This is how we’ve stayed in business for the last eight years
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
Back in the summer of 2009, I spent every single day going door-to-door, pitching to local small businesses on why they needed to have a website, and more importantly, why I was the guy to make it happen for them.
I spent two months doing this, every single day from 9:00AM until 5:00PM. This was before I had a driver’s license, and all I could do was walk.
Again, this is the summer, in New Jersey. It’s in the 90s. It’s humid.
It didn’t matter; I was determined to find my first customer.
On the very last day of that summer, I didn’t just find my first client; I found my first two.
Those customers would be the legacy clients to a brand new company idea I had, that would one day, become Chop Dawg.
Let’s fast forward two years; it is now 2011.
We still need clients. We’re not a household name yet, but any stretch of the imagination.
What did we do?
We researched online every small business and company that had a lackluster website if any at all (unlike 2009, where most businesses still weren’t on the web…).
If they fit the criteria for needing a new website, we’d do everything we can to find their email address. From there, we emailed. And we emailed. And we emailed some more.
We’d write custom messages for every single business owner, explaining why their online presence wasn’t living up to it’s potential, and again, why we would be the ones to fix it.
We’d do this day after day.
We’d do this in-between working with the few clients we already had.
Okay, let’s move up one more year. It’s now 2012. No more school, focusing on Chop Dawg full-time with our small team.
We weren’t rich, we weren’t rolling in revenue, but we had just an ounce of income we could allocate towards marketing. That is what we did.
We’d research the same as we had done before: any business with a terrible online presence or that didn’t have one at all. However, this time, we’d figure out the names of the owners, and their personal mailing addresses.
We put together a huge mailer campaign, targeting those who felt website design and development were not needed for their operations, through the method we felt would be best for them. Old school, somewhat-reliable snail mail.
Fast forward to 2015.
We continue to leverage the same philosophies. We’d research on Twitter every company, entrepreneur, and startup who was looking for a website design, website development, or app development firm. We’d hustle our butts off, building a relationship, sparking a conversation, and again as we had always done, convince them why we were going to help them get to the promise land.
You notice a repeating pattern here, don’t you?
On the one hand, everything above requires more than a consistent hustle, but determination, discipline and work ethic.
More importantly, the art of putting yourself out there and finding your customers. Not being afraid to put your foot on the pedal, and work to have food on the table.
This attribute has been the biggest reason we’ve grown over the last eight years. In fact, it is my personal belief that without this, we would not exist today.
Why is this important?
Because so many companies just take for granted having customers come to them. Worse, more companies just expect customers to come to them
That isn’t how business works. Let alone a new business, a new product, a new brand.
You need to put in the work.
If you’re releasing a brand new mobile app, don’t expect listing something only on ProductHunt or Reddit will get you over the hump.
You should be finding where your personal audience is in today’s world, and communicate with them. In 2017, that could be specific subreddits. Facebook groups. Slack channels. Newsletters. Hell, it could still be door-to-door soliciting, cold emailing, cold calling, mailers.
Whatever it is, you put in the work. You go to the audience. You show why you’re the best. Why you’re going to solve their problems. And convince them, with everything you have, that you’re the best person, the best company, the best solution for the job.
We live and die by our customers. If we don’t have enough customers; it means lost revenue. That means not having enough capital to pay team members. To keep the lights open. To stay in business. To make the impact that we want to make.
Isn’t that enough motivation for you?
Do you need more?
More customers mean more growth. More impact. The larger your team will be. The more customers you can help.
We’re stating common sense now, but so many executives and entrepreneurs alike need to remind themselves of these.
So get out of your comfort zone. Break out of your shell. Stop being complacent. Put in the work and find your customers, your clients, your users. They’re out there, and they are just waiting for you to show them what you got.