How to Find Your First Customer

Finders Keepers

Getting your first customer is easier if you know what you're looking for. Here are some tips for clarifying your target market:

1. Realize you don't sell to everyone.

2. Describe what you sell. Emphasize what the product or service does to benefit customers, not what it is.

3. Identify why customers need your product or service.

4. Match your product or service with the customers most likely to buy them.

5. Among the most likely customers, look for those who are willing to pay.

6. Analyze where these target customers are, what they read and what events or trade shows they attend. Go there; advertise there.

Jan Norman has been writing about small-business issues since 1988. She can be reached via e-mail at

Contact Sources

  • Connecticut Small Business Development Center, University of Connecticut, Administration Bldg., Rm. 300, 1084 Shennecosset Rd., Groton, CT 06340-6097,
  • Cotton Consulting Inc., (808) 494-6000, fax: (808) 262-2479
  • Georgia Small Business Development Center, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083, fax: (404) 651-1035
  • Tammy Hendrix Business Services, 2616 Prairie Pl. S.E., Albany, OR 97321,
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