How do I find my first customer…
Not only should that be your question when starting a business but you should be your answer.
I have said for a very long time, “Solve the problem you have. If you can, from that solution, create a product or a systematic approach, you have the potential to make a lot of money.
The reason is simple. You are probably not the only person with that problem but you may have found an incredible solution.
Problems are a dime a dozen; so the saying goes. But there are some really good problems to have. Out of good problems comes true innovation. And, if you survey most entrepreneurs today, they have built companies around answering a problem they had or their dislike for the way things were being done.
Southwest Airlines is a giant today but they began just trying to offer affordable flights to three major cities in Texas. The problem was that air travel was limited to the wealthy. Instead of negotiating a lower fair, an airline was born.
We all go through the same fundamental problems. The general problem is that they don’t always look the same. But, if you pay attention to any subculture, you will find the sharing of common problems and potential answers.
For example, I live in a community built on an old apple orchard. Every year, without fail, we are all inundated with gnats. Oh drat… here come the gnats. I shared with my neighbors that spraying them with Windex kills them. Bonus, the cleanup is pretty instant too. But that’s not a good business answer.
You know what is? The person that created an apple shaped container with apple cider vinegar inside. The gnats are attracted to the smell of the vinegar but once they enter they are trapped and die. Just like the traps we all made with a bowl and some plastic wrap.
If you are looking for your first customer, find someone who needs your answer. Good business doesn’t just provide an idea of how things can be. Good business solves a problem.
Some years back I bought this incredible new phone that was supposed to compete with the slowly rising Android phones and the behemoth that was the iPhone. I bought a Palm Pre.
Say nothing… lol. They aren’t around anymore.
But. At the time, the platform was popular. And even with its fast growth, the phone lacked a very simple note taking app.
No worries, I solved that problem.
Their apps were build using PHP, MySQL, and CSS; all things I’m very familiar with. So I wrote an app and called it TextPress! to solve my problem. I pushed it to the app community within Palm and sold it for $1.
And for the next few years, I received regular checks of $1000. Other people had the same problem and I sold the solution.
Every day someone is struggling with a problem that you have an answer to. The greatest question is, will you do what it takes to answer their problem too?
It isn’t easy to tell everyone about your solution.
But if you can…
Success in business is yours.
I hope this helps.
Let’s be better; together.