So you’ve got this great business which you’re totally pumped about. You have everything in place, you’re raring to go and working hard to juggle your family and your new career.
Yet, the likelihood is you’re facing some or all of these challenges:
1. Knowing what is the most productive use of your limited time
2. Knowing where to spend your precious marketing budget
3. Finding new customers
Almost every entrepreneur struggles with the same issues in the first three years of business. When I started my company I only could afford three hours of child care per day. Each morning when I sat at my desk, I felt a little overwhelmed by all the tasks that were on my To Do list. I struggled to know which one to do first, to best move my company forward, and the clock seemed to race towards 12pm when I had to leave to collect the older kids from school.
I knew that I needed more customers if the business was to survive, but I didn’t know really what was the best way to find them. I had a list of every single person that I knew as well as a list of referrals, and I spent a lot of my time calling people to tell them about Rainbow, and meeting with people who expressed interest.
The problem was that although I did find new customers, this way of working was very time consuming as I wasn’t really very clear who my target market was. I hadn’t done a detailed business plan before starting the company, and a lot of time was wasted talking to people who really would never have been able to buy what I was selling.
However, I did learn one very valuable lesson with all my first year of failures:
Your ideal customer decides to buy first and considers the price second. The price is actually immaterial.
Your customer shares your values and likes the same things you do. Quite often you will have similar interests, similar ethos and would probably be friends given the chance.
When you meet them, you will connect with them; they will love your product and they will choose to own your product, probably for similar reasons that you set up the company in the first place.
This is the person you are looking for.
If you take only one lesson from this whole blog post let it be this:
Don’t waste time trying to sell to people who are not your target customer.
What do I mean? When you find your ideal customer, they will want to own your product and you will really never have to sell to them.
Spend your time and energy finding this customer, and watch the sales roll in.
Question: What ways have you failed in the first three years of business? I would love to hear your experiences.