Lace up your shoes and get into full throttle for the end of the fiscal year and the final 4th quarter! Here are a few crucial steps your business has to take to ensure you get the most out of these few months:
- Hit the Drawing Board: Chart out your course. Make a list of deadlines you want to hit and make sure every member of your companies knows them. Highlight your goals for the fourth quarter and assign priority to them. This planning goes a long way in helping you accomplish each of your goals. Begin at the source: start by asking purchasers what their deadlines are and plan accordingly. Cross apply this idea to agencies to find out what their end of year purchase requests are.
- Know your Strong Suit: Knowledge is power. However, too little knowledge is dangerous, especially in the 4th quarter. Focusing on newer agencies, MACs or GWACs rings the death knell for any potential gains you may have- and for your purse. Focus on those agencies that you know you have the most efficacy with and hunt for contract modifications and task orders in areas you are most familiar/experienced with. This way, you’re more likely to be familiar with agency priorities and contract vehicles, as well as your chances of selling to the agency. Identify up to five agencies with whom you can win with good margins and focus all of your resources on them.
- Burn the Midnight Oil: Procrastination, thy name is the government. Benefit from this as much as possible as this is a gold mine of opportunity for late boomers. EZGovOpps’ analysis of agency spending points to over 35% of budgeted dollars being spent in the 4th quarter (Jul-Sept) alone, dreading the loss of unspent budget dollars in future fiscal years. If government contracting officers are working late, you must work late too. This also means that purchase orders may come out late at night. Therefore, doubling down on market research, project management and sales teams is crucial if you want to gain the most from this quarter. Capitalize on your connections and keep them on hand if anything goes awry.
- Make the first move: Bend the rules to your favor. Don’t be afraid to send an unsolicited proposal, especially if you have strong connections with key players and/or you have relevant experience. Even if you don’t, you can always send agencies a proposal for how your product would benefit their organization, in an effort to get a piece of the pie. EZGovOpps’ contracting officer search makes finding the right contact a breeze.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Make sure to quality control your proposals. The worst case scenario is making an error in your proposal because you were too much of a hurry to verify the details.
If you are a small business, in addition to these steps above, attend as many agency Industry Days as possible. This not only increases your knowledge base, but also helps Step 1 of the above plan. In addition, seek out teaming opportunities. Not only are their important in gaining experience, they are also made easy by the SBA’s Limitation of Subcontracting Rule, which allows for similar entities to subcontract for primes, as well as share resources. More information can be found here.
All in all, the biggest winners of this final 4th quarter are those who have been preemptive in their preparation. Those are the contractors who have done all the ground work of being involved at their local Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), gotten certified for any set-asides, if applicable, secured positions on GSA Schedules or other contracting vehicles and have networked extensively, insofar as that they now have the trust of the government with a proven track record of excellence.
My recommendation for any company starting out is to buckle up and strategically plan. Get direction for your planning through a market intelligence tool, like EZGovOpps, that can do a lot of ground work for your specific company so that you can hit the ground running.
Only 60 days remain. May the Force of Government Contracting be With You.