By Cindy Bates

New e-guide brings the prospect of lucrative government contracts within the SMB’s reach

Small businesses are born of big thinking – the brilliant concept, the leap of faith, the confidence to pursue a dream, and the ambitious plan. Certainly, most small business owners I work with indeed have plans to expand, and those plans could include anything from opening a storefront in a new location or marketing to a wider geography or demographic.

But I think more SMBs should be thinking big, in truly exponential terms, when planning for growth, because it – just like their business dream – is within reach. If an SMB learns the tips and tricks of going after contracts with local, state and federal government agencies, it opens itself up to a world of growth opportunities.

Here’s why: the U.S. government, which has committed 23 percent of its budget to small business spending, is the single largest buyer of products and services in the country. But the process for pursuing a contract with the government can be so complex that the Obama administration recently signed legislation to provide small businesses additional assistance in going after this lucrative work.

This is the type of customer that can make a massive difference in your revenue potential, but not every SMB knows how to successfully compete for government work. Microsoft recently sponsored the 2013 edition of the Procurement Opportunities Guide, produced by Braddock Communications. This e-guide (free for download here) demystifies the government procurement process by providing invaluable, practical information about:

· The criteria government uses in awarding contracts

· Effective government marketing strategies

· The role technology can serve in scaling your business for dramatic growth, and

· Special programs for small businesses who want to work with the government.

Many organizations that share our commitment to small business success also helped to make the Procurement Opportunities Guide a reality. I’d like to acknowledge the passionate support of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) and the Minority Business Roundtable (MBRT) in our efforts to make this resource available to as many SMBs as possible.

Big, entrepreneurial thinking has taken you to start your small business, and I encourage you to explore how much further you can go. The pursuit of a government contract isn’t for everyone; even with support, it requires diligence and stamina. But, above all else, it requires a real desire to propel your business to new heights. Do you have that desire? Then access the Procurement Opportunities Guide now to once again turn your business dream into a reality.


For more tips and information on how technology can support you and your business, follow me on Twitter ( or follow Microsoft SMB on Twitter (@MicrosoftSMB) and Facebook (Microsoft SMB).