The government buys everything from paper clips to battleships and anything else you can imagine. One of the biggest questions we get asked, “What does the government spend the most money on?”.
You should first think about your professional connections if you are looking to start selling to the government. Having a relationship with other companies will help provide a sense of what you can offer. If you do not have any connections, that is okay...first figure out if you want to sell products or services. In the service industry, you might be limited to a particular area as your team will have to be on site to provide these services. If you are able to outsource the work just know your company’s reputation is on the line if you are not going to be the one physically on site to oversee the project. Selling products is something you can do from anywhere, just make sure you consider the shipping cost with larger items!
Once you have decided if you are going to be selling a product or service, the fun begins with prospecting to agencies. You first need to identify agencies that are buying what you sell, most folks subscribe to a bid/rfp system that alerts them of upcoming opportunities. As mentioned in previous articles, only 20% of spending goes through this process and forming relationships will help increase your chances for the other 80% not found through notifications. One pro tip is to search through archived bids to find the person who has purchased what you sell in the past to identify the key decision makers.
Follow social media and search the agency website to know what initiatives are happening to see if you can help them with your offerings. Agencies will have meetings and upload their minutes so you will know what they are trying to accomplish. The meetings have also moved to virtual events that you can join remotely. Some cities will even broadcast a live stream through twitter, which is one of the most popular social media platforms across government agencies!
Here are some spending stats from 2020 for a variety of products and services:
Pressure Washing: $40.76 Million
Beer: $64.04 Million
Website Design/Development: $59.61 Million
Pool Cleaning: $933,317
Tree Trimming: $164 Million
Construction: $97.27 Billion
Toilet Paper: $68.77 Million
Ink/Toner: $290.99 Million
Catering: $101.57 Million
Pillows: $21.45 Million
Furniture: $2.55 Billion
Books: $2.05 Billion
Soda: $39.42 Million
Wellness Coaching/Program: $60.40 Million