Government contractors: What should you do as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches? (with related video)
The end of the federal fiscal year (FY) on Sept. 30, 2015 represents an opportunity for government contractors to go after unused agency funds, yet many contractors come up short. While the government employees need to spend those last dollars, they will be looking to be prudent in their spending to maximize the value for the government.
This year, because of the various budget issues, most agencies will have some funds available that will be spent before 11:59 PM, 9/30/15, and I fully expect to see sales accelerate as we near the end of FY.
Here are a few tips for contractors to maximize end of FY sales.
First, review the agency web sites to see if there is any information on what they are currently doing. Intuit from this what they need to accomplish the task. If you are a fit, pursue!
Along these same lines, make certain you have read the agency OMB filings, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) OMB 53A (IT) and OMB 300A (Capital Asset Plans) to know the overall plans of the agency you sell to. This site has some information.
Next, always go back to the well, the people and offices that know you best and buy from you frequently. Ask them what they need and if they have the available funds. Be ready to offer spot reductions if necessary. Also ask for internal referrals, other people who might need your product or service.Along the lines of going back to the well, if there are any in-agency events, especially tabletop expos, attend and exhibit at those where you are known.
Make certain your web site and all marketing materials clearly describe your firm’s products and services. The materials should also note which federal contracts that buyers can use to acquire those products and services.
If you have in-bound sales, stay open on 9/30/15 until midnight in all time zones. Have all available staff necessary available to close a deal, including finance. I have heard many stories from reliable sources about end of FY sales, midnight in Asia, where one company wins because they are the one still manning the phones. If you drive sales through your web site, make certain your customers know you’ll be behind the web site to make certain all sales are registered by midnight. Even government charge card sales need to be fully processed BEFORE the close of FY.
In the video, Mark Amtower talks about myths regarding the end-of-fiscal-year “busy season.”