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Selling to the Government

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Selling to the Government

What It Takes to Compete and Win in the World's Largest Market


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Tiger Woods knows golf. Warren Buffett knows investing. And Mark Amtower knows government contracting.

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The business that government entities in the United States transact represents almost half the nation’s GDP. The breadth and depth of the business-to-government (B2G) sector is extraordinary: trillions of dollars in sales to every government entity imaginable, including nearly 20,000 municipalities, 512 Native American nations and one huge federal government. Selling to the government can be confusing. Expert B2G consultant Mark Amtower offers a comprehensive glossary of government terms and an in-depth list of trade publications, industry associations and helpful online resources. getAbstract recommends his useful guide to anyone who wants to take the mystery out of selling to the US government and win a share of that enormous market.


The Government: Your Number One Market

Government in the United States, including federal, state and local institutions, departments and agencies, represents the world’s largest aggregate market, with 88,095 different entities. Businesses that sell to government enterprises never worry about getting paid. Another benefit of serving the business-to-government (B2G) sector is that the US government wants to work with small businesses. Small firms run by women, minorities and disabled veterans enjoy an upfront advantage.

Government contracting can be a gold mine for the right B2G suppliers. However, due to complex rules to follow, strict government regulations to conform to, red tape, endless forms to fill in and related complicating factors, selling to the government can be far more challenging than selling in the business-to-business (B2B) market. What is perfectly acceptable in B2B can be anathema in B2G. When you sell to the government, you risk getting burned if you do not know exactly what to do, and the incident that can bury you often comes out of left field.

To illustrate, a communication-devices manufacturing firm went through the required steps, filled...

About the Author

Marc Amtower is the founder of Amtower & Company, a B2G advisory firm, and he writes a monthly column on government contracting for

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