According to Robert Allen (billionaire and author of ‘Multiple Streams of Income’), each customer is worth $1000 through your lifetime. Assuming this is true, how many customers does it take to support a family business?
If an average family in America can live on about $50,000 per year. Then, is takes about $50K x 30 years = $1.5 million to support that family. If each customer is worth $1000, then your business needs to attract 150,000 customers throughout your working years.
Of course a business very rarely can be run with a single person. Therefore, a business with several employees, with an average pay of $50,000, needs to bring in $75,000 for each employee because the additional $25,000 is needed for taxes and benefits. A business with 10 employees should bring in about $750,000 annually and attract 1.5 million customers over a 30-year period. A business with 1000 employees should bring in about $75 million, annually, and attract 150 million customers over a 30-year period.
These are interesting numbers to look at if you plan to start a business or are working for a new business. But, don't let the 150,000 customers scare you. Most of these customers are found after the first 7 years of operation. When the business reputation has grown and the employees and products have settled into a market that produces a profitable margin.