Your First Paying Customers

Your first customers are usually your friends and family, and I think there's a lesson here.

Firstly, if this is true for you – that you have friends and family who would support your small business just because they can – then you should count yourself lucky and cherish those people.

Secondly, don’t shrug it off as a mere pity purchase. It's easy to say, “oh yeah, they’re just buying it to show some support; it doesn’t really count yet”. I actually said this to my wife, who quickly corrected me by saying, “actually, I think they just want to know how to start a business”.

Translation: Believe in yourself. They actually want the thing you're selling.

Even if I know a huge part of it is them just supporting their friend, even if it's 90% support and only 10% because they actually want the product, that is more than enough.

Additionally, who cares? Your friends need their lawns mowed, they need cool golf bags, t-shirts, instructional gym videos, whatever it is that you do. Just because someone is your friend does not exclude them from the large pool of people on earth that could benefit from your product or service.

So embrace it, aim for it, use it to your advantage. Get reviews from them, quiz them on their experience through your website or the booking process, use your personal connection to ask them for feedback you wouldn't feel as comfortable asking a stranger.

Lastly, if you haven’t launched your thing yet, without getting your hopes up too much (because it might not be the case for everyone), keep in mind that if you have a decently large enough friendship and family circle, there's a good chance you will have a few instant day-one customers. But only if you can believe in yourself enough to package your expertise or creation into a purchasable product or service and ask people to pay for it.


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