waste of money. That is why you should consider investing in cost-effective strategies aimed at retaining your best customers – the ones who contribute the most to your bottom line. Special offers and promotions are two common ways to reward your best customers, and generate additional revenue in the process.

Develop customers for life

Let’s assume that your small business has a good value proposition and a product or service that your intended audience needs. Now, all you need to do is maintain good business practices to help keep your best customers for life. First, always deliver on your promise and deliver a consistent brand experience. Second, create a pricing strategy that avoids steep increases, because this might cause your loyal customers to defect to one of your competitors. Third, keep in touch with your customers with opt-in email newsletters and promotions, and by remaining active on social marketing applications. Fourth, when your customers have questions about your company, get back to them promptly, whether it’s via email or telephone.