Customer acquisition was always top of mind at my startup. I’m not marketing-minded and I wasn’t smart enough to hire someone strong in this area, so we struggled. Eventually I figured out a decent strategy. When we acquired customers, we did so in a profitable manner. Over time, I realized that retention (which in our business model meant having customers who bought repeatedly) was key to our growth.
We spent tons of time, energy, and money trying to find new customers. Once we had them, it was easier to convince them to stay (purchase again) than it was to find new customers. If I had to continually replace old customers with new ones, fast growth would be extremely difficult. When I figured this out, we started to focus on the things that mattered most to our customers AND the type of customers most likely to be loyal. This, with other adjustments, allowed us to grow quickly to over $10 million in annual revenue.
Getting customers is important, but founders should also think about how to keep them. If your customers stick around, you’re on to something!