Throughout my years in business, I’ve always been told (by other Entrepreneurs) getting your first 100 customers is the hardest.
I have to agree.
Getting to that magical 100 – is quite the challenge – especially when you’re just getting started.
Many of our Resellers will often reach out for tips on how they can penetrate such a crowded industry.
1) Put Things Into Perspective
When you’re running a new business, especially as a web hosting reseller, you have to look at the industry through a different set of eyes.
Overall the web hosting industry is crowded. I’ve said it many times here on the blog, sometimes doing competitive research, I’m simply overwhelmed at the number of companies out there.
However, if you put things into perspective and look at the industry like this, it’s not so crowded:
- We’re based out of Kansas City. How many companies are offering web hosting specific to businesses around the metro?
- How many companies are offering high speed WordPress hosting with website development and updates?
- How many companies offer free consultations with companies looking to move their web hosting?
See how we’re starting to niche-out and find markets that aren’t overly crowded?
2) Take Full Advantage Of The Internet
I’m originally from Beckley, West Virginia. Unfortunately the local market in Beckley isn’t large enough to offer businesses web hosting.
While you’d certainly be one of the only companies, you’d be severely limited on the number of customers you could reach. But that’s the great thing about the Internet: there is no boundary!
Prior to founding Name Hero in 2015, I was really big in the CPA/Affiliate Marketing Industry. I owned an affiliate discussion forum, network, and even a performance software company. One thing everyone needed? Hosting.
While the majority of the “big brands” concentrate on the masses, there is really only one or two hosting companies that offer solutions for the entire affiliate industry. Niches like this can be the “secret pill” to your first 100 customers.
3) Market Your Business
Once you have decided on your niche, the path to your first 100 customers is dependent on your marketing and advertising.
One excuse I commonly hear: that’s great and all Ryan, but I don’t have $$$ for advertising.
This is completely understandable! I’m currently paying $15+ CPC for some keywords on Google Adwords. For companies just getting started this is probably impossible unless you’ve received funding or have enough personal capital to float until you get popular.
But this doesn’t mean you have an excuse NOT to market your business!
From 1998 – 2008 I didn’t spend but maybe $1,000 in paid ads. I found other means to get the word out about my companies.
Combine your specific niche with blogging daily, syndicating to social media, and posting in your specific industry forums – gives you just as much – if not more reach than someone paying for ads.
It’s a lot easier here in 2017 than it was back in 1998 – I promise!
4) Be Persistent
The biggest reason why most people don’t go this route is it takes a lot of hard work to be persistent. One blog post a month isn’t going to cut it. One blog post a day might not even be enough!
I can’t tell you how many times I feel like I’ve been knocked down with disappointment, only to get back up swinging ten times harder.
Business is a marathon not a sprint.
Be persistent for 2 years – then come back and tell me your success. Don’t look at it on a daily or monthly basis.
This past weekend, I rented the movie The Founder which tells the story about McDonalds founder Ray Kroc. He got knocked down a lot but it didn’t stop him from developing one of the world’s most recognized brands.
5) Set Obtainable Goals
Getting 100 customers is as simple as getting an average of 3 – 4 new customers a day for one month. Break that up to three months and you only need to get 1 customer a day.
That sounds a lot easier than getting all 100 in a day doesn’t it?
I would be the house that if you’re a local web developer and you went to 10 different businesses today you could sign at least 1 that needed web development and hosting right now.
The Path Forward
Starting at 0 – 100 seems almost impossible. But if you follow these 5 tips and take complete action with no procrastination, you’ll begin to see results.
The majority of people that fail, do so because they lack the confidence to be persistent. You only fail when you quit.
Even though it may not feel like it at the time, persistence WILL pay off in the long run. Look at your growth on a broader scale and work like heck everyday!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.