During the past year, revenue from government contracts has grown for 50% of survey participants, while 21% experienced no significant change and 29% experienced reductions in revenue. The fact that the highest percentage of companies experienced revenue growth continues a long-term trend reported in previous surveys, indicating that government contractors are far less vulnerable than commercial companies to recessions or slow growth in the overall economy. However, the 29% of companies experiencing revenue reductions is the highest percentage reported in several surveys, indicating that government efforts to reduce deficits are adversely impacting government contractor revenue. Read Full Report.
Out go all the U.S. troops by year’s end, President Obama said Friday about Iraq. And in go the contractors, along with some familiar contracting problems, say other government officials and independent experts.
As the United States pulls out its remaining 50,000 or so troops after a decade of conflict costing around $1 trillion, many of the soldiers’ non-fighting functions will be pursued by a force of State Department-funded government contractors expected to near 15,000.
That preliminary estimate, now being circulated by the administration among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, would represent an overwhelming share of the official remaining U.S. presence in the unsettled country. But even after wide publicity about past contracting abuses and waste, new scandals may trail behind this persistent deployment, according to a commission created by Congress to study the missteps so far.
“After a decade of war, the government remains unable to ensure that taxpayers and warfighters are getting good value for contract dollars spent,” Dov S. Zakheim, a former Pentagon comptroller and a member of the congressionally-created Commission on Wartime Contracting, told the Senate Armed Services committee a day before Obama’s announcement.
In an August report, prepared after a three-year study of contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commission estimated that between $30 billion and $60 billion has been lost to waste and fraud so far in those conflicts, representing 15 to 30 percent of all that Washington has spent on contractor-provided security, civil reconstruction, training, and other nation-building work. Read Full Article
Businesses electing to get into the government market are abundant, but most stop at the initial briefing when the business owner or manager finds out that the cash register does not automatically fill up after the initial registration processes.
The government market rewards are plentiful if you have the desire AND the patience to navigate through the various entry points and are diligent with your marketing efforts. Whether you are a product provider or service provider, there are key elements necessary in order to be successful in the government market.
First you need to plan your strategy. Decide whether you are going to go through the process with your internal resources or hire an experienced team to help you get introduced to key players, buying agencies and prime contracting partners. Most companies experience serious growing pains if there is not a clear understanding of the landscape before getting started.
Ask yourself some key questions. Does the government buy what I sell? How often? Who are my competitors? What value-added services do I bring to the table? What does my company do differently to set me apart? Once you can clearly answer these initial questions, you are ready for next steps. Here are some examples of what government contracting officers are looking for.
1) Quick delivery
2) Quality –strong technical capabilities
3) Customer Service – good past performance
4) Company reputation
Next, define your position for your product or service. Remember the US Government market is 25% OF THE GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT AND HAS OVER 20 MILLION EMPLOYEES. You need to know WHO in government are your significant buyers and influencers, and specifically target these people. Incremental growth is recommended and it is sane and doable. Spending money on prospecting new agencies before your foundation is laid is risky at best.
Develop relationships. Like in any business, people do business with people and companies they know and trust. Government business is no exception. Establish and maximize the value of relationships. Remember the “R” word. Understanding that federal employees take pride in their work is key when formulating new RELATIONSHIPS. Knowing and understanding simple things like “on-time, on-budget” makes your client – your government customer- a star. If you can deliver, they will remember.
Proactive marketing – Intelligent and proactive marketing makes the difference. Identifying the prospects, creating the opportunities, developing the relationships and developing the right niche for your company based on customer feedback will allow you to win major government market share.
There is no one pathway for doing business with the government. It requires dedication, patience, due diligence and thoroughness of work performed.
Ready to get started? Here is a summary of helpful hints for small businesses looking for government contract opportunities.
1. Do your homework and check out the competition competition.
2. Get ready. Make sure you have all the registrations complete such as a federal tax ID # and DUNS number.
3. Get the necessary classifications. Are you a veteran-owned, women-owned, small, and/or disadvantaged company? If so, it pays to get classified as such in order to take advantage of set-aside contracts.
4. Build a Central Contracting Registration (CCR) profile
5. Consider subcontracting and teaming. Identify large firms that hold contracts and determine how your product or service would be a value addition to their offerings to the government. Subcontracting is an excellent way to gain exposure to the government market. New help? Click here to get started
6. Attend small-business conferences
7. Visit a local Small Business Administration (SBA) office.
Still got that itch to enter the government niche? GovPartners, LLC is a minority, woman-owned firm that works with small businesses to help streamline the government process. Our cradle-to-grave approach includes government registrations, opening doors to prime contractors, researching government opportunities, proposal writing and submission and business development efforts. If the above efforts are overwhelming for your existing resources to handle, GovPartners will expand your current team to develop and execute a comprehensive government business development plan specifically tailored for your company. Contact us today for a successful tomorrow.
Arthur: Sabrina Ford, GovPartners
In a survey of government contractors, Deltek Inc. has found some faults in the conventional wisdom about today’s market.
The survey covered questions about growth, business strategies, policy issues and operational issues facing contractors in the government market.
Nearly 250 people completed the 60-question survey, which will be presented at Deltek’s Clarity ’09 conference in Tysons Corner, Va., to be held Nov. 17.
5 Myths Busted
Myth 1: The government contractor growth rates are decreasing.
Reality: The sector is still growing, with larger firms in the survey are experiencing better growth rates than expected, on the order of 10 percent.
Myth 2 : The merger and acquisition market is active and vibrant.
Realtiy: More than 85 percent of large firms surveyed did not indicate any definite M&A plans for 2010.
Myth 3 : Project management is a mature discipline among large firms.
Realtiy : The discipline is less mature than one would think. Only 11 percent of large companies thought that their project management was very mature, and the larger the company, the more likely they were to report a lower level of confidence in their project status confidence.
Myth 4 : Big firms do things faster and more efficiently.
Reality: The industry average invoicing cycle of a large firm is 12.6 days, while the cycle of a smaller firm is four times shorter.
Myth 5 : In this new age, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has adopted a more confrontational stance with contractors.
Reality: Surprisingly, the survey found that not to be the case, with more than 83 percent of contractors that were recently audited saying that the relationship was “good” or “excellent”. The vast majority said it was actually improving. Read full article washingtontechnology.com/articles/2009/11/16/5-myths-busted.aspx
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