Many small business owners like us have a difficult time asking for business. It’s not that we don’t want the business, but wouldn’t it be so nice if people just handed over their money for our product or service rather than our actually having to ask them for it?

And this is one of the most common ways that small businesses stay really, really small, and sometimes peeter out altogether. They don’t ask for the business, or they don’t ask for it often enough to create a successful and sustainable business.

Here are 5 easy ways that you can ask for the business that if you implement on a consistent basis will guarantee that your business – and your bottom line – will grow.

1. Ask what they want…

The #1 way to grow a profitable business is to offer what your target market wants. And the best way to find that out is to ASK them.

At least once a year, survey your target market, asking them specifically what their biggest challenges are and what products and services they are most interested in. Periodically ask your current clients and customers the same question.

Use their responses to develop your offerings and you’ll practically guarantee yourself a source of steady in^come.

2. Ask for the sale…

Once you’ve create the product or service that your target market has told you it wants, you have to put it out there and ASK for the sale.

Don’t just stick it on your website and hope people will see it. Put together a promotion plan for each product or service you put out, including email promotions, using your online networks, utilizing your affiliates, and even consider pay-per-click advertising.

Then periodically ASK for the sale again. Plan a year’s worth of regular promotions for each of your offerings and you’ll increase your in^come.

3. Ask for the order…

A simple but oft-missed tip: Make sure that on your sales page for your product or service, you ASK for the order.

Just flat-out ASKing for the order can increase your sales dramatically.

Aside: Have you ever been on a website ready to buy something but you couldn’t find the order link and ended up clicking away in frustration to go find what you wanted somewhere else? Don’t do that to your customer. Make your order link or buy button very obvious!

4. Ask for the referral…

Another way to build your business is to routinely ASK your current clients and customers to refer others to you. You can do this via a simple email that you send out periodically. You could also offer an affiliate program to entice people to refer your products and services to others for a small commission.

5. Ask for the recommendation…

Make a request of a colleague whose offerings complement yours to recommend you and your offerings to their list. Because the people on your colleague’s list already know, like and trust him/her, they are much more likely to follow his/her recommendation.

Now you have 5 simple ways to grow your business that you can put into practice today.

© 2013 Alicia Forest International | All rights reserved.


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Alicia Forest, MBA mentors women entrepreneurs on how to build a priority-based, highly profitable business, in less than part-time hours. Get her FREE series on how you can do this too at