“Build a sterling reputation serving your patron and then ask for referrals.” – Claudia Pennington
In this context, your patron is one of earliest (happy!) customers. Your patron is someone who will sing your praises to anyone who will listen, especially potential customers.
A patron is crucial to success early on because they can provide referrals, and the more customers you serve early on, the faster you can hone in on exactly what it is your business is going to sell. This is particularly helpful when and if you’re preparing to go full time.
Additionally, your patron and your earliest customers will provide the cashflow you need to reinvest in growing your business, reducing the amount you need to spend out of pocket.
Takeaway: Your patron should be your number one customer, your best customer, and your biggest cheerleader. Treat them as such.