The most important thing in business is to get your first customer.
Here we will discuss a simple way to do this.
If independence, not riches, is your first goal (the riches can come later), then this method is for you.
If you’re looking to be the next startup whiz kid, you may need to keep looking.
In this article, I describe a simple (not easy) method for getting customer #1.
This business’s purpose is to feed you. That’s my assumption. So I based all my advice on that. My figuring is that if it feeds you, you can then move on to bigger and better things.
SO HERE WE GO:
- Make your idea specific
- Clarify for yourself what the idea should do for YOU.
- Create a simple offer – AKA, what are you selling?
For the people who ask “WHY?”, here’s why:
- Vague things don’t sell. If people can’t understand it, they can’t buy it, nor can they refer you (this is huge! You need referrals to survive).
- Should this idea make you rich? Fulfill your desire to be independent? Let you run a website? If you don’t know what it’s doing for you, you will not be able to make good decisions about how to modify it.
- If you don’t create a clear offer to sell a service or product and deliver it, then you can never really get a customer. Customers BUY. I see too many people working with “customers” who haven’t paid them anything and never will. It’s easy to get people’s business, it’s HARD to get their MONEY.
It’s easy to get people’s business, it’s HARD to get their MONEY.
THEN ASK PEOPLE TO BUY IT:
- Go to your target market and offer them the offer
- Listen to their feedback and adapt your idea, always keeping in mind what it must to for you to be successful.
- Adjust the offer and keep moving.
People can’t buy something you haven’t offered them.
SPOILER ALERT: Someone will say YES.
Once you get the first customer, YOUR FOCUS MUST BE ON SERVICE. You will learn so much from this first customer. Keep in mind you may lose them. Don’t let it crush you. It’s not about their money, it’s about your learning.
Not until you get a few of them can you really understand the similarities between them and what your business really should be.
I’ll say it a different way:
Ingredients for success:
- A specific idea (If you can’t answer “WHO” it’s for, then it’s not specific enough)
- A plan B
- An offer (Price, Benefit, Commitment)
- Action and refinement.
This method does three things:
- Keeps you from analysis paralysis.
- Tests whether your market will buy your product/service before you spend tons of time building something.
- Keeps you adaptable, so that you can keep going if your Plan A is wrong (it probably will be at least slightly wrong).
Things you don’t need at first:
- A website (unless it’s a super simple 1 page kick out from something like WIX or square space… it better not take you more than an hour to make)
- Business cards.
- A product (You need a CAPABILITY… but not necessarily a finished product, there’s a difference that can be elaborated on later)
That’s it. This can be built on more, but this is my rough thoughts for a Friday afternoon.
Get out there and get after it!