You’ve put in great effort to start a business. Congratulations. Now, the question is how to get your first client.
One thing that constantly discourages wannabe entrepreneurs from starting their businesses is the fear of failing.
This fear of failure is often fueled by the possibility of starting up a business and not making any sales due to a lack of clients to patronize and support the business.
Without them, no business can survive, make profits, and expand.
Hence, this blog post shares insight and tips on how to get your first client.
It also explains the importance of clients to your newly established business.
So, read on!
How to get your First Client – Who is a Client?
A client plays an essential role in every business.
This is true especially for newly established businesses that are yet to find their footing.
A client could be a person or a company and organizations that need your products/services.
Additionally, a client could also be defined as a person who receives services or goods from a company or business with an exchange of payments.
You can also refer to them as customers.
Hence, we’ll be using both words interchangeably.
Before we consider how to get customers for your business, let’s consider the importance of these people in a business.
The Importance of Clients in Business
Regardless of how good your products and services are, all your efforts and resources would be wasted without a client.
Hence, here are some reasons why customers are important for any business.
Customers are your brand ambassador
Your first client is the first asset who is willing to give your products or services a trial.
This also means that your first client is most likely to be your first goodwill ambassador who gives your products and services a chance to enter the business market.
You Make your First Profit
When you get your first client, your business makes its very first profit.
Also, the trial by the first client is not for free, and the client will pay you for the services offered or products purchase.
You Get your Needed Feedback
Also, your first client might be your first shot at receiving feedback that helps you understand what your target audience expects from your business.
Also, they help you identify how to improve your products and services to serve your target audience better.
Opportunity for Customer Retention
When you get your first customer, you create an opportunity for your business to retain a customer who could build a long-lasting business relationship and loyalty.
Also, your first client is your first step at learning how to market your products and services to your target audience successfully.
When your first customer is impressed with your product/services, you earn his/her loyalty and continued patronage.
Thereby helping you achieve customer satisfaction and patronage.
Recommendations and Referrals
If you can successfully retain your first client by providing him or her with the best product, services, and customer care service, the client would recommend your business to other people.
Such recommendations/referrals help you acquire more customers without spending so much on advertising or marketing.
Now you know how important your first customer.
Let’s consider the things you should do before getting your first customer.
Things you must do Before Getting your First Client:
Getting your first customer involves a lot of planning, preparation, and determination on your part as a newly created business that wants to succeed.
Hence, here are some things you should do before thinking of getting your first customer.
Recognize Your Target Audience
The first thing you should do is to recognize your target audience.
This is because every client is not for every business.
Before heading out to get your first client, you must, first, ask yourself the question of “Who is the best person or who are the best people to offer my products and services to?”
“Who is the person or persons that need my products and services?”
“What community or location needs my product and services?”
These questions would help you clearly identify the type of customers you want your business to attract.
It also helps you understand the best way to present your products/services to them so that they can patronize you.
Be ready for business by putting things in order
By making sure your house is in order, you are prepared in all areas of your business.
If you are not fully prepared for business, you might as well quit the search for your first client.
Before now, you must have defined the products and services that you create.
Also, you have a clear idea of the problems your products and services want to solve.
However, that is not all about getting ready for business.
When you reach out to a client, they need to know many things about your business before patronizing you.
If these pieces of information and requirements are not in place, your prospective client would not take you seriously nor patronize your business.
Hence one of the essential things you must do before searching for your first customer is to have a brand name and identity.
This is what sets your business apart from your competitors.
It is also the image of your business the customer will carry in his/her mind as long as they patronize you.
So, it should be good, unique, and represent what you stand for as a business.
You can do this by creating a business card or portfolio containing relevant details of your services, products, and contact address.
Additionally, having a sample of the products and the services that you offer would be a great step as people would not patronize what they cannot see.
Overall, this would help your customers see that you’re ready for business.
Hence, they’ll take you seriously when you tell them about your business.
Put Your Business Online
Creating a brand identity and name is a great step.
Another important thing to do before you get your first client is to utilize the internet and computer software technologies to your advantage.
This is not limited to only online businesses.
Businesses with physical shops should also be online.
Also, use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share posts and pictures of your products and services.
This is essential because sometimes clients prefer to deal with businesses that have a visible online presence.
This is so that they can check your business out for themselves as they might not be convinced by word of mouth.
It is also a great way for your potential client or target audience to find you when searching for your products and services.
Create a Communication Channel
No client will patronize a business that they cannot contact to ask questions, lay complaints, or provide feedback.
This is why you should ensure that you have different communication channels that enable clients to reach out to you.
This communication channel could be an email address, phone numbers with a customer care representative available to receive calls, a web-chat application on your website, and your social media handles.
Make Sure your Customer Care Service is in order
Getting your first client is not where it all ends.
