December: A Good Time to Focus on the Commercial Sector
December is a good time to focus on the portion of your customer base that is in the commercial sector. Like the Federal sector, money is tight and funds for indirect activities are constricted. However, unlike the Federal sector, more of your commercial customers are on budgets that follow the calendar year. Activities and initiatives may have been forestalled during the 4th quarter waiting for 2012 funding. State and local organizations are also often on calendar-year budgets and the timing may be right in December to check with them for 1st quarter projects.
Columbus Aircraft Maintenance Services
If you want the free full summary of this target go to: http://login.epipeline.com/limitedDisplay?ID=FOSRDUSA20531&FLAG=SUMMARY. This target is only available for a short period of time.
If you need help designing and executing your capture program or proposals to win this procurement contact Sid Jaffe, at 703-642-5153.
The Power of Positive Thinking
By Bill Hamilton, Vice President, Advantage Consulting Inc.
I am a fan of Washington Technology and try to read every issue. In a November 14 article, Nick Wakeman, Editor in Chief, authored, 9 Reasons Wall Street Lost Its Love For The Government Market. I highly recommend it:
I particularly wanted to comment on his '4 reasons' why government contracting is still a safe bet. The items quoted are from the article; the comments are my own. On the one hand he focuses on why the government market has lost its luster; on the other, he focuses on why it's still optimum. Myself, I am a positive thinker, viewing this time as an opportunity.
First item: "Aging government workforce increases need for contractors." We often forget or ignore work-group mortality. Though your Federal clients might not admit it, many key players are thinking more about time on the beach or golf course than how to handle future crises. This is an opportunity for you to expand your services and help the agency at the same time. Analyze situations where you could relieve a future departing key player of a small but significant task. The additional task expands your work and makes that future 'retiree' more comfortable because the contractor, under their guidance, does their key work and the agency's mission is still fully supported.
Second item: "Attractive cash flow from long-term contracts." Not only must you continue to 'delight' your customer, but it is an opportunity to continue focusing on the client's mission-understanding what needs to be done, what is being done, and, what must be done in the future. Communicating and demonstrating your understanding will reduce surprises for the client-they will have a positive perception of you as a contractor and as a 'partner' for the future work.
Third item: "Rise of mobile and social media solutions." Social media is a two-edged sword. Now you can influence more key people more rapidly than before, and you can identify more key decision makers sooner. However, you must know how to use the media effectively because you can also make more mistakes with more people faster. Well-used social media can be an asset; poorly used social media can sink you. Take advantage of the media-but use it wisely!
Fourth item: "Insourcing pressures have eased." Contractors have additional opportunities to demonstrate cost effectiveness. We must continually show that goods and services provided to our customers are a better value for the taxpayer than extensive insourcing would provide. I believe it is; you, our clients, do this every day.
Comments and questions are most welcome. Phone Bill Hamilton at 703-642-5153 or e-mail email@example.com and let's talk.
Business Development Resources
By Sid Jaffe, President, Advantage Consulting, Inc.
We are told by clients that their firms have not been successful in finding experienced Business Developers who will make immediate impact on the business. "Immediate impact" seems to mean bringing in new business to cover themselves within six months of starting with the company.
Experienced government contractors realize that the business acquisition cycle is longer than six months and a Business Developer starting with a minimal "pipeline" will not show significant results for more than a year. A company needs to decide what they want the BD resources focused on and prepare to fund the effort required to obtain results. At the same time, management needs to have a BD Plan of Action that establishes with new Business Developers an agreed upon set of tactics and, more specifically, a list of people and positions to access for establishing, building and maintaining value-based business relationships.
New business, especially major programs, are multi-year efforts that begin with getting access to the right person. Business Developers worth their salt are good at getting that access. Initial access is a beginning; maintaining the relationship, educating the customer and your company, and molding the procurement to align with your firm's capabilities, solutions and services require time and effort. It won't happen in six or nine months; plan on more than a year.
As new business efforts move forward, continue working on task order marketing with your existing contracts and opportunities. Task order marketing is business development using your project managers, task managers and senior staff. Contributing to the revenue and margin should be a part of every manager's performance review and compensation.
Companies need to have excellent BD resources that are focused on new business as well as programmatic staff at the customer site focused on task orders. For more information on organizing, training, and measuring the effectiveness of your BD plan and team, contact Sid Jaffe at 703-642-5153 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competitive Software Tools
By John Bender, Vice President, Advantage Consulting, Inc.
Advantage Consulting's business is helping clients compete more successfully. One way we do this is by identifying software tools to give our clients a competitive edge. These tools help our clients position their companies to win (earn) new business.
You may not be exploring new ways to do business, but you can be sure your toughest competitors are! If you are a government contractor looking for software tools to help you compete more effectively, call John Bender at 703-642-5153 or e-mail email@example.com.
These Are The Laws Of The Natural Universe
Law of Thanksgiving: If you ate the turkey a nap was surely in your future.