The Mayor of New York Wants You
On July 27, 2010, Mayor Bloomberg's Commissioner of Small Business Services, Rob Walsh, joined myself and Tim Ferguson, founder and CEO of strategy firm, Next Street Financial to present the opportunities that come from doing business with the government.
Mssrs. Walsh and Ferguson had a very exciting story to tell: the government needs you! They need you to help them deliver a wide variety of services and products; they need you to help the business of government keep going. And they shared with the collected audience the secret to doing business with the government:
"Everyone wants the million-dollar contract from the government even if they've never had a government client before." Says Commissioner Walsh. "But, there's plenty of government contracts between $5,000 and $100,000 that are available for quality providers." Ferguson concurs but warns the attendees, " Make sure you can deliver because if you fail to deliver, you won't get asked back."
Both of these experts say government shouldn't be seen as some monolithic entity. "Get to know people" says Ferguson. "Reach out and make connections. Find out what they want exactly."
For his part, Commissioner Walsh couldn't have made it any easier. If you didn't know better, you would have thought that Walsh was the concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel. "How can I help you? Here's my email address. Come see me and we'll get you all set up. We've got a class to help you do just that." Walsh says that it's a simple idea. His boss, entrepreneur-turned-mayor Bloomberg, wants government to help--not stand in the way--of business. To that end, Walsh and his colleagues created "NYC Business Solutions," a group whose sole purpose is to make it easier to get help from The City, both in terms of the regulatory provisions (streamlining agency oversight) and in doing business with The City.
Thanks to Rothstein Kass for sponsoring this exciting event between NYC's business owners and it's government. And thanks to Tim Ferguson from Next Street Finance and Rob Walsh from NYC for bringing great insight and information to the exciting possibility of working with the government.
LEWIS SCHIFF is the executive director of the Inc. Business Owners Council. His latest book is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.
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