Getting Your Customers

A new clothing store with no customers.

Part 15 of Acey Gaspard’s Guide to Starting a Small Business – Made Simple

Do You Know Where Your Customers Will Come From?

Jenny set up her new design business, complete with the latest technology and a top-of-the-line office! She was excited about finally owning and operating her own business, and she thought she was all set!

After a couple of days of getting settled, Jenny realized she had been so deeply involved in getting the business ready for the past month that she left out the most important thing: how would she acquire customers?

Without Customers, You Don’t Have a Business

This is one of the main issues to consider when you’re planning on starting your own business. Then, after you acquire your customer base, you have to keep thinking of ways to keep them happy.

The more customers you have, the more chances you have to succeed, the more chances you have to optimize your business, and the more stability you have. Imagine having one customer: you have one chance to make a sale. On the other hand, if you have thousands of them, you can test and try out different offers and products and get a lot of feedback. You obviously have a better chance with more customers.

To be able to attract customers, first, you have to know who they are and what they are like. If you don’t know anything about them, you won’t be able to effectively market your products and services to them.

To find your target market, ask the right questions. While you’re looking for the answers, you’ll end up learning about who your target market is.

Here are some sample questions to ask yourself to help define your target market.

  • How old are your customers?
  • What do they have in common?
  • What do they like to do?
  • What makes them happy?
  • Where do they spend their leisure time?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • What upsets them?
  • What is their greatest desire?
  • What is their greatest fear?
  • What level of income do they have?
  • What level of education do they have?
  • What is their most pressing problem? (Hint: if you can determine this and solve it easily, your whole business can revolve around this issue.)

Some of the above questions may seem too personal. The point is, the more you know about your customers, the better you’re equipped to cater to their needs.

For example, if you know what your customers like or dislike, and what scares them as well as what makes them happy, then you’ll have the ultimate tools to provide them the best service. You can craft your business around protecting them from what they want to avoid or offering something they want. I’m sure you may not be able to answer all the questions now, but do your best with the information you have.

How Will You Contact Your Customers?

Now that you know something about them, you need to contact them. Here are some considerations you’ll have to look into:

  • Where is the best place to find them?
  • How can you reach many of them at the same time?
  • How will you reach out? Will you use; newspaper ads, radio, TV, word of mouth, a grand opening, hiring a professional marketing agency?
  • Will you make contact face to face or by other means such as phone, Internet, mail, TV, radio, or print advertising?

Once you know who your target market is, a little bit about them, and the best way to reach them, you will have a lot more than most people even consider knowing about their customers. That’s why most marketing fails: not knowing enough about the customer or even targeting the right ones.


Creating a successful relationship with your customers takes time; testing and tracking are ongoing tasks. But if you can answer most of the above questions, then you’re off to a great start!

Now you’re ready to start the never-ending adventure of marketing your products and services to your customers.

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