Getting the first set of customers has always been a daunting task for many businesses. This guide is aimed at giving you some tips to help you conquer this challenge without spending so much money.
- Start with your Circle of Friends (and Family)
These are the most likely to buy from you or give you good referrals. Friends – or their friends, family, neighbours, former business colleagues or suppliers, people you know socially, at your place of worship, in the gym, former place of work, and so on. Build your list of these ‘warm’ contacts and use them to get the word out.
- Tell them what you are doing
Send a personal letter and follow up with a phone call a few days later. Or set up a breakfast, lunch or coffee meeting or just give them a ‘catch-up’ phone call. Tell them about your new business and create interest and excitement in what you are doing.
- Let them sample your Product or Service
Whatever your product or service, you can offer it to your first customer(s) free. Even if this costs you some money, it is usually cheaper than most other marketing activity. And it doesn’t have to be free forever – you can charge these customers next time they buy from you.
- Offer a good deal
It’s a good idea to offer a very favourable price to your first customers. We’ve all seen the “Opening Special – This Week Only” deals. Encourage people to give you a try.
- Use Social Network Effectively
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other Social Networking sites are free and great for getting the word out. Simply list your product or service, offer a low-cost introductory special and explain that you’re just getting started.
6. Ask for Referrals & testimonials
Remember to ask your first customers for referrals and a testimonial to put on your website and in your marketing material. Satisfied customers encourage more customers.