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How to Start a Business Selling to Governments

How can I start selling to governments?

The answer might surprise you.  If you've already started a business in any other field selling B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer) you'll find that governments can be a little different in how they order things or decide to make a purchase.

Lets start this tour by going to Google and searching for you local government's name followed by the words "procurement and purchasing."  For example if you live in Austin, Texas you would search for "City of Austin Texas procurement and purchasing"

From here you'll see all the results of your search - choose the one that is the purchasing departments part of the website.

Googles results for Austin Texas Purchasing


Take a self guided tour of this website - Pretty much any government website will be 90% similar to this one.  

How Selling to Governments Works

Now that you know where to go to see your options you should know how this all works.  A government will often go searching for requests to bid.  In order to get their requests for a service or product you offer you will need to go to the government website and sign up to receive notifications of new bids.  Be sure to select an option that won't send you opening bids that you don't care about.  

In most places you can't simply approach a public official and ask if they want to buy something.  No, they need to come to you and they have to initiate a whole process in their government.

If you have questions that Google isn't answering remember that there is a person running your governments purchasing department.  Be sure to email them asking for a quick phone call.  Its important that they know who you are.  Ensure that you are friendly and don't attempt to pressure that person into providing information.



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