Updated: Jul 26, 2019
I've seen it a hundred times. Well intentioned individuals who have worked in government in contracting positions or in the private sector in business development, decide to provide advice to small businesses on how to win government contracts. They know what they know.
The problem is what they don't know and the experience they have not had. They have not started or grown a government contracting business and are not experienced in risk analysis, strategic planning, cost accounting, contract management, service delivery, human resources, facilities management, competitive analysis, funding growth, corporate governance, exit planning or the myriad daily decision making burdens that only an owner understands.
Business development is an integral part of a business's overall short term and long term strategies. If external BD consultants strictly look for opportunities that match their clients' keywords or NAICS, develop a capability statement, or explain government procurement processes, they and their clients are doomed for failure. That's only 10% of the puzzle.
The $500b federal marketplace represents huge opportunities for businesses of all types and sizes, but many fail to grow and prosper because they don't understand their niche. They chase opportunities that appear good on the surface only to find out after spending $150k on capture and proposal activities that the incumbent is well entrenched and has developed IP upon which the agency is dependent. Or, learning that ISO certification, although not required, has given others a competitive edge and will be considered in source selection.
Market positioning is not easy, but is critical. Developing strategies that are achievable AND will position your company to increase its market value is the key to success. These strategies are a combination of core competencies, past performance, differentiators, resource allocation, leveraging partners and of course understanding the real agency problem to be solved, which in itself can be the biggest challenge.
The D.A.V.I.E. growth framework addresses these key issues to increase profitability and market value in the complex, highly regulated federal marketplace. Go here to listen to my podcast on this topic.