Finance

Uncle Sam Wants Your Business

Government agencies are prime groups to do business with when the budget year nears its end.
2 min read

This story appears in the March 2009 issue of . Subscribe »

With nearly $450 billion in federal discretionary funds available to them every year, government agencies are prime groups to do business with when the end of their fiscal year rolls around. Any unused funds they have at this time aren't rolled over into the next year but instead go back to the Treasury, giving agencies an incentive to spend their loose change. "That's when the government market is attractive for just about anybody," says Mark Amtower, founding partner of consulting firm Amtower & Co. Here are some easy ways to get a piece of the spending pie for your startup.

  1. Promote your services directly to the government. Government agencies buy just about every business service or product. They do this by making micropurchases (any purchase less than $3,000) through the SmartPay program, which is essentially a credit card with a government logo. If your business takes MasterCard or Visa, you can take SmartPay. Download the logo from gsa.gov and display it on your website, marketing materials or anywhere else your credit card logos are shown. "This shows you are government-friendly," Amtower says.
  2. Time your communications. The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, and Amtower says you should begin promoting your business to agencies 90 days before the end of the fiscal year. During this period, make phone calls to potential government clients, or send out brochures and e-mails.
  3. Make yourself stand out. Amtower says it's important for startups to "figure out what their differentiators are and clearly enunciate them." Go the extra mile and offer delivery to local clients or establish a guaranteed response time to inquiries. Avoid offering free gratuities, however; while these are common in the B2B world, government agencies aren't allowed to accept them.

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.