How many clients do you really need?

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Let’s be honest for a second.

Being a software consultant @saltyslopes for the past 6 months, I have come to value a very important idea.

 I don’t really need that many clients .

If you want to find out how many clients you really need, then you need to ask your self how much money do you need to make? in-order to cover your salary and operations costs. Go over and check out one of my calculator apps that helps you figure out exactly that –> How to get started as a freelancer.

For the last couple of weeks, I have searched online, watched a couple of videos, and have ben  trying to understand how and why I should be applying marketing to my consulting practice to acquire more clients. Not being an expert in marketing, I was close to loosing focus on who my clients are and started to create a very complex marketing strategy, but I just took a step back and asked my self the following question.

Who is my ideal client?

Staying clear and concise to who and what you are providing your services to will make it much more clearer, to weed out the unnecessary leads that end up in your email/phone/twitter.  This has come really handy when I am meeting with a prospect, because I just start going through the check list and as soon as of the boxes don’t get checked than bells and alarms start ringing.

What do this clients look like?

  1. Operates out of Salt Lake City
  2. Has less than 100 employees
  3. Is looking for extra help with a software project
  4. Has a budget larger than 10k
  5. CEO/CFO or Decision maker

What is enough?

Now that you have a clear image of what and who you are serving and you understand how much money you really want to make than you can start to see how much money will be enough to cover all expenses here is my breakdown.

  1. Salary 65K
  2. Operations costs 6K

As you can see the biggest expense is my salary, of course this might change depending on, if I decide take on more clients in the future or if I hire new employees or use sub contractors. The grand totals are the following

  1. $14,200 per project
  2. 6 clients
  3. Total revenue $85,200

Wait don’t over engineering your marketing strategy?

I know what the expert marketers are going to be telling you, create a brand strategy, do some SEO, go through and create organic keyword results, create and design a better logo did I say branding already?  don’t forget about adwords, paper ads, news ads and ads ads ads.

After finishing reading the book permission marketing by seth godin, I can gladly say that I would rather plant and harvest in the same location instead of constantly going out and finding new leads.

Now that challenge is just finding how to get those five clients, I am so happy that it’s not 20,000+ users instead.

Till next time



Rick H

Rick H - Responsible for evaluating business requests to determine feasibility, identifying options, and recommending solutions for software development and enhancements. Assist with interpreting customer requirements into conceptual design specifications. Developing interfaces/prototypes and maintaining/testing solutions, conducting root-cause analysis of system, and recommending solutions based upon findings.

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  1. Jake Gardner July 25, 2014 at 5:08 am

    4 words:
    Keep your pipeline full.

    More clients is better. You can always employ more staff. I would say make as much money as you can while you can. Why settle for 65k if you can be on 200k or 500k.
    I think take every opportunity that presents itself.

    • Ei the Computer Guy July 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Employees can bankrupt you as easily as they can make you rich… It’s always good to strive, but many times you KEEP the most money by not being too aggressive.

      • Martin Lehner July 25, 2014 at 10:12 am

        Agreed. Employees, especially experienced ones, can be costly and you need to ensure you can keep them busy every minute you’re paying them for. The key is to get to a point where you have a STEADY stream of work, not necessarily too much work all at the same time where you’re cramming in 20 hour work days.

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