Countless businesses, contractors and subcontractors responsible to fulfill contracts for the federal government may all be affected during a government shutdown. If you find yourself with unexpected downtime, here are four ways you can get leads and grow your business in the meantime.
Who else gets shut down during a government shutdown?
When the most recent government shutdown occurred many small business owners, contractors and subcontractors faced the prospect of lost – or at least delayed – federal contract work for as long as the shutdown lasts.
The laws governing a temporary government shutdown separate federal workers (and projects) into two camps: essential and non-essential, also sometimes referred to as excepted and non-excepted. Essential workers and work continues during a government shutdown. However, the longer a government shutdown lasts, the more its non-essential (ouch!) employees, contractors and vendors pay the price.
A Government Shutdown Doesn’t Have to Shut Your Business Down
If your organization will be affected by the government shutdown, you may find yourself scrambling to make up lost income in the meantime.
You might also like: 5 Retail Innovations for Brick and Mortar Stores Competing with E-Commerce Rivals
Four ways to build business and replace lost income during a government shutdown:
1. Change your customer mix.
While it may seem like an obvious answer, it’s easy to get into a rut of dependence on one or two large contracts (whether private or public), only to suffer a serious revenue shortage if that client leaves or shuts down their operations on a temporary or permanent basis. Enlarge your customer base with a larger mix of small, medium and large accounts to distribute risk.
2. Change your product mix.
If you serve mainly government contracts because of the type of product or service your organization provides, consider expanding your menu of products or services so that it is broad enough to allow your business to attract a mix of private and public entities.
3. Change your marketing mix.
If your organization’s revenues have come as a result of government contracts, now might be a good time to change your marketing mix so that you can attract more non-government projects and clients. You can quickly improve your ability to attract new clients by:
- Updating on-page content and meta tags on your website so that it is optimized for search
- Add new content, landing pages, articles and contact-building forms to your website
- Spend strategically on SEM (search engine marketing) pay per click advertising and referral marketing (such as Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, retargeting campaigns, etc.)
- Start or revitalize your email marketing efforts
- Launch or expand social media marketing efforts
4. Change your employee mix.
While it might seem counter-intuitive, adding new employees to your business that have entrepreneurial mind and skill sets or who specialize in content marketing, development and lead-generation can help you change your business model to become less reliant on government contracts, help you expand your customer base and realign your marketing mix to help you attract new customers.