Getting Your First Customers
A few days ago, I talked about the easy part of starting a new business - getting the legal and financial part setup. Today, the difficult part - getting your first customers.
The first customers are the most difficult to get, because you don’t have anyone to tell them about you. So you’ll have to do that yourself. Here are some tips for finding your first customers:
- Swap testimonials. I have been working with another new business owner; I’m helping her start her professional organization business, and she is helping me get my office organized. Neither of us is getting any money, but we are giving each other testimonials. She can honestly say that I have helped her and I can say the same. Having testimonials is a great way to bring in other new people - they see what someone else says about you and they feel more comfortable buying from you.
- Network. I joined Toastmasters several years ago. This is a great place to meet other professionals. I would also recommend the local Chamber of Commerce as a place to meet people. Bring your business cards and talk to people. You never know how a connection will reap benefits for you.
- Hang out where your customers do. If you are trying to sell to people online, find out where this group hangs out online - what forums do theys subscribe to, what web sites do they check regularly? Then hang out there too. If you are selling to a local market, find out where the people you want to sell to are hanging out. If they all go to the supermarket, hang up a flyer there. If they go to the mall, go there and sell or advertise.
- Walk around and introduce yourself. If you are selling locally, go door-to-door and let people know you are in the neighborhood. Don’t sell anything; just hand out your card and say hello. Ask people their opinion on your business “Do you think a professional organizer business would succeed in this town?” If they don’t want to talk, walk on and talk to someone else. If you sell on the internet, do the same thing virtually.
One of more of these techniques to get your first customers should give you a couple of people. Then it’s your job to turn these people into advocates for your business, so they tell people, and those people tell people, and away you go.
Image: sxc.huTags: getting customers, home business tips, word of mouth