Finding Customers

This article is part of a collection of small business resources available to DECA members through Fran Tarkenton and the Tarkenton Companies. View a complete list of small business articles here and learn more about Tarkenton Companies here

To have a business, you have to have customers. After developing an idea, many entrepreneurs start to wonder how to get in front of those customers, how to get them to sign up.

All too many take it for granted that if you make a product available, it just gets to people somehow. But usually that’s not the case.

In this clip, NOWaccount President and CEO Lara Hodgson discusses the approach her business took to finding its customers—in this case, small business owners. Her strategy was to find influencers—the people who are already connected to the customers in her particular target market, who were already talking to them and had a trusted relationship with them.

For NOWaccount, those influencers turned out to be organizations such as credit unions, Chambers of Commerce, and companies along the supply chain of large companies (instead of the large company itself).

Reaching out to influencers to develop partnerships and relationships saved time and money; starting from scratch might have taken years and lots of dollars, so finding someone already in that market offered access to a pre-existing sales force.

Get more small business resources at, a Tarkenton Company. Fran Tarkenton was the recipient of the 2014 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and is dedicated to supporting DECA's mission of preparing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. 

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Categories: Business, Career Advice, College Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Job Advice, Marketing