President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” This quote is very inspiring, but in practical terms it can be a difficult question to answer: what can you do for your country?
One answer is, as a business, you can provide goods and services that help the people of your country and support the policies of government in various ways. Whether your business assists in the day-to-day operations of government, contributes to building better communities, or provides schools and universities with new technology and resources allowing them to create a better educational experience for students, there are many ways that you can give back to the community simply by doing what you do best.
You already contribute to society by paying your taxes, employing your fellow citizens, and buying products and services from other businesses; by bidding on local, state and federal RFPs you can take it one step further and reap rewards for your business in the process. The opportunity to sell is there, and there may be public requests for products and services that the government needs that you may not currently be aware of. By branching out to work in the public sector, your company will have the chance to win bids that will grant you the opportunity to provide quality products or services while building a great reputation for your company.
Products or Services that the Government Already Buys
If the government already buys a product or service that your company sells, you know that you have a better chance of selling it to government agencies at all levels. Some companies may see a bid in your sector as an opportunity to expand their business or enter into a new industry, but because of your knowledge and years of experience in the business, you already have an advantage over other bidders. You will be able to offer the government a superior product, better prices, or time and efficiency improvements over competitors that are new to your industry.
New Products or Services for the Government to Buy
If the government doesn’t already source a good or service that your company sells, it may be in their best interest to begin buying it. You must decide if the product or service you sell has the possibility to help the agency operate more efficiently or effectively. One of the best ways to introduce your product or service to a government agency is to pitch it directly to them: Set up meetings with agencies, provide information in the form of brochures or pamphlets, make cold calls, ask if they are aware of the types of products and services you offer, and explain to them why the product or service you provide would be beneficial for them.
If your product or service can save agencies time and money, introducing your company to them could be just what JFK was getting at when he said “Ask what you can do for your country.”