Running a small business often requires owners to wear many different hats, including that of chief marketing officer. Sales and marketing responsibilities include finding a good balance between generating new business, customer retention, and increasing sales to existing customers. By rewarding current customers for loyalty and referral business, and reaching out to new audiences with creative offline and online marketing ideas, small business owners can expand sales and grow their customer base.


Implement a loyalty program to reward your existing customers. These programs give customers opportunities to receive special offers, discounts, or gifts in return for their continued loyalty to your business. If you run a retail establishment such as a coffee shop or restaurant, set up a simple loyalty program with stamp cards. Give customers wallet-sized cards and stamp them with each visit, providing a free or discounted item after a certain number of visits. Other businesses can offer points that customers accumulate and redeem for gifts or large discounts.


Set up a referral incentive system to encourage word-of-mouth advertising from your satisfied customers. This is a great way to gain new customers who trust the advice of their friends, family, and co-workers. Depending on the type of business, referral incentives can range from gifts to coupons for large discounts on the referrer's next purchase. Advertise your referral incentives in your place of business and on your website.


Incorporate social media marketing techniques into your sales and advertising campaign. Use social media accounts to promote your website content, in-store specials, and new product launches, and to interact with current and potential new customers. Encourage social media sharing by including share buttons on your website homepage and all online content. Add a # sign to words in status updates and tweets to attract new customers searching for those phrases. Ask your social media followers to post images or short descriptions of how your products or services helped them, or how they use them in unique ways. This can lead to multiple shares and posts on platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook, attracting new followers who may become customers.


Find an established business that shares your typical customer profile. Offer to create a special deal for their customers as a time-limited customer loyalty campaign. Develop a sales letter addressed to each customer offering a gift or free service available at your place of business, enticing new customers to sample other available products and services that they purchase.