How do you strategically maneuver through the year to win Government contracts?
Follow Us in 2016 on a Journey through the Federal Acquisition Cycle
Gain Knowledge on When and How to Market Your Company to Increase your Market Share in the Federal Arena
We highly encourage Business Owners, Business Development Managers, Proposal Managers and Writers, and anyone involved in the process of procurement from Federal and Government agencies to subscribe to this blog. Each month we will address relevant business development, marketing, business and strategic planning, and proposal management strategies according to the Federal business development lifecycle as introduced below.
Let us introduce you to lifecycle strategies to plan, execute and position your company for success in Government contracting:
It’s January, and the Government contracts seem to be a bit slower than usual. Panic may set in a bit, and you may wonder when the Government will begin releasing the stream of Requests for Proposals (RFP) again. You may have observed that this panic happens every year prior-to, and around this time.
Whether you have in-house staff or outsourced proposals, business development and marketing, what should be progressing in these areas right now to position your company for success when the surge of RFPs are finally released by the Government? What should be taking place to plan for the next year (and the next two or three)? Are business development functions to acquire Federal contracts cyclical? Are positioning strategies and preparation consistent from year-to-year?
In my opinion; yes, absolutely; selling to the Government is cyclical and there is consistent preparation that should be performed annually to best position your company for success in defense contracting. Being proactive increases your ability to win Federal contracts, and being strategic in your planning ensures that the work you pursue is aligned with your business and financial goals. After all, actions of a company should be aligned with reaching the quantifiable targets the Company has defined.
Below are my thoughts on the top quarterly preparation tactics in regards to business planning, business development, marketing and bidding that should be completed annually.
Fourth Quarter: PLANNING
We are starting with the fourth quarter because this is when the planning for the next calendar year should begin.
- Annual goal setting and strategy development for the next year (and even further out). Annual planning shall include operations, personnel, finance and budgeting, growth goals, etc. See more on Strategy here.
- Conference planning. Strategically plan the conferences you will attend and don’t leave home without a game plan. Whether your plan is to meet new or current team partners, gain more industry knowledge or meet Government contracting officials, make sure you have a game plan. See more on creating your conference plan here.
- Proposal and bidding database maintenance. Many companies struggle with how to effectively fill a proposal or estimating team’s downtime. You probably just completed countless proposals and estimates. October thru December is an ideal time to organize all of the files and information collected during the surge of third quarter bidding. See more on proposal database maintenance here. I still strongly believe well-planned proposal library development and maintenance results in reduced proposal production time – allowing more time for building success strategies and resulting in reduced marketing costs.
- Update marketing collateral. You won and/or completed projects worth showcasing within the last year. It’s important to update your Capabilities Statement(s), online media and other marketing collateral to support your conference and business development efforts that should start in the first quarter of the calendar year.
- Business Development Planning. The Government is likely on vacation and holiday time during significant portions of the fourth quarter. Capitalize on this time to plan your in-person visits with your Government clients beginning in the first quarter of the calendar year.
First/Second Quarters: EXECUTION
- Attend planned conferences
- Meet with Government clients
- Meet with current and new team partners
- Analyze Federal budgets and adjust financial and business development plans accordingly
- Measure progress towards annual goals and make adjustments where necessary to stay on track towards goals
- On-going bidding and proposals
- Department projects outside of proposals and bids
- On-going business development and marketing support
Third Quarter: EXECUTION
- Focus on managing the surge of proposals and bids. All-hands-on-deck to support winning work.
Note: These recommendations are geared towards companies pursuing work where Government funds expire at the Government fiscal year-end (October 1).
For more information on how to be proactive and productive this month to position your company for increasing your market share and win Government contracts, please contact us at www.strategiccreations.com/contact.