Finding your first client

January 23, 2017 - Tags: Customers Startup

One of the most challenging tasks for any new business owner is finding their first client. Due to a lack of established experience, it can be very difficult to convince potential clients that you have the skills and expertise to get the job done. With this in mind, here are a few things you should consider before you begin the client search.

Evaluate the market

  • One of the first things you should ask yourself as a small business owner is whether there is a profitable market for your business.
  • If so, do some research before you begin to advertise your business in order to obtain a greater understanding of what appeals to the specific clientele you are trying to reach.

Determine the most appropriate means of communication

  • Once you have a better understanding of what drives your potential client, it is important to think critically about the most effective way to communicate with them.
  • You may choose to use popular means of communication such as social media, networking events, conferences, or other online forums, in order to connect with your target clientele.

Plan for success

  • Attracting your first client may take some time, so it is important that you plan ahead.
  • Ensure you have enough resources saved to keep your business afloat until you have a generated a steady client base.

Strategies for finding your first client:

Community networking

  • Getting involved with organizations such as your local Chamber of Commerce is a great way to meet other small business owners, build rapport, and introduce your products and services to the community.

Work with competitors

  • Reach out to your local competitors and let them know about you and your business. If your competitor has a surplus of business, they may choose to refer a few of their customers to you.

Social media forums

  • Online forums established through social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are a great way to promote your business to industry colleagues and potentially hear of available job opportunities.

Remember, gathering a list of established clients is going to take some time, so be patient and keep working hard to promote you and your small business!


Posted by on February 16, 2017
Hello Sarita,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

To help you plan for a successful start to your venture, check out our Starting a business page for some of the things you'll need to take care of. Our Business start-up checklist can help you with the basics like planning, organizing, registering, and hiring.

You can also find information on our website to help you with importing products into Canada.

If you are not a Canadian resident, you will find information on immigrating to or investing in Canada to start a business here. You can also learn the advantages of investing in different regions, and what those provinces and territories have to offer.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Good luck with your venture!
Posted by sarita on February 15, 2017
I would like to export some goods from Nepal and to start a business in Canada, but I don't have idea how could I be able to get the information to register the company and about the distribution processing in Canada. Could you please help me how could I be able to start business and be able to run it. Thank you.
Posted by on February 8, 2017
Hello Doza,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are a government organization that helps entrepreneurs start or grow their business in Canada.

As you may be aware, any business involved in international commerce needs to think about things such as taxes, duties, customs laws, and consumer protection issues. The regulations can vary from one region to another and from one industry to another, even within the same country.

In Bangladesh, the Ministry of Commerce hosts the "Bangladesh Trade Portal", where you can get information relating to export from Bangladesh to Canada and other countries. You can access important regulatory and procedural information needed to export and import. The "Commercial Exports" page includes information from prohibited export items to declarations to duty exemptions.

The Canada’s International Gateway website has information and services for entrepreneurs who are looking to make Canada their next investment destination. You can find suppliers, importers and more.

You can also use the Canadian Importers Database to generate lists of major Canadian importers that may be interested in the garments your company supplies. If you are interested in finding potential Canadian business partners (B2B), you can search the Canadian Company Capabilities (CCC) database, which includes hundreds of specialized manufacturing, service, and product-specific business directories.

You can learn more about B2B marketing in Canada from our blog on the same subject.

If you have questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us.

Thank you.
Posted by on February 8, 2017
Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

You will find valuable information on writing a business plan on our section Business planning This includes information such as why you need a plan, links to sample business plans, and more.

Note that the information on our website can be filtered by region, industry, and audience, by clicking the “Settings” icon at the top of the page.

You may also be interested in browsing our Blog to find articles on topics such as startup, financing, entrepreneurship, and market research.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance. As part of our Secondary market research, Canada Business Ontario can also search for a business plan sample based on your business type, and look for a local entrepreneurship centre that may be able to offer in-person help.

Thank you and good luck with your next steps,
Posted by Doza on February 7, 2017

I am a ready made garments exporter from Bangladesh. Can you help me find some garment importers in Canada? or a list of importers may help, a link to follow or anything that might help me reach clients, some tips, some phone nos or email ids.

Posted by Shibly on February 3, 2017
Thank you for all the information here to help new entrepreneurs.

I'm 50+ and want to start a small business here at Scarborough, On. I need to prepare a good business plan for a proposed grant but can't afford to engage a consultant to write the business plan. What can I do to make an acceptable report on my own and where can I access comprehensive guidelines to write a good report?


Posted by on January 31, 2017
Hello Abdul,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your small business in Canada.

If you are a student between the ages of 18 and 39, you may qualify for a number of programs aimed specifically at young people in general, not just students. At the top of any page on the Canada Business website, you can go to "Settings" and select "Youth" from our Audience list. You can also select your province or territory, and the industry in which you would like to start your business. Any searches you perform after that, such as the "Find programs" search, will show you all of the government financing and programs available to help you start or grow your business, including ones aimed specifically at young people.

You may want to check out Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that offers financing, mentoring and other resources to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39. Its Resources page provides a variety of business topics and tools that can take you from inspiration to implementation.

Check out our "Starting a business" page, which offers information that can help you plan for a successful start to your entrepreneurship journey. Be sure to check out our "Business start-up checklist" to help you navigate the start-up phase, from planning, to organizing your finances, registering your business, hiring employees, and more.

You can also find resources on our site to help you start and grow a social enterprise.

If you have any questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us.

Good luck with your venture!
Posted by Abdul on January 30, 2017
Please I have nice business plan that will help my community how to I get funding as a student?
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