I spend a lot of my time with small businesses and I hear this all the time. In my head, I am screaming.
Of course they get all their customers from "word of mouth" because they're not doing anything else to promote their businesses. I try to teach them things like how to do targeted advertising with Facebook, or reach new customers by offering delivery via DoorDash, or even just updating their listing on Google Maps so people can actually find them.
But while I'm well aware that most of these small business owners are not very internet-savvy, I'm also realizing that the internet has largely ignored the needs of the 28 million small business owners in America. With 51% of those small business owners being over the age of 50 I suppose the disconnect shouldn't come as any surprise. These are the people who used to get business the old fashioned way like being active with their local Chamber of Commerce.
For the purpose of this discussion, let's use a hypothetical client: Flo the Florist (catchy, right?). Flo is a 55 year old woman who has owned and operated a suburban flower shop for 25 years. Business has been declining steadily the past few years as some of her most loyal customers have moved, retired, or died. She is a frequent volunteer at Chamber of Commerce events, but attendance is not what it used to be. Her business is still in the black but just barely so she doesn't have a marketing budget.
What suggestions would you recommend to Flo to bring in more business?