Now more than ever Australian small businesses need to think laterally if they’re to see the back of this economic tsunami. Now more than ever Australian small businesses must be open to challenging the norm; mix things up; open new revenue streams previously thought to be out of reach. Now more than ever Australian small businesses must realise the means to remain steadfast and help them to poke their heads through the other side. Now more than ever Australian SMBs need to consider targeting our Local, State and Federal government sectors.
Even in ‘good’ economic times, the failure rate of small businesses sits either side of 50%, depending on who you talk to. While being lauded as being the back-bone of our economy and an employer of over 40% of the entire private sector workforce in Australia, almost one in two small businesses permanently close their doors before seeing in their third birthday. Unbelievably, C-19’s after-effects mean we’re about to witness an even bigger spike in this statistic.
Whether you’ve considered them or not, it remains a fact that our Government sectors are our biggest source of potential revenue, bar none. In fact, when economies enter challenging periods (think 1991 Recession and the GFC), Governments proactively increase their spend to prevent economies crashing even further.
When I speak with SMB owners and operators about considering the government sector as a target market, there’s typically several recurring themes that rear up as blockers to them deciding to try and unlock government revenue. The ‘Big Three’ are usually:
- No real understanding of where or how to start
- Limited time available to compose and submit for government business
- Lack of knowledge or know-how of how to confidently win government business
There’s no doubt that winning government contracts can take time. There’s no doubt you’ll be rejected, possibly many times over. There’s no doubt you’ll feel like giving up. However, if by now your SMB isn’t at least considering to target government business, then there’s never been a more critical time to rethink and update your business plan.
The next wave of successful SMBs will have some form of government strategy in place. These SMBs will face-off against much bigger businesses in the quest to win government contracts, grants, tenders, panel providers, and BAU. Often they will lose. But sometimes they will win, and by winning government business these SMBs can unlock significant new income streams and transform their businesses almost overnight.
Many SMB operators claim they don’t have any real idea where to start when targeting Government contracts. I can save you some time and angst by giving you the answer to that right now: The first key to winning Government business begins when you, the SMB, actually makes the decision to actively target Government business. Once that resolution is made, you’re on on the path (some paths will be longer for some than others) to breaking into public sector business. Of course, much more work needs to be done once you’ve made this decision. However, once you start writing invoices to Government, you’ll understand how quickly Government has the potential to be your most valuable partner: and not just now but well into the future.