UACES Facebook End of federal fiscal year 21 - Tips on what to do for government contracting
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Last Call for FY 2021

by Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center - September 8, 2021

Picture of moneyAs we enter September (the last month of the federal fiscal year), federal agencies are spending down their remaining dollars on many goods and services. So, if you are thinking, "What should I be doing right now?" – we have a few practical tips to help you end the federal fiscal year 2021 on a positive note.

Do: Follow up with people you contacted throughout the year.

If you had an opportunity to engage them, and they liked your product or service but didn't have the budget to move forward at the time, perhaps some end-of-year funding is now available to make that purchase.

Don't: Don't spam every Contracting Officer in the nation.

Several companies will sell you a directory of Contracting Officers and suggest that you conduct a fourth-quarter email blast. Spamming anyone (including government buyers) is not how you gain their respect and trust. That said, if you have built a list of interested people who opted-in to receive your promotional offers, or if you have established communication with them earlier in the year, now would be a great time to send out an end-of-year special.

Do: Go small.

As agencies look to spend down their remaining dollars quickly, micro-purchases using government credit cards are often their go-to strategy. Do you know what the micro-purchase threshold is for the product or service you offer? If you can, craft an end-of-year special that falls under the micro-purchase threshold. Small purchases are also a great way to get your foot in the door, make yourself known, and position yourself for larger opportunities in the future.

Don't: Don't expect to get a multi-million-dollar contract that hasn't been previously competed if you are new to the government marketplace (unless you can offer the government a sole source or quick purchase option). 

If you are an 8(a) firm and have established communication with your product or service end-users at agencies you want to do business with, reaching out now for an end-of-year check-in may be a good option. Also, the sole source aspect of the 8(a) program provides an expedited pathway for government buyers to make larger acquisitions in the open market because they can skip the competitive phase.

Do: Be patient.

If you aren't ready, you aren't ready. Take an opportunity to learn how end-of-year spending works and go into next year with a solid game plan for sales and marketing during each quarter of the federal fiscal year 2022.

Don't: Don't express frustration to buyers working in federal agencies if no one answers the phone or returns your phone calls or emails.

Unfortunately, September is one of the most challenging months to get in touch with buyers as many are working around the clock to spend down those end-of-year dollars.

If you want more tips and strategies for the fourth quarter, check out "What Your Contracting Officer Wants in Q4 (And How to Give It to Them)," a recently recorded Govology webinar (now available on-demand). Make sure to ask your APEX Accelerator counselor for a coupon code to get this course at no cost to you. 

Do you want to discuss your end-of-year offer strategy or formulate a new one for next year? Your APEX Accelerator counselor can be a great resource in helping you craft your plan and may suggest additional end-of-year tips of their own. If it's been a while since your last meeting with your APEX Accelerator counselor, now is the perfect time to request an annual check-in to discuss this topic and many others for the upcoming fiscal year.