A fundamental piece of any feasibility study is the customer acquisition strategy, or how you will land new customers. You should have a great answer to the question, “How are you going to get customers into your store or drive users to your website?” This is so important, in fact, that it routinely separates the winners from the losers. Often underestimated, many first-time entrepreneurs (consciously or not) adopt the Field of Dreams mantra, “if you build it, they will come.” They won’t. Even big companies like Disney make this mistake. They launched Go.com expecting the masses to come, but no one showed up. Just a few years after launch, Disney took a $790 million write-off and shut it down.
Today more than ever there is so much noise and demand for a customer’s attention that it’s next to impossible to stand apart from the crowd. Having a customer acquisition strategy is one of the most important aspects of your go-to-market plan. Once you have the broad strokes of a strategy in mind, challenge your most critical assumptions through quick, low-cost experiments that reveal actual conversion rates, customer interest, effective positioning, and competitive differentiation. Do what’s necessary to get the data, but don’t scale until you have a verified strategy to drive users and get customers. Having a compelling customer acquisition strategy will give you and your investors the confidence that when you build it they actually will come.