A couple of years ago youngest son’s swim coach had gathered the squad together for their first training session of the season. Coach Jo had just asked a question to the mini mob of giggling, excited and easily distracted 7-year olds. The question Coach Jo had posed was around goal setting and what the kids thought a successful swim season looked like for them.
“I want to win the Club Championship”, my son declared somewhat boldly. This raised my eyebrows. The Club Champs was the last swim meet of the season and saw the kids race each other across all four swimming disciplines – best of the best, Top Gun-style!
Points were allocated for each swimmer based on where they finished each race. After the races concluded, points were tallied, and winners were announced at a family-friendly BBQ and presentation ceremony at the hall near the pool.
“That’s a pretty big goal, Mason”, Coach Jo responded seriously.
“Winning the Seawolves Club Championships isn’t easy”, Jo continued. “Can you swim what will likely need to be the best times of your season, across freestyle, fly, breast and backstroke? All on the same day?
“Will you be fit enough to keep moving while your legs and arms are burning and begging you just to have one small break to help you recover?
“Can you maintain a tight swim technique with parents cheering, kids screaming, and the sun beating down on you?
“Are you prepared to train and give yourself the best chance to win the biggest swim meet of the season?”
My hyperactive mind tends to wander/race to different places at times, and Coach Jo’s response to my son’s personal goal had me drawing correlations between the plight of many small and medium-sized businesses trying to partner with the Government and win a game-changing Government contract.
Like my son decided he wanted to win the club champs, many Australian small businesses have made the bold decision to diversify their customer base and target the biggest sector that exists – a sector that spends billions upon billions of dollars every year through their partners and suppliers and prioritises SME and local bids over Big Business solutions. A sector which over the last 24 months (and the next 3 to 5 years) has purchased more products and services from small businesses than it ever has before.
Winning Government Business: the Club Champs for SMEs
Turning up to the club champs without putting in the hard work and preparation that Coach Jo highlighted will only end in tears. Likewise, putting your hand up for an excellent Government opportunity without first confirming your SME is prepared and capable of partnering with the Government usually ends in the same tears, though on a different face.
So here lies yet another challenging situation for Aussie SMEs: does my SME have the capability to win and fulfil Government business in any of its varied forms? Do I have a snowflake’s chance of partnering with the Government? Should my small business invest the time and effort required to win Government business, with no guarantee of any return?
Understanding if their business can win Government business has been a significant bugbear for SMEs since, well, forever.
The Pulse Check
Since mid-2021, many SMEs have used The Pulse Check – a free online diagnostic tool that analyses an SME across six areas critical to Government supply – to identify their businesses’ strengths and weaknesses in relation to Government supply and help them determine if they’re ‘Government ready’.
“Hundreds of businesses have already completed the Pulse Check, and some of the insights are interesting:
- 18% of SMEs are already Government ready, with the right business capability to win Government contracts. So, start bidding now!
- 48% of SMEs need to strengthen their business in just one to two areas before considering if Government business is a realistic target market
- 12% of SMEs lack any defined Government capability and should consider building their Government muscle before investing the time to make formal Government submissions.
Forewarned is forearmed
Realising your actual business capability to partner with Government can save your SME so much time and potential heartache. You have little chance of winning the club champs unless your SME is in the right shape, yet many SMEs continue their hunt for Government business without realising they’re not quite prepared to succeed. Instead, they spend so many hours and resources responding to Government opportunities, not realising they have almost no chance of standing on the podium and celebrating a victory – time for these businesses to step back and reassess.
But here’s the kicker: as of this moment, there are thousands of businesses who are in the right shape and ready to win Government contracts – they don’t realise it! Yet. They have the people, track record, systems, and skills to compete for and win lucrative government contracts. The missing piece of the puzzle is joining the dots and understanding that they’re just as capable of fulfilling Government contracts as their competition.
So, my son spent time training across all four swim-strokes. He was improving, getting fitter and refining his strokes. He was determined to realise his goal, and with the help of Coach Jo, he gave himself the best opportunity to succeed. He prepared himself as best he could to win the Windsor Seawolves Club Championship. And he won.
There has never been a better time for your SME to put your hand up, compete for, and win Government business.
Winning Government Business: SME Kickstarter program
The Brisbane Business Hub and Gov Ready have joined forces to offer small and medium-sized businesses with a fully subsidised 1-day program to help SMEs diversify, strengthen, and grow by winning Government business.
If your business:
- Has between 1 and 199 employees
- Has decided to begin targeting Government opportunities in 2022 and beyond, or
- Has tried and failed to secure Government business
- Is determined to understand the best methods to win Government business
Then this SME Kickstarter 1-day program is for you. This event is fully subsidised for SMEs, however, places are strictly limited.
*Please note that you must also be available on Friday the 25th of March.
Successful applicants will be advised by Tuesday the 15th of March