Obama's Job Plan
Will it help your business?
I've just seen a snippet of President Elect Obama's economic proposal. It includes massive investments in making public buildings more energy-efficient, building and repairing roads and bridges, modernization of schools, expanding broadband access and modernizing health care by creating electronic medical records.
Of course without details on exactly where the money will be spent it is speculation at this point who will be the big winners in this program. There are so many political questions attached to this agenda like do we really want our medical records shared over the internet? and so on.
For sure, these programs will create jobs, but will they create economic growth? After all the schools are retrofit and the roads are built, what will all those people hired for these projects do next? This is an age old debate and we'll table that one for the sake of space! The short term outlook is that this will create jobs the country sorely needs.
In looking at these proposals, there will specific sectors that will directly benefit from these programs. For instance, the two big winners here will be technology companies and the construction business.
If you are in these businesses, the time is now to position yourself to get some of this money. There are a number of ways to do this, for instance you can learn all about what it takes to become a small disadvantaged business or some other preferred status. You can find a partner who already is qualified as a preferred vendor with the US government and work as their sub contractor. You could become a vendor to companies already qualified etc.
Federal Business Opportunities
If you go the direct route, a good place to start if you want to learn about doing business with the US government is at the Federal Business Opportunities site. Here you can learn all about what it takes to do business with the US government and what types of opportunities are available right now.
There is a wealth of information at this site including a number of compliance issues to do business with the government, contract requirements, and more. You will need to learn about proper hiring practices, workplace compliance issues, find a CPA familiar with government accounting practices, etc. For instance, the payment cycle for government business so sometimes longer than traditional business, you may need to deal with net 45 or net 60 terms. There are a number of business structure issues you should be aware of when doing business directly with the government but the key here is that the time to start preparing is now !
If you are not in these business areas directly, you can position your business to support these businesses who will benefit and are positioned to get some of this business from the government. If you are not already a supplier, then you should look at becoming one. You may want to consider targeting these types of business as an emphasis in the 2009 year.
The short of it is that change is here and you should get in front of it not chase it from behind. With a little creativeity you can position your business to benefit from these programs in the coming years.
Update - July 2010 - It appears there really was not a well thought out plan. Unemployment still sits around 10% with no real signs pointing toward it getting better. I haven't really heard of a lot of small businesses getting contracts and helping them survive this tough economic time.
Seems like their solution is to borrow more money and pump it into unemployment checks and more government programs. Problem is this really does not create jobs. It creates spending and debt but little in the way of real job creation.
Therefore, the only conclusion that makes sense is they underestimated the difficulty of the situation or just don't understand economics. I'll leave it to the audience to decide which it is.
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