The Dominance of Small Businesses and Word of Mouth Referrals: Did You Know?

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Last month, we listed some stats in our newsletter. If you read that, you know that 99.9% of businesses across the US are small businesses with nearly half of all U.S. employees being employed by a small business. Yet, over 8 out of 10 small businesses have no employees and just 16% of small businesses have 1-19 employees.*

Small businesses rule. So that’s interesting!

Also interesting, advertising accounts for just 1% of a business’s revenue on average.* So what gives? Aren’t we supposed to spend a bunch of money on advertising? Of course we can, if we want to see a low ROI. Or, we can go a better route.

Did you know, 85% of small businesses get customers through word of mouth referrals?!** It’s the number one way to generate revenue with search engines coming in at number two and 59%. Word of mouth referrals have the least cost in out-of-pocket expenditures and is based on the Know You, Like You, Trust You Principle and it works!


  • Build and maintain your online presence, social media, GMB page, etc. Customers will check you out online to verify what they hear from others.
  • Survey your customers to understand what it is they Know, Like, and Trust about you.
  • Focus on customer service to create Raving Fans.
  • Ask for referrals and testimonials from those Raving Fans to help create buzz and spread the word!

* Forbes Advisor Small Business Statistics Of 2023

** Small Business Trends Philadelphia Survey 2014

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