Getting the First Customer for Your Startup

Starting a new business is the dream of many but not an easy task. It needs a carefully thought unique business idea. Identify the gap in the market. Collect necessary information. You make arrangements for seed money through equity or by financing. Now you set the wheel in motion by having your products or services ready for delivery. Everything seems so good, so far, working fine as per plans. Startups Fail for many reasons but failing to find the first customer is the important one. Finding the first customer is a real challenge for any startup.  

Making First Sales – The Real Challenge 

Your products are ready for delivery. It is now the real challenge every startup has to face. Completing your first sale and getting your first customer is not an easy task for a startup. Where to sell your product? Who is interested in your product? A new business needs to have extensive market research. You need a compelling marketing drive with thorough knowledge of the efficiency of marketing channels that can best attract your potential customer. 

A new business needs to know how its competitors are moving the market. What sales techniques they are using for reaching customers. Following are some time-tested tips that help a new business launching its successful sales journey. 

Customer Portrait

Imagination is perhaps the best tool that the human mind uses for understanding things. The same is true in knowing your customer. You have a specified product that meets the specific needs of a specified person. Then why worry about the whole population of earth. Be honest to concentrate upon the segment who really can be happy with your products. Try to know them and know the best possible way.

You need to know about the customer segment. Who are they? Where they belong?, How they find your product? How you deliver the product to them? These are the questions that will shape up the portrait of your first customer. Now put your offer before them using all the available tools, including digital marketing. Get ready to serve your first customer as he is already on the way to find your product. 

Connect to your Target Market

You have already worked hard to know your target market while “painting a customer portrait”. Your target market is a place from where you can attract your customers. The process of finding your target market is an easy task in the modern-day cyber world. Use social media and online communities. Find out the groups and communities having similar interests that of your potential customers. Tell them about your product, its features, price, and availability/delivery sources. Trade shows, conferences, and traditional marketing channels, of course, are strong sources of getting your first customer. 

Know the Customer Concern

You need to know the “Pain Pints” of your potential customer. People do have their concerns. Your product is no exception. People must be asking more about the feature, price, delivery, and future availability. The “pain points’ or concerns could be about another specific issue your customers are facing. Your product and business model must satisfy the needs and concerns of your customers. Otherwise, you are convincing them to move away at the first available substitute. 

Join the Club

Like humans, the business also survives in the community, not in isolation. Every niche of business has its association, club, community, and forum. Join the community of your niche of business. That is the place where like-minded customers are already connected. These forums help the new entrant to introduce itself to potential customers. 

Promotion Drive

You are new in the business. Nobody knows your product. How you can expect a stranger to come, buy and risk his hard-earned money on your product. You need to run an exhaustive promotion drive to make your potential buyer familiar with your product. It can be anything from launching an advertising campaign to offer free samples to your customers. You can also sign with retailers to put your products on a more visible display to attract customers. Again it can be discounted price, free delivery, and other loyalty programs. 

Start From Your Circle

There is nothing wrong if you start finding your first customer among the people you know. They can trust your product without raising questions. They will be your free-of-cost ambassadors if satisfied with your product. They will not become your loyal customers but will spread the word about your product in their circles. Your circle will start circling among the other groups. That will not only bring you a first customer but a chain of customers. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

  • Umar Hayat
  • The author has rich management exposure in banking, textile, and teaching in business administration.