I have been a huge fan of the federal credit card program since it started in 1989 (IMPAC in the 1990s, SmartPay since 1999) . I have written about it, spoken about it, even did the lunch speech at the MasterCard Government Financial Summit for the card program a couple years back.
The SmartPay program encompasses the purchase card, travel card, fleet card and the integrated card (a card which can do 2 or all 3 of the above functions).
In FY 2009 the Federal government spent $30 billion through the SmartPay program, with two-thirds of that going to the small purchase card - $19.9 billion. There were approximately 25,100,000 micro-purchases made with the SmartPay card.
The SmartPay program is great for many reasons.
First, it allows front line government personnel (civilian and military) to purchase goods and services when they need it without the painfully slow procurement process. The per-purchase limit (micro-purchase) is $3,000, so these people are not out there buying cars, buildings, etc. They are buying stuff they need to do their jobs. This actually ends up saving the government money (a cost-avoidance situation) because paper-based procurement costs mount up in personnel time used to do the procurement. The use of the SmartPay card avoids those costs.
Second, because of the total volume the government spends, each agency gets a rebate from the issuing bank.
Third, it allows companies without government contracts an opportunity to get some government business, including direct marketing companies, catalogers (especially BtoB catalogs), and even small-town main street type stores.
Any purchase under the $3,000 per-purchase limit (micro-purchase) does not require a government contract. And the SmartPay card can be used for the ARRA (stimulus) program.
I have consulted with over 50 open-market (non-contract) companies since the early 1990s about going after open market government business, and the results have been extraordinary. Several companies were able to ramp up to seven-figure annual business via the open market targeting micro-purchases. At least one company went into the eight-figure annual open market sales arena. My track record in this niche is unparalleled.
I have an article in a recent DM News on this you can read here:http://www.dmnews.com/government-credit-hasnt-dried-up/article/160372/
Two things: if you want to discuss what I can do for you, simply send me an email and we can set up a time to talk. Mark@FederalDirect.net
or here's the deal for companies that don't currently sell to the government but want to, and for companies that are selling to the government and would like to fine tune their efforts.
1) review your product/service category to determine the spend, see who the competition is, and determine how much each competitor is making;
2) define who the actual buyers are and how to best reach your target audience (direct mail, web-based activity, events, etc) with specific recommendations targeted to your niche, prioritize the agencies and offices to target;
3) determine if there is an opportunity for you under the stimulus program, and what it will take to pursue the stimulus funds;
4) discuss in realistic terms the resources you will need to successfully pursue government (Federal, state and local) business, including staff, training and other outside resources;
5) our recommended step-by-step action plan for your company, including the information you need for your web site to attract online government buyers;
6) include a one-year membership at http://www.governmentmarketmaster.com/ (an Amtower & Company web site that provides ongoing education on the government market; $499/yr value) - in effect a year long graduate course in B2G;
and as a bonus I will include my 4 CD set, The Ultimate Government Sales Jumpstart Program (priced separately at $195). And of course a signed copy of Government Marketing Best Practices, the best selling book on doing business with the government.
This is not boilerplate stuff - each report and action plan is customized for the client company. It will be delivered via a taped 60-90 minute teleseminar (which you will be able to download) with both a written report with a recommended action plan and a PowerPoint to use during the call.
The investment for this a one-time only special is $4,995, prepaid.
This is a "first-come, first scheduled" offer.
Get in touch with me ASAP if you want to take advantage of this. The anticipated response will fill my calendar for the next couple months.
And we do take credit cards.
Email me @ Mark@FederalDirect.net or call me @ 301 924 0058
to schedule your customized B2G research project and reference this blog post.
May you have a successful B2G 2010!