This is because the goal is not only to get the client but also to ensure that the client stays and helps to gain more clients.
To achieve this, you must ensure that you have customer service /follow-up techniques in place.
This is because there is the need to build a good relationship and rapport with the customer to ensure customer loyalty and continued patronage.
Follow-up techniques such as; checking up on the client, solving the client’s issues wishing the client a happy holiday, sending birthday wishes, and assisting the clients with complicated issues are very effective in building good business relationships.
There are some questions that a business needs to ask themselves before setting out to get their first customer.
This is because your products and services must add value to your customers for them to keep on patronizing you.
Hence, it is essential to examine your product and ask yourself if your products and services provide value for their money’s worth.
If they are, you are good to go.
If otherwise, it is time to improve them so that your first client would not regret patronizing you, but instead, look forward to making more purchases.
Now let’s consider how to attract customers to your business, get your first clients, and make profits in your new business.
How to Get Your First Client
Here are some ways to get your first client:
1Use Your Network
One of the first ways to find your first client is to look closely around you.
Start from your network; your network consists of all the people that you know.
These people could be your family members, neighbors, friends, colleagues, or the people in your place of worship.
Your network could also be former colleagues or schoolmates and bosses that you have previously worked with.
Although they might not be the first ones to make the purchase.
However, they might know one or two persons in need of your products and services.
Hence, and they could recommend or refer your business to them and help you get your first customer.
2Use Social Media
Remember when we started that you should create social media pages for your business?
Well, it is not only for putting your business online.
It is also a great way to find that first client to take your business to the next level.
With the improvement in technology these days, people do not always feel the need to ask others for recommendations or referrals.
Instead, they go on social media and use the search options to look for businesses that offer the products and services they need.
Hence, if your business is on social media, you are at an advantage, and if not, you’re at a loss.
Also, you could create and post content on your social media pages that give anyone who comes across your page vital information on your products and services.
You could also create promotional posts on social media with discount offers that put your business right in front of your target audience.
3Use your Website
Your website also plays an important role in helping you get your first client.
Make sure your website is updated and contains all the necessary information such as; blog posts, pictures, or videos about your business, products, and services.
That way, your first client can find you and reach out to you after visiting your website.
4Write and Submit Proposals
Another way to get your first client is to write a detailed and convincing proposal containing your business information, your products and services, and all they can do for your client.
Your proposal could also contain the actual cost of your products and services and the discount offers you are willing to give the clients when they patronize you.
5Cold Calling or Emailing
In addition to submitting proposals, you can also use cold calling or emailing to get your first client.
What does cold calling or emailing entail?
It involves researching potential clients in your niche via Google, LinkedIn, or other search engines like Bing, start page, wiki.com, etc. get their contact address, and make a contact list.
After that, you could either call or email with a brilliant pitch on your products and services and why they should patronize you.
6Collaboration or Partnership
If you want to get your first client, you should consider collaborating with other businesses.
For this to be effective, you need to partner with other business that has been in business for a long time and have a good customer base.
With your new products and services and their huge customer base, both businesses have the opportunity to make a profit and gain new clients.
The other business could make up for areas where you’re lacking (that is, offering services in your niche that you don’t offer).
Likewise, the other business could refer their new and existing clients to your business in similar circumstances.
Thereby helping both businesses gain clients and make profits in business.
7Attend Networking Event and Programs
Joining or attending network events is one of the best ways to meet your first client or someone who could refer you to your first client.
This is because people (business owners, entrepreneurs, potential clients) come together in networking events.
This creates an avenue to explore business opportunities, offer patronage, and make recommendations or referrals.
8Join Similar Business Communities
Business communities are similar to networking communities.
However, unlike networking communities, a similar business community consists of businesses that provide similar products and services as you do.
When you become a part of these communities, you stand a better chance at landing your first clients and more clients in the future.
9Attend Trade Fairs
Trade fairs/trade exhibitions/trade shows could help you get that first client.
Trade exhibitions allow businesses to showcase their products and illustrate their services to a wide range of potential customers who come to the exhibition to find businesses that have what they need.
Attending such events puts you in front of a large audience willing to buy something.
Thereby enhancing your chances of getting your first customer.
10Sign up for Business Websites
Signing up for a website helps you to get your first client by constantly updating you on openings and requests for products and services that you provide.
Such websites also bring up your business when people search for products/services related to your business.
However, you need to optimize your business by using search-related terms in your products/services description so that your business can come up in your potential clients’ search.
Examples of these websites include; Googlemybusiness, Upwork, fiver, etc.
Final Words on How to Get Your First Client
If you can successfully get your first client, getting other clients to patronize your business would not be too difficult to get, as you know understand the processes and the requirements.
Your first clients could also help your business get more clients to build up clientele in your business.
This helps you generate profit and grow your business into one that would strive amongst the competition.