Working With the Government: 4 Tips for Business Owners

Working With the Government: 4 Tips for Business Owners

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Business is tough. Doing business with the government is even tougher. Whenever you’re working with such a large organization, both the opportunities and the pitfalls are massive. Based on my own experience as a business owner in this space, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to navigate these governmental waters.

[Related: 5 Practical Tips for Every Current and Aspiring Businesswoman]

Seize Every Opportunity

Every so often there will be a government program that seems too good to be true. Whenever these opportunities present themselves, carpe diem! Typically, these sorts of programs will disappear with a change in administration or public sentiment. However, there’s an opportunity to make a lot of money before the programs vanish if you have the determination and the will to seize the day.

If you create a three-, four- or five-year plan, it’s possible that before you see those plans come to fruition, the program has changed or the opportunity no longer exists. Just seize the moment and enjoy the ride. The government typically works in fiscal cycles, so if your program exits this year, you can plan until the end of the year. However, at the end of that year, you’re going to need to reevaluate.

For example, there was a program under the No Child Left Behind that allowed for students at low-performing schools to receive free tutoring if they qualified for free or reduced lunch. The program was an incredible opportunity for anyone who had a tutoring business like myself. However, due to lack of oversight, the program was shut down in most states. But since I seized the day, our team was able to help tens of thousands of students around the country before the program closed.


Carl Dorvil started a tutoring and mentoring company called Group Excellence (GEX), out of his SMU dorm room at age 21. The company started with a grant from Texas Instrument Foundation, earning recognition as an INC 500 company in 2011. Carl is currently featured as part of SMU’s national marketing campaign, “World Changers Shaped Here.”

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.