by Elizabeth Boyd
With the high cost of marketing and advertising, many businesses are now offering substantial "finders fees" to anyone referring business their way. Referring just a few customers per month can make you BIG money with certain companies.
This is by far one of the best money making opportunities I have discovered and it costs you absolutely nothing to do. Companies are trying very hard right now to keep the advertising and marketing costs down and as a result, anyone with a computer and the internet can cash in on this opportunity.
A search on referral programs will bring you hundreds of results. For example, one company offers a $1500 reward just for referring them a good employee! Another offers $1000 for finding manufacturing companies that would like to save money on their overhead. Unreal!
Start by determining what types of companies you would be interested in providing referrals, this is especially important if you currently have a business you could share clients with. Then do a simple search of "___(industry)___ referral programs" and see what each has to offer. I ran into instances where companies offering the exact same services would offer far different referral bonuses, a difference of a $100 or more is possible, so don't go with the first company you find. Once you have found a company that offers a preferable program, do your research.
You will want to know exactly what they do and get an idea of what they charge. If one company is paying $20 for a referral and another is paying $100, odds are the company paying $20 is giving a much better price to customers. Also, be sure to read ALL fine print and terms of referral program. Most are easy to read and understand, but some require a bit more searching to find all the details. From there, the company will either have a "Referral Page" where you will be required to fill in your information, as well as the customer you are referring each time. The other option would be that the company will provide a dedicated link for you to refer potential clients to and you will be given a "Referrer Number" to track your results.
Following is a VERY BRIEF list of legitimate companies you might want to check out- Sprint Offers 50% Of Referred Clients First Bill; Prosper.com (financing) offers $35 to any new borrower; copper.net (internet) offers $10-$15; key.com (payroll services) offers 10% of monthly bill; and that's just to name a few!
As stated above, there are an overwhelming amount of companies offering referral programs. If you are seriously interested in referring a specific trade, don't give up too easy if you don't find a referral program offered right away. Check different search engines and even contact companies you are familiar with and see if they currently have a referral program or would be interested in setting a program up with you.
You can easily set up agreements with multiple companies at one time, allowing you to offer several products/services solutions and make unlimited income.
Track your results whenever possible. If you've referred 100 potential clients and receive no compensation, there may be a problem with the honesty of the company and you will need to address this immediately.