The scientist/engineer/mathematician has a truly brilliant idea and pitches it to the government through an SBIR.
Government loves the idea and awards the Phase I award.
Ok – not too much stress administratively – it’s fixed price, short term and defined deliverables.
Great – you deliver, you get paid.
Now they really want you to take that idea further and you propose on a Phase II. You are required to propose specific costs – direct and indirect so you just sort of make them up.
Despite the fact that your TPOC loves your concept and wants to fund your Phase II, the process comes to a screeching halt.
DCAA / DCMA wants to get their hands on you! Now, you have to do through a pre-award systems audit and you have to get approved indirect rates in order to bill your CPFF contract.
So now you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of trying to find help getting your systems compliant and your rates approved.
Don’t wait until this is the case.
If you are at all interested in pursuing Phase II funding or working as a prime contractor to the government, talk to an expert now and understand what the process looks like and what it will take to obtain & maintain compliance.
Take the time to talk to industry peers about their experiences and talk to multiple solutions providers.
Developing a relationship with a provider who can explain the processes succinctly and who can grow with your organization over time is key to your success.
From a budget (and sanity) perspective, it will be much easier for you to undertake the processes over time so you can spread the costs out over time.
Don’t wait – invest early in your success as a government contractor !