March Madness for Consultants

arms holding a basketball and wearing a business suit

For many North Americans, the term “March Madness” usually conjures up images of basketball tournaments and workplace bracket challenges. For Canadians working in government or consulting, it also elicits the uniquely public-sector scenario of government spending and contracts ending.


If you aren’t familiar with this phenomenon allow us to quickly break it down.


First, the spending.


No matter which province they live in, Canadians can rely on one thing every March: the end of government budget cycles.

Many of our government departments, institutions and Crown Corporations operate on an April 1 to March 31 fiscal year. This means that, across the country, public sector organizations of all types will often find themselves scrambling to use their allocated budgets before they expire on March 31. If they don’t use it, they lose it.


That deadline leads to the second item: contracts ending.


March is a critical period for many consultants in a consulting engagement with a government client. Contracts are often tied to the fiscal year, with many of them up ending or coming up for renewal on March 31. This creates a scenario where consultants must not only deliver results but are also endeavouring to secure an extension or an engagement on a new project.


The combination of these two things can make for a very busy—and often very uneasy—month.


There are a couple of things to remember when navigating this year’s March Madness period:


The rush in government spending can lead to a surge in consulting projects.

March Madness spending isn’t always limited to furniture and office supplies. As departments try to meet their year-end objectives, they will often turn to external expertise to help them deliver on their vision.

Government agencies are especially keen to invest in initiatives that will drive efficiency, enhance cybersecurity measures, and streamline operations before the fiscal year closes. For consultants in these high-demand specialty areas, this can be a prime opportunity to position your services as the Top Pick to deliver the value they need.


Relationship-building and client satisfaction is important. Very important.

March isn’t just a month—it’s a window of opportunity to demonstrate the overall, ongoing value you can bring to your client. Successfully navigating March Madness requires more than just technical expertise. It demands strong communication skills, a deep understanding of your clients’ needs, and a proactive approach to addressing challenges and seizing opportunities.


While March Madness in the consulting world may lack the excitement of a buzzer-beating basketball game, it does offer its own brand of adrenaline. It’s a time of heightened activity, strategic planning, and the potential for significant growth and success.



Are you an experienced consultant looking for new opportunities?

Hilltop Partner Network works with high-calibre consultants and specialist firms who are at the top of their field, with proven experience, skills, and dedicated customer focus. We are growing and we’re always looking for new consultants to join the network. Learn more here.





Written by

Ashlee Espenell

Director of Marketing & Community Engagement


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