[nycbug-talk] Getting started in Consulting

Francisco Reyes lists
Fri Jun 3 19:18:24 EDT 2005

On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, swygue wrote:

> York City. I would like to start marketing my self, but I don't have a clue
> on how to start getting clients of my own.

What do you do?
You planning on going fulltime?
You got rent/food covered?

> How did you first get started ?

Had been doing it "on the side" for about 12 years. Jan 2004 the place I 
worked started a process of firing 150+ people (out of 300). Spent 3 
months looking for a fulltime job.. Since april 04 working as an 
"independant".. for my own company..

When your food/rent money is on the line you suddenly find it easier to 
find clients. :-)

> How did you get your first client ?

Except for 1 client in my almost 15 years of experience I have always got 
clients through referals. The one that wasn't was from Craigslist, but 
it's not easy to get a contract from there.. Lots of competition.

  > Where do you look for clients ?

Craigslist is one place. You can go to networking meetings, small business 
"talks" and networking meetings where business owners go to network.

> How do you sell FreeBSD to clients ?

For the most part you don't.
My experience is with small business so anything I wrote forward is about 
that market.. (under 20 employees mostly).

For the most part I think there are two types of clients. Those that want 
a solution and don't care how you do it and those that think they know what they need 
and tell you to do the work in a particular way. Those for the most part I avoid.. if they 
really knew how to do it, they would not be talking to you in the first place. :-)

A bit of an exception is if they have someone in the shop that is a tech 
person, but not necessarily the same as your knowledge. Example if you are 
a developer and they have a network person.. There is also the rare case 
where they have a good person, but he just has so much work that needs 
some help.

As much as I like the live of a business owner it's a big challenge for us 
tech people because we want to spend more time doing tech work than doing 
marketting and just getting our face out there.

Then you have the issue of actually managing the business. For example if 
you get a contract, finding the right price that will keep you happy and 
the customer coming back... managing your expenses.. paying yourself 
(payroll).. health insurance... etc...

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