Small businesses live and die off the words of their clients. For every glowing review on Yelp or Facebook, there's always the one or two middling or disastrous reviews and those, as much as small business owners hate to acknowledge, are always the most detrimental; a new customer will always remember the bad review they saw.
Which is why small businesses need to take word of mouth seriously. When you're relatively new or in an area that's overlooked most of the time, the thing that will make you stand out is what makes you different from the competition, how you treat newcomers, and the quality of your product. If you are exceptional, the talk-of-the-town should be positive. And positivity breeds more positivity.
Take this story for example: last week, a man stumbled into a fish and chips restaurant in Canada after he had a hankering for the English junk food staple. There, this man had incredible fish and chips. He got to meet the owner which, according to him, was a stand-up guy, ran a great business, and was incredibly passionate about his business despite its current struggling.
This man took to social media, wrote a glowing review of the establishment, and now this small fish and chips spot in Canada is bustling: it had the busiest day in its seven years since opening.
What's the lesson here? You can spend money on ads or try to cater to new trends, but nothing is more powerful than the voice of your clients. Utilize that in a positive way and that can turn into success.