10 Tips on How to Find Customers in the Startup Phase
What is the most difficult thing about starting a business? For many, the answer is “finding customers”. Unfortunately, having a good product or service that you are sure will be a success is not enough. You have to go out and find customers. In fact, it is important for most entrepreneurs to be out and recruit new customers on a regular and frequent basis even after their business becomes successful.
When it comes to attracting customers to their start-up business, it’s about being active on several fronts. Firstly, it is important to bind existing customers to the company so that they become loyal and partly it is about finding new customers. This is not only to fill the gap behind those who have passed on to a competitor but also to increase market share and increase sales. Below, we share our top tips for finding customers as a startup.
1. Develop a plan
Think about who could be the perfect customer. If your company is active in the B2B sector, it is important to try to answer the question of which department of a company is most likely to buy your product or service. Identify which decision-maker (title and/or role) would be the one who makes the decision to invest in your product or service.
2. Determine the length of the shopping cycle
Is it a quick decision to buy your product or service, and can that decision be made by a single person? Or are you selling something that has a long shopping cycle that may involve multiple people? The answer influences how you set up your marketing, whether you are working on the market long term or if you can attract with short offers.
3. Think about how the customer usually finds products or services like yours
You have to answer three questions: 1) Is your perfect customer active in social media? 2) Which influencers are most likely to listen to them? 3) Is there a pattern? When answering these questions, make sure your company and your information are where the perfect customer can find it, when they are ready to buy.
4. Develop a clear offer for each prospective customer
Offer free or heavily discounted products. It can also be services that have a high perceived value for the customer but a low cost for you. This applies whether your service or product has a short or long sales cycle.
5. Fine-tune your personal network
Ask your friends if they know of people who can use your service or benefit from your product. You can offer friends and business associates a referral fee for tips that actually leads to business.
6. Benchmark and study your successful competitors
Where do your competitors advertise? In which networks are they active and what tactics do they use? What works for them may just as well work for you.
7. Develop a loyalty program
Loyal customers, after all, are your long-term goal. For the newly started sports shop, it is important to attract people into the store, for example by offering a free water bottle for every purchase. The new grocery store at the corner can distribute “buy five – pay for four” coupons.
8. Make your customers your sellers
Turn your customers into your best salespeople. Provide your clients with ready-made marketing materials that are easy to share on the web and create traceable links that generate traffic to your site. You can also create a competition to tickle your customers’ competition nerves. Make a leaderboard. At the end of the competition period, you can reward them.
9. Ask for feedback when your potential customers are not buying
In cases where a potential customer does not buy your product or service, you must find out the reasons for it. Have they found a product or service that better serves their needs? Have they decided not to make a purchase at all? Do they just need a little more time to decide? Use all this information to learn and make the necessary changes to grow your sales.
10. There is no obvious path to success
No universal recipe for success does not exist. There really isn’t an obvious path to success, and this depends on a number of different factors.
The more you systematize your work to find customers, the greater the likelihood of this chance occurring.
Once you have mapped your ideal customer and know how to collect information, you should develop offers for him or her. Don’t underestimate your personal network and make sure your customers are your salespeople. Last but not least, do not forget those who do not buy from you.