Business Development · Business model

Starting a software consulting business - any general tips?


Last updated on January 21st, 2019

What tips do you have for starting a software consulting business? I am US based developer with a versatile software team based overseas.

What general tips do you have for getting our first 1 -5 clients?

I'm especially interested in practical tips outside the obvious freelancing sites: upwork, freelancer etc.

For example, bidding on state/govt contracts on

Ideas welcome.

Tony Joseph ' Building technology around processes, rather than building processes around technology '

January 22nd, 2019

Well, I have developed the sales process groundup for the custom software development firm that I work with. So I guess I am qualified enough to answer your question. To start with, I assume you neither have deep pockets, a large marketing team or a strong portfolio of projects. From my experience it is very easy to get carried away and go after a variety of sources, which tends to spread your effort too thin ultimately resulting in no projects. The ideal situation for any company would be customers coming to you with requirements, which is possible via SEO, Content Marketing, etc. The problem is that; it takes time, the market is very competitive and you would need to shell out a good chunk of your money as well as effort to get any visibility. So coming to my suggestion, I would recommend focusing on one source and putting in all your effort to create a portfolio. Upwork is definitely a great place to start (we have got a good amount of projects closed via Upwork since the last couple of years) with good project sizes. Competition is high so you might want to go low on your bids just to create the experience, collect feedback and build the profile. Believe me when I say 'Some work brings more work' Alternatively, you might want to start meeting up decision makers/startups more than often to explore requirements, offer to do no cost/at cost POC's (we got our first client this way and was our largest account) Once you have built a small but good portfolio you might want to sign up with and become a sponsor. They send you some high quality traffic to your website with decent project sizes. But obviously you have to optimize your website as well as have a story to tell to make the visitors drop you a project enquiry. So just to summarize, go aggressive with your pricing strategy, start with one or two sources, estabilish a sales and presales process, focus on creating a portfolio. Would be glad to help if you need more advice.

Kumaresh Tirukonda Sales Professional helping Startups and SME to get their first clients in various geographies

Last updated on January 29th, 2019


I am a sales veteran with about 30 years of working in IT consulting business in USA / EMEA and India.

Your success depends on the turning out the first few clients to thier satisfaction and can use them as your reference clients.

Probably, keeping your startup budget in mind - Hire a freelancer(s) / 1 or 2 man lean sales team ( No freshers here - or you will spend more time training/educating them) - focus on a market that's close to you.

Make some good marketing collateral with USP which is crisp and direct to the end user. Make sure that you have strategy and budget for the initial sales plan ( 3 to 6 months) and a lean digital market initiative to support your sales plan.

Hope this helps.


Keith Mintz

Last updated on January 21st, 2019

I have a good relationship with a guy i am also working with who started his own tech development team. I can connect you guys! Send me a message! You can also email me:

Doug Slattery Founder of AECS Consulting Inc. Developing apps for IoT smart home & office.

January 22nd, 2019

For starters, not being "Anonymous" helps.

For winning government contracts, it's a pretty lengthy bidding process once you've found the government portal for contractors. You could also encounter bonding requirements and other restrictive requirements (e.g. US based employees, etc.) depending on the contract.

Agassi Nakhapetian

January 27th, 2019

Think through your sales strategy. Any new company needs to gain credibility before it can expect to gain real progress. You should have very deep expertise, and network connections in a very narrow and specific field/industry. Leverage that to the fullest before you even try to chase other clients.

Christopher Antonopoulos Founder| Marketing Automation | Demand Generation | Sales CRM | Speaker |

January 21st, 2019

You have to find a common pain point and large enough market to support the development costs. We built software based on a common need across a set of current clients so already had the market.

Curt Sahakian Attorney

January 21st, 2019

Find a first customer.

Jim Barkley Director at UI LABS

January 22nd, 2019

Find a good business partner in a specific vertical that has weak software capabilities and convince them to let you DBA.

Louis James Tromans Founder of TradingCompared

January 27th, 2019

YouTuber known as Sam Ovens - for any consulting business he provides the best education and information. Check out a few of his videos and let us know what you think.

Cleo Batista helping tech development at startups

January 31st, 2019

1st -> Improve your profile, puting experiences and skills. Some opportunities came to me from here.

2nd -> Write some texts telling your experience at Medium, Linkedin, etc. That gives you authority.

3rd -> Follow people, offer help, be an active member at communities. Mantain your github profile active.