Author Topic: Getting Started Freelancing in Salesforce Development Advice Sought  (Read 1599 times)


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My Fellow Mustachians,

I am currently employed as a Salesforce Technical Consultant at an Independent Software Vendor (ISV). I've been here 5 years doing primarily Salesforce development on our AppExchange product and tech consulting. One of my lifelong ambitions is to start my own company. I'm in the very early stages of starting a Salesforce consultancy and am seeking your advice on the following:

1) How do you get clients? Do you apply to job postings to get work? Do you talk to recruiters to get work? Where do you usually find the most success getting clients?

A couple months ago I started a blog sharing various Salesforce posts and then posting about them on LinkedIn and Twitter. I'm doing this to build my brand and demonstrate my expertise so when I start marketing and advertising for clients, they'll have something to reference to see how I can bring value to them. To get clients initially, I will network in various ways and reach out to my current contacts to see what work they may have. I don't plan on seeking out my current employer's clients because they have small budgets and I don't want to take business away from them.

2) What pricing strategies do you use? From the resources I've seen and from local contacts, they advocate to use fixed-bid or value-pricing whenever possible over billing by the hour. At my employer, we use fixed and Time & Material (T&M) pricing for projects for various reasons but I'd like to get your thoughts on this.

3) My boss and I have an excellent relationship. My boss knows that I plan on starting my own company and I've told him I plan on doing it this year. He asked if I'd consider staying on in a consulting capacity and I said yes but not with you being my sole client. I'm thinking I'd allocate 16-24 hours per week to them so there's capacity for other clients. What do you think of that? How many of you had your first client be your former employer?

4) How do you determine your Minimum Billable Rate? Currently, I've calculated mine as
     (Total Current Employer Compensation + Self Employment Tax % + $20/Hr Profit Buffer) / 2080 hours. A colleague said I should use 1500 hours instead of 2000 because one usually only bills 30-32 per week instead of 40 for various reasons.

5) My plan is to start the Salesforce Consultancy full-time and quit my day job instead of doing side-work to establish the client base and then quitting. We have sufficient financial reserves for a few years if need be so I'd like to dedicate all my professional time towards this effort instead of splitting it across my day job and side biz. Has anyone else done this? If so, any regrets?

6) I will be a one-man shop. How would you incorporate? I'm thinking an S-Corp over an LLC. I plan on speaking to an accountant and attorney to get advice but would like to hear your thoughts on this.

7) I tried searching for Freelance in the forum search but it kept erroring. I then tried google searching only the forums but didn't find any worthwhile threads based on the keywords used. What other resources here and elsewhere would you recommend to learn about freelancing and starting a Salesforce consultancy?

8) What other advice do you have?

Thanks in advance,