government contracting

Sharpen Your Pencils – Q4 Proposal Prep is Here!

As Q4 approaches, government contractors should be readying themselves for the mad dash.

Over a third of government contracts are awarded during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. Government agencies are emptying their budgets and providing contractors a window of opportunity to seriously expand their client base.

Where do I start? Let the courtship begin!

Winning a government contract is very much a courtship. Government customers must know you, like you and have confidence in you. The courtship will take time and energy. Marketing and networking over the next few months are going to be crucial factors in the amount of new business you bring on board. Remember, these government customers are being wooed by every prince and every pauper. You must stand out in all the right ways. Be ready to discuss “what you are going to do for them”, not “what you have done in the past”. Your past merits will certainly come into play, but focus on your future together, as government contractor and government contractee.

In sickness and health, till contract expiration do us part.

With the threat of government shut downs no longer looming and a more stable government budget in place, spending should be ramped up in this fourth quarter.

Make sure your business get a filling piece of the pie!

Not sure where to start? Need help responding to proposals about to hit the market?

…let Arrowhead Solutions, LLC guide and assist.

Meet the Team: Steve Griffin, Contracts Specialist

StephenGriffin200Arrowhead Solutions would like to introduce and welcome  a new team member, Steve Griffin. Steve, PhD, joined Arrowhead Solutions in February 2014 and brings with him over 32 years of experience in Federal Government contracting.

Mr. Griffin has worked a wide variety of contracts types involving acquisition of supplies, services, research, weapons development and testing, and managed healthcare.  In his career, Steve has worked for, worked as a contractor employee providing support to, or worked for firms contracting with the Federal Government.

Steve started his career in contracting in 1981 as a contracts intern with the U. S. Air Force at Luke Air Force.  In 1983 the Air Force moved him to Nellis AFB, and from there he moved to the China Lake facility of the Naval Air Warfare Center in 1985, where he worked until 1992.  In 1992, Steve moved to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, as a subcontract administrator.  From 1994 until 1996 he worked for a small disadvantaged business which held a number of contracts with the FAA for asbestos inspection and monitoring as the manager of contracts at its Denver area office.  From 1996 until 1998 Steve worked for an environmental engineering firm that held contracts with the EPA, Corps of Engineers, the U. S. Forest Service, and other Federal agencies.  In 1998 Steve moved on to a contract administrator position with a firm supporting the contracting operations of the DoD TRICARE program, and in 1999 he returned to the Government with TRICARE as a contract administrator working a number of contracts to acquire healthcare services for active duty military, their family members, and military retirees.  In 2000 Steve was appointed a contracting officer at TRICARE, and was responsible for the administration of five different regional healthcare services contracts over his time as a contracting officer at TRICARE.  In 2006 Steve left TRICARE and contracting to pursue a PhD.  During his time completing his degree program, Steve provided contracting advice and assistance to a firm that held healthcare administration contract with the DoD and the VA.  From February 2013 through January 2014 Steve worked as a contract specialist as an employee of the firm providing support to the GSA, Region 8 FAS office in Lakewood, Colorado working a number of service contracts and task orders.  With the end of his work at GSA, Steve joined Arrowhead Solutions.

Steve holds a BS in Natural Resource Management degree, a Master of Applied Communication degree, and a PhD in Communication Studies degree.   He received a DAWIA Level III certification while with TRICARE, and earned a graduate certificate in ADR from the University of Denver while completing his master’s degree.

How can Stephen and Arrowhead assist your business?

STOP – Don’t pay for SAM Assistance or Registration. Why? It’s FREE and EASY!

Let’s debug this common urban legend of government contracting: Someone tells you have to pay for a “service” in order to register your company with SAM.gov OR you have tocon-artist-alert pay for someone to update your entity’s registration.

So, you’re a government contractor, or you’re wanting to become one. You ask around, “What do I do first?” The responses are muddled, you do some Googling, then you start to really notice the emails offering services to set up or update your registration. WAIT – WHAT?! Services?? I have to pay for this?? The long and short answer: NO

You should never, ever in a million years have to pay for these “services” the emails claim to offer – EVER! The SAM registration takes about 15 minutes to complete, and any updates to it take less than 5 (honestly – it’s that easy)

Be aware of these other “offers” and how the issues can be addressed for free:

1) Year Long Technical “Support”
  • Updates are only as necessary, and often times SAM.gov only needs to be reviewed once a year
  • There is no “support” required
2) SAM.gov Migration Annual Updates
  • Migration happens once; Most likely all government contractors who have registered in the old CCR have already been migrated
3) FAR Updates (if necessary)
  • SAM.gov DOES NOT provide FAR updates!
  • During the annual update of the entity registration, these are already incorporated
4) Basic Changes to Registration (NAICS codes, contact info., contracts awarded, etc.)
  • This is a part of the basic updating
  • Takes 5 minutes!
5) Government Buyer Submission
  • Only if offering disaster response
  • One page within SAM.gov
  • Takes 30 seconds to complete!
6) Verification of Dun & Bradstreet Number (required)
  • Can be done by logging into iUpdate
  • If it is needed, you will be directed after SAM.gov login
7) SAM Registration Completion
  • This is a 15 minute process
  • Can be done for free! (or divide the completing person’s rate by the time it takes – that’s really the cost; just a few dollars of opportunity cost)
8) Verified Vendor Seal of Approval
  • BEWARE – THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT RECOGNIZE THIS “SEAL”!
So, all in all it may take one person a total of maybe, maybe 25 minutes PER YEAR to either register or update SAM.gov. Now, unless you are paying your employees an exorbitant salary, isn’t 25 minutes much more affordable than the approximately $600 price tag companies out there are charging? I’m not an economics specialist by any means, but I think I’ll go with the 25 minutes, and I hope you do the same.

Still need help? Check out Arrowhead Solutions – we’ll lead you in the right direction with a FREE 30-minute consultation. We don’t like to be scammed, and we definitely don’t want our clients to deal with these “support” claims either.

 

Meet the team! Carrie Grigg – Contracts Specialist

New Team Member Spotlight: Carrie Grigg

ProfilePicGrigg

Carrie joins Arrowhead Solutions,LLC as a Government Contracts Specialist.  She brings ten years of experience in contract management and business development in diverse fields including IT, A/E/C, bioscience and energy.  While specializing in federal and state government contracts, Carrie collaborates with partners and clients to identify strategic contract opportunities, write proposals, improve business processes, and is passionate about creating a positive customer interaction.  In addition to assisting companies win government contracts, Carrie’s interests include writing, painting and exploring the use of social media to obtain customer feedback and build relationships.  Carrie holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia.

Visit Arrowhead on the web to see what our government contract specialists can do for your small business.

Meet the team! Douglas Wells – Contracts Specialist

Arrowhead Solutions is growing!

Each week, Arrowhead will be highlighting a new team member’s skills and expertise.  We’re thrilled to add their expertise to the Arrowhead portfolio and join in assisting current and prospective small business clients.

New Team Member Spotlight: Douglas WellsDouglas Wells

Doug Wells brings to Arrowhead almost 25 years of hands-on experience in Government contracting.  As an Air Force officer, he was a Contracting Officer with authority to award contracts up to an unlimited dollar amount.  His Air Force contracting experience ranges from nuts and bolts, spares and repairs, and logistics, all the way to multi-billion dollar weapon systems and IT support.  Since active duty retirement, Doug has used his expertise to assist the USDA and US Department of Education, as well as an Air Force operational contracting office.  A short list of Doug’s specialties include:

–        Contract management, related documents review and approval
–        Thorough understanding and use of FAR, DFARS, and other supplements, including DLA and civilian agencies
–        RFP analysis
–        RFP shredding and requirements matrix development
–        Proposal preparation
–        Source Selection process
–        Contract clause compliance and flow down
–        Subcontractor management
–        In-house process documentation and government compliance review
–        Contract closeout/records disposition

Welcome aboard, Doug!

 

Look – We’re Growing!

Arrowhead Solutions Announces the Addition of Four New Team Members

Boulder, CO (April 21, 2014) – Stephanie Amend, Founder / Executive Consultant of Arrowhead Solutions, LLC announces the addition of four new team members. Specializing in aiding small businesses in the processes relating to government contracting, Arrowhead has continued to grow in both the number of clients they assist, as well as the number of consultants on staff. Caroline (Carrie) Grigg, Douglas Wells, and Steve Griffin have joined the team as Contracts Specialists. Carrie brings ten years of experience in contract management and business development in diverse fields including IT, A/E/C, bioscience and energy. Doug brings to Arrowhead almost 25 years of hands-on experience in Government contracting. Since active duty retirement, Doug has used his expertise to assist the USDA and US Department of Education, as well as an Air Force operational contracting office.  Stephen’s expertise in government contracting brings into the mix experience in the dynamics present in government, how to read and interpret laws, regulations and policies, and how government agencies are structured, operate and think. Stephen holds both a PhD in Communication Studies and Master of Applied Communication degrees. Another new addition to Arrowhead, Lindsy Bentz, has joined as the Director of Marketing and Operations. Lindsy will assist clients with marketing their services to the Government as well as overseeing the internal marketing and operations efforts of Arrowhead.

About Arrowhead Solutions:

Arrowhead Solutions, LLC has been serving Boulder and Denver, Colorado metro areas and clients across the nation for five years. Stephanie Amend, Founder / Executive Consultant formed Arrowhead after seeing a need for assistance in the small-business government contracting arena. As both a civilian working for the Air Force as a Contracts Specialist at Hill Air Force Base, and as a Contracts Negotiator in the private sector, Stephanie teamed up with Janet Shea, CPA after getting Arrowhead off the ground to provide the small businesses services much needed in the Boulder/Denver area.  Five years later, Arrowhead has grown to carry a roster of clients from coast to coast with the ability to assist in every area of government contracting.

We rely on our trusted partner network. Shouldn’t you?

As much as we would like to say “we can do it all,” we realize that doing a few things exceptionally is far 

more rewarding than doing everything only satisfactory.

 

Our trusted network of partners allows the ability to tap into key resources and aid clients to achieve the utmost professional, and complete service; the total solution.
 
Need a bit of a hand in the areas of HR, timekeeping, wage compliance, or contact strategy and execution? Our partners are here to help:
GHG Corporation

GHG Corporation (Est. 1979): Leading Time and Attendance Solution provider featuring electronic time sheets, leave balance management and online pay stubs. This secure, password protected system is available to employees and management anywhere, anytime from any Internet enabled computer. eTSS easily integrates with QuickBooks as well as 3rd party payroll providers. DCAA accepted.

Wage Hour Consulting
Ms. Patricia Slate – 

With over 35 years of experience as a compliance specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division, and the National Labor Relations Board, Ms. Slate offer a wide range of consulting services by specializing in federal wage issues governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis Bacon and Related Acts, Immigration and Nationality Act, Service Contract Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and more. I am available to answer your questions, help you conduct an internal audit or assist you in a federal investigation.

Unanet

Unanet: Unanet’s Professional Services Automation (PSA) software helps organizations that need to reliably plan, track and manage people and projects. Unanet provides resource requesting, resource management, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing and workforce collaboration. DCAA accepted. 

Unanet Professional Services Automation (PSA) software helps organizations that need to reliably plan, track and manage people and projects. Unanet provides resource requesting, resource management, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing and workforce collaboration. DCAA accepted. Unanet offers bi-weekly webinars to introduce the capabilities of their software solution

 
Captiol Steps Consulting
Capitol Steps Consulting: 

A company placing value on proximity to the marketplace is a lot like real estate: location, location, and location. With offices placed in two large federal hubs, Denver Colorado and Washington DC, Capitol Steps Consulting will design and execute a strategy for delivering a company’s product or service to the largest buyer on the globe: the U.S. Government. Simply stated: We turn notion into motion. Project management is our focus, and we cultivate strategies that can be measured – which is the key to long-term success and profitability.
Cura HR

Cura HR – HR consultants with diverse experience in compensation, benefits, HR information systems, project management, leadership development, employee handbooks, small business HR and corporate communications. Small business specialist.

Our partners help us provide the total solution.Contact one of them today to see how they may assist your company and bring you the exceptional government contracting service your company deserves.

Part 4 of 4 – You are now Ready for Government Contracting! Go Get ‘Em!

To give back, we’d like to share some government contracting tips and tricks so that you can be the best government contractor possible. Each week, throughout the month of March, we’re have posted 5 tips to celebrate 5 years. Time for the drumroll as we share our last set (for now)…5-years

This week’s post: Government Contracting Tips and Tricks
Part 4 – And not to forget…

#16: Analyze your approach to government marketing. Need help with strategy?

#17: Know your nicheWhy?Trust us – it’s most important in determining direction of efforts.

#18: Know your resources. Did you know you can go to your local Business Development Center and the SBA for resources?

#19: Make sure to reach out to past teammates regularly. Ask about new opportunities.

#20: Don’t get discouraged! The government contracting cycle is LONG. The effort to go after a contract can be exhausting. However, heading the previous 19 tips will really help you become a successful government contractor. As, always, feel free to contact Arrowhead Solutions. Now, go get ’em!

Don’t forget to follow Arrowhead Solutions on Twitter (@arrowheadllc) for daily tips, too!

Thanks for tuning in! All of these tips will “live” here on our blog for quite some time. We look forward to many more years to come and helping out small businesses in any way that we can.

CHEERS!

Part 2 of 4: Government and Marketing

ImageFive Years; time to give back to our wonderful readers! Part 2 of 4: Marketing to the Government

As Arrowhead celebrates our 5th anniversary, we realize that we could not have done it without all the support from you – our readers and clients!

To give back, we’d like to share some government contracting tips and tricks so that you can be the best government contractor possible. Each week, throughout the month of March, we’re going to be posting 5 tips to celebrate 5 years. Cheers!

This week’s post: Government Contracting Tips and Tricks
Part 2 – Marketing to the Government Customer

#6: Update your capability statement. Don’t have one? Get one ASAP.

#7: List the services your company can provide directly on your website.

#8: Do your research: Who’s buying? Who are the competition? How can you compete?

#9: Utilize Sources sought, advance notices and RFI’s to become more visible.

#10: Don’t get scammed! Although sometimes helpful, GSA Schedules aren’t always necessary! There are numerous ways to increase your buying power through networking and public opportunity sites. Beware of anyone asking for an upfront fee, or for a percentage of sales.

Don’t forget to follow Arrowhead Solutions on Twitter (@arrowheadllc) for daily tips, too!

See you next week!

 
 

Press Release: Arrowhead Solutions, LLC Celebrates Five Years of Continued Growth

Boulder, CO (March 3, 2014) – Stephanie Mueller Amend, Founder of the boutique consulting firm, Arrowhead Solutions, LLC, announces the company’s five-year anniversary. With specialties in supporting small businesses with the processes and cycles relating to government proposals, GSA Schedules, contracts, accounting, compliance and marketing to the government, .  Arrowhead continues to experience significant revenue growth year over year. Focusing on quality and effectiveness differentiates Arrowhead as a top-rated, government contractor consulting firm. Positive reviews of Arrowhead from current clients are well documented, and continue to lead to the company’s growth supporting clients from coast to coast. Diversification into commercial support for clients and placing emphasis on strengthening client marketing efforts has allowed Arrowhead continued success; even as a recession, funding cuts, government shutdowns, and sequestration nearly paralyzed the industry of government contracting.

Marching with the rhythms of the government has been one key to Arrowhead’s continued success. Slow periods in government spending translate to “focus time” for Arrowhead clients’, as well all Arrowhead’s own, business development; hence the birth of the ArrowBD service and addition of the government marketing division of the business in 2013. Arrowhead’s next major advance, coming in 2014, will continue to propel Arrowhead and their clients forward for years to come.

About Arrowhead Solutions:

Arrowhead Solutions, LLC has been serving Boulder, Colorado area, the Denver Metro area, and clients across the nation since 2009. Stephanie Mueller Amend, founded Arrowhead after seeing a need for assistance in the small-business government contracting arena. Five years later, Arrowhead has fostered the ability to assist in every area of government contracting and grown to support a diverse roster of clients nationwide. For additional information about Arrowhead Solutions, LLC call 303-515-0527, email Lindsy Bentz, l.bentz@arrowheadsolutionsllc.com, or visit the website at: www.arrowheadsolutionsllc.com.