Customers are not just the people you sell crap to. They’re everything to your fledgling business. The success of your small business depends on finding customers and keeping them happy. And getting them to sell advice on how to run a small business to other small businesses that sell advice on how to run a small business to small businesses.
Customers are like that glob of mayonnaise you get on your finger when making a really mayonnaisey sandwich or that thing you really like about that other thing. But mostly they are like money.
They can be just about anyone: your friends and family — customers with a feeling of obligation, neighborhood kids — customers that know HTML and will create your squeeze page for next to nothing, that jerk from Florida that keeps saying that he likes the way your wife moves — Don, the son of a bitch that gets all your pass-up commission.
But what if no one even knows your business exists? And Don is all anyone can talk about? And your wife doesn’t notice that you had the car’s interior shampooed, even though you paid extra for new car smell, which you know she loves?
You need to up your visibility. Go to a crowded public space and talk loudly into your cell phone about a great business opportunity that’s available for a limited time only (and just happen to be in the neighborhood when your wife and Don are celebrating her first commission over brunch). Litter your town with flyers. When you’re doing things right, people are going to be banging down your door to learn more about your business.
Think you’re getting it? Think again. A customer isn’t just an anyone. A customer can also be a something. Off the top of my head, things like a bottle of male bronzer, a pile of trade-show swag, my virtual assistant Jayson and this copy of SkyMall I’m waving around like a scepter.
The point is, you’ve gotta give your customers what they want. That’s the way it goes. Business deals are legally binding. Like when you are contractually obligated to give every one of Don’s Facebook posts a “Like.”
“But how do I know what my customers want,” you might be wondering. Simple: You ask them. It’s that easy. But you can’t give your customers what they don’t ask for. You’re not a mind reader. There’s no way you could’ve known that saying it’s “time to inspect the merchandise” really kills the mood.
Listen, I’m no expert. What I do know is that if you’ve got ’em, then show ’em, unless “them” is genital warts. Then definitely don’t show them, unless it is to your doctor. By all means, show him. Also, please tell my wife you got them from Don.
The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny stories, articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!