Expert: How to win more government business as the federal fiscal year winds down
The government market is huge. As the economy hums along, governments are loosening their purse strings, as noted in the 2017 Keating Report on government budgets and spending.
Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global Insight says government buying will grow a little in 2017. Total government purchases will reach $3.37 trillion in 2017, up from $3.28 trillion in 2016, a 2.7 percent boost, predicts the economic forecasting firm. In 2018, government purchases will reach $3.44 trillion, says IHS. That’s a 2 percent rise in government buys next year compared to 2017.
Government contracting consultant Mark Amtower outlines winning strategies for landing more federal contracts before the end of the federal fiscal year (FY) on Sept. 30. FY 2018 for federal agencies starts Oct. 1. Amtower’s views follow.
As the end of federal FY 2017 approaches, contractors need to be aggressive in pursuing and capturing business. In a somewhat surprising move, Congress authorized the full budget with less than four months to go in the FY, so end of FY spending will have a healthy spike.
If you want to capitalize on this opportunity, here are a few things to think about to get more than your fair share of this spend.
Tip 1 (and the most obvious): go back to current federal agency customers and see what they need. You know these people best, and if you have been doing your job, you should know what they need and where you fit. Get back in front of the decision-makers ASAP. Review their federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) submissions and see where they earmarked spending.
Tip 2: if you have not already done so, look up and connect with your government customers on LinkedIn. There are 1.6 million federal officials on LinkedIn, and a significant portion of those have management titles, so they will probably be influencers when it comes to where to spend their agency’s end of FY funds.
Make certain your own LinkedIn profile is properly filled out and has information on who you are and what you do, as well as what your company does and which agencies your company serves. If your firm specializes in specific agency accounts, name the agencies. Make certain your federal contracts are also on your profile, as well as your personal contact information.
The 2017 end of FY can be a lucrative time for contractors that prepare and execute.
And given the political climate in Washington D.C., don’t count out a government shutdown to kick off FY 2018.
Mark Amtower is a partner at Amtower & Company. He advises companies on all aspects of marketing to the government. He authored “Selling to the Government: What It Takes to Compete and Win in the World’s Largest Market.” Email him at this address: Mark@FederalDirect.net
Amtower’s LinkedIn profile is here.
Editor’s note: GPN will be spotlighting government buying and selling opportunities as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches. The topic will be discussed in a series of four Use It or Lose It e-newsletters that will be deployed in July and August before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept 30, 2017.
Please email email@example.com if you’d like to submit a commentary on what federal buyers and contractors need to do before the end of the federal fiscal year, the federal marketplace or similar topic. Go here for a sample issue of the free Use It or Lose It e-newsletter.