Symptoms of Customer Acquisition Procrastination Syndrome

It's an epidemic out there in the entrepreneurial world. 

Anyone out there suffering from CAPS (Customer Acquisition Procrastination Syndrome)? Symptoms include the eager urge to work on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING except finding customers to build a new business. Your doctor (or mentor) doesn't need to tell you that building a business is contingent on finding paying customers, yet new entrepreneurs often dive into the more fun, less important tasks first!

Here is a list of symptoms that show that you may be suffering from CAPS. If you have done any of these before or instead of finding customers, you may need intervention:

  1. Are you tackling social media completely manually? Or consuming it constantly? That's probably a waste of time. Get a tool like Hootsuite or find a social media assistant. 
  2. Do you have a constant, burning urge to check your stats: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, email list subscribes and unsubscribes. Warning: none of these metrics imply a paying customer! Saying "thank you" to new followers also doesn't guarantee that they will buy your services - if your product is good, they will buy it even if you don't thank them! 
  3. Do you find yourself running errands ALL. THE. TIME? Stop! Those errands are detracting you from finding customers! Hire an assistant or a gopher and streamline the unnecessary errands.
  4. Are you bogged down by clerical tasks? Unless that is the core competency of your business, they are getting in the way of finding customers. 
  5. Did you find and rent a fancy office space, before you had clients? Um, why? How do you plan to afford that shiny desk?
  6. Are you on a hiring binge - before you have actual work for them to do? It's never a good idea to have idle resources sitting around.
  7. Did you throw a red carpet launch party, before actually finding a customer?  You may laugh, but it happens!
  8. Browsing email newsletters, reading blogs, watching videos, and skimming books are all important, but if this is all you do, and you are claiming to be working on a business, Houston, we have a problem.
  9. Did you spend months creating a fancy logo, slick business cards and a fancy feature-and-content-filled website before you were certain about the product you were offering and the customer you were offering it to?
  10. Are you letting daily stimuli sway your day instead of spending the day focusing on building actual leads and customers?
  11. Are you feverishly attending random networking events in the hopes you will meet the right people that may help spread the word about your business? It this is a strategic move, then it makes sense. Otherwise avoid thee events like the plague!
The only cure for this severe ailment is to find your first paying customer! And after that, rinse and repeat as often as you can, every day.

Have you procrastinated in finding a customer? Please share your experiences in the comments below!


Nagesh said...

OH! this reminds me of myself so much. At least 4 points up there is what I've been doing. I only decided not to do all these and start concentrating on getting a paid customer sooner and was consolidating all efforts this weekend and I saw this post on Tuesday. Amazing information, inspiring and very practical!

Entrepreneur Fail said...

@Nagesh I definitely know what you mean. I think I worked on every single possible thing in the universe EXCEPT finding a customer :) Glad you enjoyed it!

popoydelosreyes said...

I maybe doing things the wrong way after all.

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