Track Spending Patterns & Grow Your Business
Just about every industry experiences downturns in activity and it’s no different for vendors working with local governments. During this period, effective business owners focus on some of our simple strategies to help position themselves for new opportunities.
You likely already know how important it is to build business relationships as a foundation for generating new business. If not, give our three easy tips to strengthen your business a try. Another quick task that can get you ahead of a slow season is to look at government spending patterns. It’s another easy way to expand your business!
Review your own annual contracts.
If you are a vendor holding annual contracts, reviewing them can help you decide the best way to find more business. If you’re happy with the pricing you gave one government, why not target another government with similar needs? Many local governments value being able to “piggy-back” off of contracts that are already in place.
Getting the contract information to local governments who may want to piggy-back can be done in a few different ways. Like traditional marketing information, you can choose to email it, mail it or schedule a personal visit or quick phone call.
Want to share those contracts in one quick digital upload? Vendor Registry does that! You can upload existing annual contracts to your profile, which allows purchasing agents to review them and reach out for a piggy-back request.
Track when annual contracts might come due.
Annual contracts can be very valuable assets. Knowing when an annual contract was won, even if it was won by a competitor, gives you a heads-up on when that contract might reappear as a bid. Tracking this information helps you identify the right time to start connecting with local governments.
Everything you need is considered public information and can be requested from local governments. This information can be gathered by making calls to purchasing agents and asking a few questions. Emailing purchasing agents with the same questions might work as well, but purchasing agents stay pretty busy, so if you don’t get a response the first time, following up could serve you well.
If you use a lead notification service, you may already have access to this data. For example, Vendor Registry provides bid information tracking as far back as 18 months. Spend a few hours a day looking for those annual bids and noting the bid deadline. Let this be your guide for scheduling strategically planned visits with purchasing agents or end users. So, if you find an annual contract for janitorial services was awarded in February, then plan on developing a relationship with that local government in October or November. That way you’ll be well prepared for a December/January bid release.
Identify local government spending seasons.
Reviewing past bid data helps identify certain seasons of local government spending. Do school systems appear to be buying the products you sell more so during the summer or, the middle of the school year? Are the services you offer typically contracted for in the spring? Questioning when local governments are making recurring purchases can tell you when to start looking for those types of bids.
If you are tracking bid data, or have access to past bid data, then take note of when the bids for your products or services typically come out. You might learn that your most relevant bidding opportunities happen during the first quarter of the year, for example. Knowing this information can help you plan to be ready for your company’s busiest bidding season. Developing a tracking system can put you a few steps ahead of your competition.
Need help gaining access to bid information like this? Vendor Registry has folks on staff that show vendors how to sort through all the data we collect. We’re confident our services make a difference in the ways that are important to your business. That’s why we offer an open invitation to try our services for 30 days — at no charge to you!
Consider tracking the spending patterns of local governments as your roadmap to future business partnerships. Building relationships is only one part of an ongoing story. Capitalizing on opportunities you’ve already proven worked keeps you moving forward — working smarter, not harder!