In my experience GovCon companies commonly go through three stages on the way to building a solid portfolio of government contracts.
These companies are new to the GovCon market. They know the government spends big but they have little to no knowledge of who their prospective buyers are, or who their competition is. And they don't know how to find this information. Their strategy is based primarily on chasing and pursuing so-called opportunities that they found on FBO – now beta.SAM.gov. This stage can last only a few months because a lot of people give up. But for serious players, this stage lasts for a couple of years or more.
Because even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, reactive companies sometimes stumble into actually winning. Finally they make progress through networking and free education. They gain some knowledge about the contracting rules that drive the process. They make contacts in the government and with other contractors who are potential partners. They get a sense of the overall market, who their buyers are and how they buy. They discover who their competitor are.
Now, approximately two to three years into the process, companies enter the proactive stage. Proactive companies become more discriminant in the opportunities that they pursue and the solicitations they respond to because they have some understanding of the players and the rules. They have buildt reliable teaming relationships. This is progress, but – think of all the time lost that can never be regained. Good news though because they are developing and implementing repeatable processes.
The goal of course is to build on the success of Stage 3 to enter Stage 4.
Stage 4 companies see that success lies in committing to learning the system, making contacts, finding out about client needs far in advance, AND the strengths and weaknesses of the competition before responding to a solicitation. These companies developed their unique process for building their pipeline. They put in place the essential support resources to help them excel in this market.
Companies who reach this stage get there one of two ways. The first way is they became unwitting graduates of the GovCon School of Hard Knocks. The second way is that they have a mentor or a team that has showed them the tools, skills and processes that successful companies have used for years.
Want to drop out of the GovCon School of Hard Knocks and work with a team that will give you the tools, skills and processes you need to adopt for success?
GovCon Academy has two programs coming up to help you start the journey to more success in GovCon.
Write Winning Proposals
If you need to fine tune your proposal skills or train your team this one day workshop will help you do both!
Tools to win in Q4
You've heard the statistics. The government awards more contracts between July and September than at any other time of the year.