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How do you run a company in the middle of a recession? This is a question that a lot of CEOs are asking at the moment as economic instability becomes more of a threat.

2022 was a crazy year, and now, four months in, looking at rising inflation and the continued threat of recession, 2023 is not looking as though it will see much stabilization. This tends to create an economic shift as many commercial companies cut back on expenses, and many services get cut.

However, what many don’t know is you don’t always have to completely pull back. In fact, the federal government is perhaps one of the best customers to have during a recession because even as other companies pull back on spending, the government doesn’t.

The pentagon recently released its budget request for fiscal year 2024, and it actually increased spending,  requesting $842 billion for defense. That is $69 billion more than the $773 billion that the department requested last year. No matter what is happening economically, the nation’s defense is always a priority, and spending will always reflect that.

So how do you break into federal?  

This is great news for someone who already has their foot in the door of federal funding, but what about those companies who were gaining great commercial traction, but now their revenue is threatened by the economic state?

The good news is, you can still pursue federal, you just need to know the steps to do so.

 First, Plan Your Timeline

It is important that before you start the process, you first identify when it is that you want to have an established federal customer for company revenue stream. Once you do that, you need to ensure that you start the process at least nine months before your intended date.

Federal processes tend to take a little longer than you may be used to on the commercial side. In many cases, it can take upwards of 12-18 months. In our world, we tend to see about  6-9 months to get some money flowing to be a little more standard.

 Second, Narrow Your Focus

A major mistake I see people make when trying to break into federal funding is spreading themselves too thin.

Too often, people decide to pursue federal and they look at the DoD,

We understand this drive. Once you start to get your foot in the door, it is easy to seek out all of the opportunities ahead of you and drive forward into each of them. However, each department has its own unique process, and spreading yourself too thin can be both time consuming and unproductive.

From our experience, we’ve found that you’ll get the best return on your time if you really focus on one department and pursue it.

We, as a company, prefer the Department of Defense for two main reasons:

  1. The national security impact
  2. The budget size

In the National Defense Authorization Act, the DoD was allotted $816.7 billion for the 2023 fiscal year. That provides a lot of opportunity.

Which brings me to my last point:

Third, Narrow Again

We get it, this may seem redundant. However, even within the DoD, you’re looking at billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of employees. We see the best results when companies their focus as much as possible. This helps you to pursue the very best paths and opportunities for their unique technology.


In summary, with continued threats of recession and the uncertainty of what the rest of 2023 will bring economically, and even more uncertainty about 2024, now is a really good time to consider pursuing federal funding so that you may be able to incorporate it into your 2024 business and revenue plan.

For more information on how to start this process efficiently, check out our FEDERAL CHECKLIST .