When you’re just getting started with a new venture there’s a tendency to spend too much time trying to perfect pricing before you’ve signed your first customer. The most important thing for you to do is to get them to pay you something (even if it is tiny) and then bend over backwards to make them successful so that they allow you to showcase their success in your first marketing. The first five customers aren’t about making money but rather about getting feedback and reference customers (they do need to pay you something to have some skin in the game).
Here are some things to keep in mind about the first five customers:
- Don’t worry about pricing other than to be reasonable and get them paying something (it is easier to lower prices than to raise prices but the overwhelming tendency is to price too low)
- Make the ask early in the relationship to be able to use them as a reference if the relationship is successful
- View the first few customers as a paying advisory board more so than your eventual typical customer
- Feedback and input, along with references, are 10x more valuable than the money they are paying
- Great customer service is the easiest way to differentiate yourself when the product is still immature
Signing the first five customers is one of the hardest things to do, ever, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Entrepreneurs should view those first five customers more as partners to help them sculpt their business as opposed to exactly how the business will operate.
What else? What other thoughts do you have on the first five customers?