In the search for clients that will give small businesses a little bit of stability, many business owners do not find the right long-term partners because they are looking in the wrong places. Below are three types of clients that will ensure the success of your business:
1) State and federal funded contracts
Although these contracts are, by most standards, the most difficult to procure for a business, they are definitely the most lucrative and the most stable. Governments tend to contract to private businesses at higher rates for longer periods of time than other forms of business clients.
Most of the time, when a government entity needs a private business to perform a service, it will publicize the contract and take bids in a competitive fashion. The business that provides the best value for the government and has the appropriate experience will usually receive the contract.
However, Government Contract Management is all about paying attention to the particulars of your submission. Follow all instructions as closely as you possibly can, as your attention to detail is one of the most important criteria for winning a government contract.
2) Educational contracts
Contracts with schools are similar in nature to government contracts in that they tend to move towards long-term partnerships. In order to protect the continuity of the learning experience for different generations of students, schools are inherently conservative places when it comes to business partnerships. This means that contracts with them are difficult to get and require a great deal up front work and networking. However, the payoff is more than worth it.
Be sure to discuss business with the appropriate parties when pitching an educational institution. Pay special attention to any federal, state or local regulations that may affect your partnership with the school. You should come into meetings prepared with this information rather than being surprised by faculty and staff with questions about regulatory matters.
3) Multinational corporations
Businesses that are extremely large tend to have supplier chains and partnerships that are also long-term. These are perhaps the best clients to get as they understand the nature of business; however, they are also quite unwilling to change when they have found the right person to fulfill a certain service for them.
In short, getting great clients requires a great deal of upfront investment. However, if you are willing to put up with a “hurry up and wait” application process, you will find yourself in company with institutions for a long time.