First customers are usually the hardest to get. But by the time they have converted into buyers, there are many valuable lessons they can teach and it is worth your time to keep eyes and minds open for these lessons. Especially if you are serious about long term growth.
Look beyond the teething issues, the setbacks and the heartache you might have had securing your first few customers and understand instead what those challenges teach so you know how to stay on the right side of positive performance.
Know who really buys your product
The first surprise you get could be discovering who actually is your target audience! That’s right. You may have specific people in mind when you start to sell on your store. However, your product or service might appeal to an audience quite different or perhaps there was another set of people you didn’t consider would appreciate your product as well.
Say, for instance, that you are selling unique wooden DIY craft signs with messages designed to appeal to young adults and you find interior designers very interested in them too. So there is an audience you probably hadn’t considered and clearly should include in your messaging!
Set reasonable goals
Look beyond those exciting predictions of galloping growth to realistic goals that include factors like how much you should expect to order from your supplier, turnaround time for receiving deliveries from your supplier, the quality of your product, how people like to engage with it, or even how often you should expect to update your social media; which might be a challenge since in the initial stages of setting up your online store you could be operating singlehandedly and multitasking like crazy!
What is your special value?
Say you sell freshly baked cupcakes online. Your customer is going to buy your product if they perceive that it can enhance their life in some special way. So keep an eye open to find out what your first customers find special about your product. Does it match your idea? Or does it add more value? If you can reach out and understand first hand from your first customers what makes your product special for them, you know what you can develop on.
How to create your own funnel
Your funnel is simply the path you want to send your customers down – that is to say; make visitors to your site your subscribers, and make them actual buyers for your product or service, and then make them repeat buyers! Yes; that’s what your funnel is – sending them down the ever-narrowing path that leads only to buying from you; again and again.
This funnel is created through capturing their emails, interacting with them through your website, through email marketing and through social media or paid advertising. You should start to learn from your first customers how to develop unique systems that work best for you- automated emails, blog updates, tempting inaugural discounts, all designed to urge curious visitors to your site to buy from you.
Glitches in your store information; wrong phone number? Missing information?
In spite of infinite rounds of proofreading, some errors will slip through the cracks and you might be left wondering how on earth you filled in the wrong number, or product code, etc. Fret not; just use your experience with your first customers to run through things once more and fix any issues that might arise. Look at these initial days as an opportunity to set yourself up for scalable growth.
As you can see, your first 50 customers are extremely valuable. They teach you so much about your product, your business, your own personality and they even help you understand what your future could look like.
They should take almost half your time in understanding, engaging, working out your systems with, and developing a genuine connection with during your initial days.
After all, entrepreneurs like you know that life is a learning curve; you are getting answers every day; you just have to learn to listen
“Bitter wisdom is better than sweet folly.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo