What will GFY14 Bring for Government Contractors?

shocked-monopoly-man-t-largeHappy? New Year? As we have seen, we can’t rely on the predictability of the government. Even if we hear or believe something may or may not happen, we can probably agree that as government contractors, we take it all with a grain of salt.  With what I call round 1 of sequestration behind us, a government shutdown, and new health care reforms this past year, it has been tumultuous to say the least.  I have read reports that usual spending frenzy of Septembers past was more of a murmur this past September, with some of the lowest spending levels ever seen for the last month of the fiscal year.

We obviously didn’t get off to a good start and are facing another budget battle and round 2 of the sequestration.  Last fiscal year the DoD was spared, however this year, key DoD dollars are on the chopping block.  So what is a government contractor to do with what we’ve been through and what lies ahead?  Don’t hope for dollars, go find the dollars.

Being in Q1 of the new fiscal year means it is typically quiet – here are five things you can do as a government contractor during the quiet time to put yourself in the best possible position for the year ahead:

  1. Dust off your approach. Are you still knocking on the same doors, still lopsided on where your contract dollars are coming from, and maybe using stale methods to reach government customers?  If you’ve been in the business for a bit, then maybe.  Take a fresh view, see potential customers from a new perspective and find ways to reach them that set you apart.
  2. Do your research.  Find out who will most likely have money and who may not. Understand the programs that could be impacted (e.g. NIH grant money is going to be insanely competitive in the coming year, maybe not a great place to put limited BD dollars).  Who won the contract dollars in years past? Can you unseat them or can you partner with them? How does the agency procure goods and services? Do you need a GSA Schedule?  All questions to consider and answer.
  3. Team up.  Use your network to gain intel and to find unique things to offer the government. Collaborating sometimes provides the government customer with a great offering.  With unknowns and uncertain budgets, the government still needs to buy things, make sure you offer things they can’t pass up.  Also, this will help you get into doors maybe you couldn’t get into on your own.
  4. Check your rates.  Are you competitive in price? Are you lean enough in your overhead to allow you to offer a better price to the government than the next guy?  Really take a look at how you build your pricing and know the government will want to be saving money and if you make it easy for them, they’ll look to you. Can you get that wrap rate lower?
  5. Prepare.  The longer you wait around, assume things will come to you, rely on shotgun approaches and poor data, and stay in your office, the less likely you will have success in GFY14.  Get out, get educated, and find the money.

Still have more questions? Call or email Arrowhead Solutions, and we’ll share with you our insight on how to most successfully navigate FY2014. Consultations are 30 minutes and completely gratis!

Ph: 720-515-0527

Doing more with less; government contracts and sequestration

MP900387060It happened, sequestration has come to pass and everyone seems to be wondering what is happening now or what happens next.  In the world of government contracting, we are used to dealing with the unknown, however sequestration adds an unappetizing icing on that unknown.  Government contractors large and small are questioning, worrying, and doing their best to figure out what it all means for them.

There is a lot of news, and a lot of data being offered; it can be tough to figure out exactly what to plan for.  The one thing to plan on is increased focus by the government on doing more with less.  Therefore, contractors need to be prepared for potential increased competition, longer sales pipelines, and helping the government do more with less.

In particular, how do small businesses wade through the quagmire to come out on top in GFY13?  A) Being proactive and B) Having knowledge.

If you are a small businesses, waiting for a solicitation to pop up on FBO, then reacting with quick proposal is a very poor use of limited B&P dollars. Your other small business competitors most likely have already scoped out the need, the customer, the timeline, and perhaps even geared that acquisition towards them.  It is obvious that large and medium businesses do this all the time. It is surprising to some small businesses that their competitors invest valuable resources into pre-RFP activities.

Investing in these resources doesn’t mean hiring an ex-Colonel to schmooze around bases and centers (although it can if the company budget allows).  It just means including more “pre-Bid and Proposal” dollars in your B&P budget.  To truly bring work in your doors in the atmosphere we have now means honing into your customer(s) with laser like focus. So focusing on getting the intel and making the effort may cost more up front, but will definitely place your company in a better position once the proposal clock starts.

Find out who your key customers are or could be, avoid a shot gun approach to getting your name out there, watch expiring contracts, learn about incumbents, reach out to the customer before solicitations are issued, match your unique offering to their needs, watch developments in large acquisitions like a hawk.

During this uncertain time, establish your company with your customer. Make them know that they can count on your company to support them with uncertain budgets, timelines, and goals.