I am working on a software product that would be marketed to municipalities and community groups such as a chamber of commerce. Is this a hard market?

Our software would be deployed for communities. The users would be residents and business owners within the community to use as a way to communicate. It really is a tool for economic development and civic engagement so i think it would be most appealing to municipal leaders. I am concerned because I could imagine it is hard to get ahold of municipal money.


Not necessarily. What's key is to build relationships with the organizations that work most closely with the munis and local leaders. Often times the money comes from them (i.e NGOs, local companies, social ent orgs). In some cases software can be piloted at low or no cost with muni leaders and from there, government sees value and invests accordingly. Where will you be working? Of course every region and location is different but building relationships with organizations that work globally and know how to tap into the local groups is a great first step. Happy to chat further if I can be of help.

Answered 9 years ago

The municipal market (also my primary market) is a real "me too" market and will (especially within a region) always do what their colleagues have found success with. If you can establish a relationship with a muni in your sweet spot and invest some of your time to create a good reference implementation, this will go far for you. However, you really have to be solving a problem that the municipality has because they are very tactically focused. I have spent years in the open government/engagement space here and the value proposition for municipalities is very hard to define in order for them to spend money investing in a tool that will provide this. You may be better served by focusing on a pseudo public sector group such as the Chamber or directly to the Council. If you try to sell a civic engagement tool to municipal staff, even if they are visionary, you will come up with nothing. Frame it in a problem they need to solve, such as how much money is being spent on a process or an activity and how this could reduce this.

Happy to chat further!

Answered 9 years ago

I worked selling SaaS to school districts across the country for three years, which are subject to many of the same dynamics. One thing I think you'll run into is reaching the right decision maker in "constellation decision making" relationships. Another challenge will be you'll sometimes be subject to RFP processes. I'd be happy to do a call and discuss this with you.

Answered 9 years ago

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