This is a 3 part series covering (1) The State of the Federal Market, (2) Is Now the Time to Get a GSA Contract? and (3) Survive and Thrive in this New Federal Market. All Posts are addressed to Government Contractors.
There is much a Government Contractor can do to survive, and even thrive, in this harsh tight-budget environment. Of course, this is a challenging time but it is not the time to give up. Here are the 5 key steps a Government Contractor must take moving forward:
- Research the Market – Do you spend a few hours a month researching your sector of the federal market? Do you look at the new contracts won, and evaluate why the customer didn’t choose you? Knowledge is king, and most government contractors (especially small businesses) are guilty of neglecting this very important task because they are drowning in operations. (Note: look out for an upcoming blogpost outlining some techniques on federal market research).
- Evaluate your Offerings – This topic piggy-backs from the one above on market research. Taking a deep look into what you are offering and comparing your prices to competitors is the easiest step you can take to winning more contracts. Also, search out needs that you are capable of, but not going after. This market changes, and you must adapt.
- Use Your Advantages – Every year there seems to be major shifts in how set-asides are valued by federal buyers. For example, Woman-Owned businesses are much more in demand today than they were two years ago. Also, with the passing of the green initiatives, you must at least research if there is anything you can do to make your offerings more green. Call the GSA, they have some great programs in the infant stages that you can jump on.
- Locate Expiring Contracts – With the budgets tightening, the federal market is opening up for opportunities to steal away your competitors option years. Federal buyers are pressured to put more focus on cost savings, so if your proposal is lower then you will often win.
- Write proposals around Cost-Savings – The federal market is becoming more and more about cost savings. be creative in your proposals. If you can add in services to a proposal that add value and save the federal government money, do it. Also, if you can offer the lowest prices, you will survive very well in this environment.
This concludes the three-part series, evaluating the current state of the federal market. I hope you found these posts helpful and wish your company a busy end of FY13.