Some of the current government contracting trends we are seeing show that state and local government spending is on the increase in spite of the reductions in the federal budget. We are also seeing seasonality in spending trends. Late summer is when there is usually a bump as spending increases and budgets are used before fiscal year end. Also, late summer is when planning ramps up for future spending. Agencies start to shift their focus to future products so it’s a good time to implement your strategy to influence the planning process. Smart companies don’t just respond to bids but rather they look at ways to identify the opportunities to influence when planning is taking place. There is one key area of opportunity that we think is particularly good for businesses that want a predictable revenue stream from government business. Term contracts (also known as: blanket purchase agreements, recurring contracts, IDIQ and state purchasing coops) are an opportunity source for companies that provide items consistently needed by agencies. State and local entities will set up a term contract to allow agencies to buy a product (computers, for example) at pre-negotiated prices from a limited number of vendors for a pre-set period of time. 3 Top Strategies First: Do the Research This is crucial to your success in the government space and usually involves a fair amount of hard work. Resources are required to do the kind of digging into agency websites, city council minutes, meeting notes, discussions with agency contacts etc. Your research will uncover insights into past and current awards, who won the awards, similar awards from other agencies, and agency contacts. It takes a lot of time and resources to do this work, both of which are often in short supply. The Onvia Term Contract Center tracks all this information for you and makes it very easy to find the information you need so you can focus on finding the right opportunities for your company. Second: Target There are two areas to target your strategy: the opportunities and the contacts. Knowing award history will give you information about the agencies like vendor preference and if your product or service matches the agency need. The right agency contacts allow you to establish your company as a trusted vendor which will potentially influence the specifications of bids. Third: Response Make sure you provide the best possible bid response. Be very careful to answer all the requests in the published bid or proposal. In addition be sure to organize your presentation for clarity and demonstrate your brand professionalism and experience. The Onvia Term Contract Center is a great source of information about predictable, on-going business. Our clients use Onvia to target the best term contract opportunities to fit their business, identify incumbents, and determine how this information can be used to target agencies to win the next award. For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, watch our webinar and learn more about how companies can use term contract awards to create a winning strategy to build their government business.