Saturday, May 15, 2010

BtoB and looking at B2G?

Are you targeting or growing Government Business for 2010 and beyond? Or do you want to understand where your company might fit and what it will take to 'get in the game'?

The government market remains one of the bright spots in the current economy. Regardless of what you sell, the government probably buys it.

According to Onvia, here is what the government spends:

$5.5 trillion a year
$105 billion a week
$15 billion a day
$625 million an hour
$10 million a minute
$175,000 a second.

Spending by federal, state, and municipal governments now represents almost half of total U.S. GDP, and some expect it to increase in the coming years. If you sell a business product or service, the odds are that the government is a potential or current customer. Companies that ignore the government sector are significantly disadvantaged.

If you are interested in pursuing government business for the first time, or growing your current government business, please read on-

Over the past few years there has been a tidal wave of renewed interest in the Business-to-Government (B2G) market by companies selling virtually any legitimate business product or service. The Federal government remains a dependable income base for savvy companies. When B2G is worked properly, it is almost a recession-proof market.

However, if it is not worked properly, it will devour your time, money and effort and leave you with less than you started. There are many ways to start down the wrong path, including attending events that promise and don't deliver, or hiring the wrong consultant.

Every year of the thousands of companies that enter the government market, most leave after a short time, as they had grossly inadequate preparation on what is required in terms of infrastructure, marketing and overall expectations. Unrealistic expectations, a poor market entry strategy and the wrong advice will kill any effort.

You need to set attainable goals, develop an action plan that gets you there, and set a realistic timeframe to accomplish the goals. You need to understand the resources needed along the way. Doing the research to determine the goals and the action plan is one of the areas where I can help.

The B2G market requires both a different knowledge base and a different set of skills than B2B. Without the knowledge and skills, your market entry and growth is doomed to failure, or at least very slow progress. Further, the more “niche” your product or service, the more your market approach needs to be targeted precisely to that niche. Your market entry program must avoid a formulaic approach. To start properly you need insight, research and you need to start developing and managing your B2G network.

If you are already in the market and you are not maximizing results from your marketing and sales programs, you may also need some outside help.

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 - If I can help, I will say so and explain how. And if I can't help I will direct you to someone who can and help you get in touch.

And if I can help, you and I will design a program that fits your needs and your budget.

Why discuss this with me?

Since 1985, I have advised over 250 companies on successful market entry and growth. My clients include manufacturers, publications, catalogs, resellers, integrators, seminar and event producers, educational institutions and many others. I have advised clients in a broad range of product and service categories and have been successful in helping each company willing to act on my advice.

Over the past 26 years in the government market Amtower & Company has developed a reputation for excellence that is unparalleled. My successful clients represent both market approaches: contracts (GSA and other contracts) and open market (no contracts). Many of these companies have remained Amtower clients for several years. Check out my LinkedIn profile to see some of the over 200 recommendations I have from current and past clients, and from my peers.

My advice has been used by large and small companies, novices and B2G professionals, to sell billions in products and services both through contracts and via open market.

I only take on clients where I can truly add value. So send me an email so we can set up a time to talk-

Have a successful 2010- and beyond!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Open Government & Innovation Conference

I had the absolute pleasure of moderating a panel at the Open Government & Innovation conference today at the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC. I moderated a panel in the Knowledge Management track on "Culture Shock: Transforming the Culture to Further the Mission." The event was produced by 1105 and I was invited to speak by my friend Suzanne Young.

My panel consisted of three extremely bright and well-versed knowledge management pros: Susan Camarena, Chief Knowledge Officer of the Federal Transit Administration, Barbara Pearson, Director of the KM staff at TTB in Treasury, and Rachel Lunsford, management analyst in the Office of Information & Technology, Veterans Administration. We had about 120 people in our session and overall it was quite informative, and thanks to my great panel, I think the attenders walked out with some great information. We also got to test an "instant poll" technology at the end of the session, prompted by the questions on our PowerPoint slides. People "voted" with hand-held keypads at the tables.

This event reminded me of the power of niche events. Niche events tend to provide more targeted information to an audience that cares about the topic (audience of Feds and vendors), and these events tend to be more more of a community affair as a result. Shared interests do that, really bring out the community in the gathering. It is difficult to explain to novices the power of targeted events, but if you were there, you could feel it.

After the panel session I was discussing that with Kim Hower of VMWare- how the government market truly niches down at the upper levels- a series of overlapping and inter-related circles of influence and interest. The deeper you get into the government market, the more important these niches become.

This is what we (anyone in the market) mean when we say this is a relationship driven market. You need a strong knowledge of your niche, then the ability and drive to find those people who share those interests. The resulting community shares knowledge in venues provided by trusted sources throughout industry and government. Fortunately, not all the venues are virtual.

I saw several industry friends at the event- Marc Hausman, Maxine Teller, Tom Ruff, Bob Gosselin, David Hubler, Wyatt Kash and others.

So why was I invited to moderate a Knowledge Management panel? Go back to who invited me. Suzanne Young and I have known each other for a long while, she from the event perspective, me from the speaker/industry watcher & commentator/consultant perspective.

It is a relationship driven market.

Thanks Suzanne- I had a blast!