Written by Carissa Abazia

Every business owner wants to grow.

I’ve grown my business over the past two years, and I have done it by helping not only my clients but also my friends and colleagues who have the same drive: be better, help more, grow, and grow some more.  Over that time, what I’ve found is that despite evolving technology, the best and most reliable source of business growth is the same as it’s been for thousands of years: through referrals from trusted friends, colleagues and family members.

I was in Public Relations/Communications for seven years. Following that life, I was in medical device sales – the hardest job I’ve ever had. However, what I learned from both roles is that it doesn’t take complex or expensive technology to become a top salesperson, an owner, and so it goes. Instead, it takes time, focus and intention. And certainly, the one thing that makes the job much easier is this: It is not what you know, but who you know.

For most businesses, I believe that the best pathway to growth is maximizing their referral strategy. How can you motivate your past clients, current clients, customers, friends and others to spread the word about your products or services?  Be in front of the movers and shakers by doing the following:

  • Stay top of mind.
  • Provide great service.
  • Communicate what you do effectively.
  • Focus your networking efforts on places where there are high concentrations of prospective clients or prospective referral sources.

Broken down by industry, below is a list of companies and people I adore and refer. They inspire, they reciprocate, they excel and most importantly, they are my friends.


  • Acre Coffee
  • Alley 6 Distillery
  • Bird & the Bottle
  • Bowman Cellars
  • Duke’s Spirited Cocktails
  • Fern Bar
  • Iron Horse Winery
  • Stark’s Steak & Seafood
  • T.Berkley Wines
  • Trinchero Napa Valley


  • Chelsie Runnings, Better Homes & Gardens
  • Corey Ghiringhelli, Compass
  • Cypress Financial Mortgage & Investments, Inc.
  • Innovative Retirement Advisors, Inc.
  • Josh Diaz, Coldwell Banker
  • Mark Altes, Compass
  • Michael Langhals, Wine Country Group
  • Morgan and Julie Sullivan, Keller Williams
  • Sonia Quintero, Compass
  • Summit Funding, Inc.
  • Keenan McCullough, Spaulding, McCullough & Tansill LLP


  • Eliasson Marketing
  • Harvest Card
  • Reed + James Events
  • Rodan + Fields
  • Ryan Greenleaf Photography
  • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber
  • What The Fab


To learn more about these companies, CLICK HERE.

Thanks for reading!

Carissa Abazia