Our First Customer, Brett PurdomFor a startup, it’s often about the latest and greatest. When will the next release ship? How does the latest innovation in cloud computing affect us? Have we integrated the latest Facebook widget? It never ends, because there’s always something new to worry about. But when you stop to think about what really matters, it comes down to one thing: customers.

Without customers, you don’t have a business. Without your first customers, you wouldn’t be where you are today. Think of your oldest customers, the ones who took a chance on you when you had only a shoddy minimum viable product.

Most everyone understands how important customers are… at least in theory. Yet a lot of what we think about day to day has nothing to do with keeping our customers happy. I’m as guilty of this as anyone.

  • Our customers don’t care how much revenue we generated last month, but I do.
  • Our customers don’t care about our new marketing website, which we built to acquire more customers, but I focused on it almost 100% for a month.
  • And to be honest, most of them won’t notice our new social media strategy, but I’m hard at work on that, too.

How come our daily activities are so misaligned with what makes our customers happy?

Most customers are busy. They just want the company they’re buying from to do what it does best. If you ask, customers will almost always tell you what they want—except for one thing: no customer ever asks to be appreciated. And yet no customer is too busy to be shown appreciation for stuffing your wallet with their hard-earned money. Not one!

So, give your first and best customers a call. Right now. And then figure out what else you can do, consistently, to show them you care.

Spending a little more time keeping in touch with your customers could be the most important thing you do all day. People want to do business with people who remember and appreciate them.

We’re no different. Our first paying customer was Brett Purdom of The Foot Mechanic. He took a chance on us before anyone else. Thanks, Brett. Without you, we’d still be two college kids with $0.00 in the company bank account.

Who was your first paying customer? Are they still your customer today? When was the last time you told them how much you appreciate their business? Will you have forgotten about them this time next year?