Reviewing Your Existing Strategy

PBN CONNECT, standing for powered by numbers, is a network of smaller communities facilitated under one giant umbrella. PBN CONNECT is an online platform designed to change the way companies and consumers meet and conduct business.

Finding new business is a major challenge for all companies small or large. For a small company, it's almost a terrible card game where you're pot committed and forced into an all-in scenario. This happens because you don't have the chips to compete with those who have deeper stacks as a result of timing and skill, pure luck, or because other companies have been grinding it out longer than you have. The key to surviving the game is to diversify revenue streams and better understanding customer engagement.

Working in the Public Space

Business to government is a $5.5 trillion industry. The US has over 78,000 government agencies from local to federal that post jobs they need fulfilled on a daily basis. These jobs can range from construction, to design, to food service, and more and can easily be found on most agency websites. Government does have strict policies when it comes to their procurement cycle so you'll need to make sure you attend all mandatory pre-bid meetings and strictly adhere to agency guidelines.

"Working in the public space and chasing government projects isn't easy," adds Fred Matthews, founder of PBN CONNECT. "However, one to two government awards can absolutely carry a small business for the year. It's absolutely worth your time to familiarize yourself with the way government works."

There is often a three to four week window from the time a job is posted to the time the agency decides on who will win the award. Proposals are often required and can range from a one sheet to a hundred page document, depending on the scope of the work and the value of the contract.

"I must re-state again that you need to know the rules. You don't want to invest all this time in a process only to be disqualified because you didn't adhere to specific rules, intentional or unintentional."

Embrace Communication

Business owners have to better understand how customers want to find their business and how they want to communicate with the business once found.

"When I go to an online phonebook directory like Yellow Pages, I'm surprised how many businesses don't publicize their emails," supports Matthews. "Your email and website should be on everything from Facebook to Email Signatures to every piece of marketing collateral you own."

Once you've established a basis of communication, you need to become aware of marketing trends, as it pertains to consumer engagement. As we wrap up 2012, there is a growing trend that suggests businesses are going mobile. Here is a quick snapshot as we head to 2013:

1. Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months. (Source: Litmus)

2. 47% of marketing companies plan to increase their efforts in mobile apps in the next year. (Source: Experian)

3. 59% of U.S. marketing companies collect mobile contact information. (Source: Experian)

Is your business mobile ready? Can you explain the flow of sale from a consumer perspective? How much does it vary from your own? In terms of analytics, how well do you know your customer and what internal measures do you have to support this?

Going mobile is a new concept to many businesses but will require minor tweaking on your end. At the end of the day, it'll still come down to user experience and satisfying a specific need. Government must spend and adhere to a strict budget as they support the need to preserve a quality of life for its citizen's. Consumers vary in needs and budgets, but have a preferred method on how they'd like to be engaged.

Matthews adds, "Sustaining growth and profitability is all about the basics. When creating a business strategy for 2013, you should think about the increase in revenue and weigh it against the cost to do business. From here, you can decide how you want to approach the need to attract new business in both public and private space and then look at the cost to do business on either end."

Above all else, don't let others at the table force you on an all-in when we all know you're on tilt.