- Overall pool of available dollars for discretionary spending is down 4%.
- There are a few growth sectors – Energy/Conservation, Budget Streamline Processes for the Government; Healthcare; and, of course, Cyber.
- In general, it appears that, although growth has slowed and the amount of negative growth has doubled for contractors, profit margins have increased on a year-to-year basis, Continue reading »
Resources to Help Successfully Market Yourself to the Federal Government. The GSA General Supplies and Service’s (GSS), Schedules Contractor Success-Marketing Matters! group was created on GSA Interact to help current GSA Schedule contract holders successfully market themselves to the federal government. Available at the group’s site:
- Link to the free webinar video series “GSA Schedules Training for Vendor Success”
- Downloadable resources,
- Monthly Q&A conference calls with GSA marketing professionals,
- Discussion boards, and more. Continue reading »
GSA Seeks to Understand and Improve Under-performing Schedule Contracts. GSA is investing in MAS Contractors’ Success Through Contractor Readiness and Sustainment Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Project. The goal of the project is to increase the probability of Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractors’ success throughout the contract lifecycle. One key finding – In reviewing the number of days to first sale for the top five revenue producing Multiple Award Schedules, it took a median of 268 days (approximately 9 months) to reach the first sale over $100K.
A key objective of the pre-award work is to help ensure businesses have realistic expectations of what it takes to be a successful MAS contractor. During the post award, the primary objective is Continue reading »
Aronson’s FedPoint blog fills the requirement for contractors seeking to stay up-to-date with important news and trends. FedPoint help government contractors keep current through original articles, online resources, reading and research recommendations, statistics, trends and more. Are there topics you’d like to see more of? Post your comments or send an email to Ask Fedpoint – let our experts know what information you need to have to make informed decisions, increase government sales, and streamline your business for maximum profitability.
September 15, 2009-GSA Schedules Training Webinar. The Office of Small Business Utilization conducts monthly training on the process of obtaining a GSA schedules contract. This free webinar is designed to encourage and support small businesses interested in obtaining a GSA Multiple Award Schedules contract. (Online)
September 24, 2009-Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting. GSA sponsors this educational forum, along with the private sector, for federal government employees to learn about the latest technology and best practices used to implement telework programs. (Washington, DC)
October 22, 2009-Access to Success Small Business Conference. This powerful one-day conference features procurement and marketing workshops and provides an opportunity to meet and network with GSA program managers, building managers, leasing specialists, senior procurement employees, as well as small business advocates from DoD and other federal agencies. Attendees will also meet prime contractors seeking to partner with experienced small businesses to meet or exceed their company’s subcontracting goals. (Washington, DC)
December 1, 2009-Marketing to the Federal Government Webinar. This free webinar is designed for vendors who have already obtained a GSA Multiple Award Schedules contract and provides marketing tips and strategies for vendors with government contracts. Participants will learn techniques and resources to assist them in marketing to federal government agencies. (Online)
While reviewing the GSA IT Schedule 70 Monthly Sales Report for April (IT Monthly Sales Report – April 2009), I was stuck by two trends. The first was a significant spike in Schedule 70 sales for April as compared to the same time period last year. The second was the continued strong growth of sales to State and Local Governments (STLOC) through the GSA Cooperative Purchasing Program.
Though overall GSA sales continue to increase at a modest rate, sales on the IT Schedule have been slightly decreasing over the past five years. This trend showed no sign of moderating over the first two quarters of FY09, with sales for each month lower than in 2008. In April, however, overall sales increased by 30% from March and surpassed April 2008 sales as well. GSA does not comment on any reason for the sudden spike in sales, but the timing does suggest a relationship to the release of the first stimulus-related funding. It will be interesting to see whether this surge continues into the near future.
Despite the stagnation of the IT Schedule as a whole, Cooperative Purchasing has experienced substantial growth since its inception several years ago. This growth was even more notable in April, with a nearly 30% increase from April 2008. Continue reading »
Sometimes we all need reminders to get back on track with business development efforts, even when we think we know everything about what we should be doing. The federal buying cycle can be long and full of false starts, which could easily lead to discouragement or even apathy. Buying season will be here sooner than you know it, so for the federally focused, I have listed a few proven ways that can put you back on track to success if you are marketing to the government, particularly if you are a small businesses:
President Obama signed the $787 billion recovery package into law this week. Now the 5P’s of government marketing — Price, Product, Positioning, Promotion and Proposals must align with this new stimulus package, as well as with many other government objectives in a market dynamic not seen before. Vendors trying to make it into the government customer’s selection pool need to quickly build their “bridges” directly to decision makers, in an effort to arm the customer with the right solution at the right time. So here are some key facts to consider when selling to the federal government in FY 2009:
- FED FACT#1
Successful companies will understand the pressure of condensed decision-making on government officials and innovate their sales approach to quickly target core agency missions. Success will come to companies most agile and resilient in their own business models allowing them to adapt quickly to new government business processes.
- FED FACT #2 Continue reading »
by Mike Berger, Vice President, Advantage Consulting, Inc.
Wow… a new year, a new president, new people at every Federal agency (with a couple of exceptions), and, potentially, an entirely new slate of opportunities. So what to do?
Well, you can take ads in all the trade journals and hope someone reads them, or wait for the announcements in FedBizOpps and see about following up, or hire some new business development professionals and hope and pray they can fill your pipeline – OR – you might take a hard look at your strategic planning and business development processes and determine what’s needed to make them work better.
If that sounds like a plan, when are you going to start? Next quarter, this summer, “some day,” or how about RIGHT NOW. If there’s anything guaranteed in this world other than death and taxes, we can say for sure that the longer you wait to build an effective program the longer you are going to wait to see any significant results.
You didn’t think of that – OK, most people don’t – but now that you have, it’s time to assess. What are the corporate skills, capabilities, goals and strategies? What contacts do you have and which ones do you need to win? What have you been doing right and, equally important, what’s on the “don’t ever do that again” list? Is your staff involved (it is their company too you know), if not, why not, and how are you going to get them to participate?
Yeah, this is a tall order for any company but you can’t make money sitting on your butt. Need help? Call me. Mike Berger, 703-642-5153, cell 703-861-0726, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, by the way, Happy New Year!
With so many firms vying for attention to get government work, upfront knowledge of government agencies and large prime contractors time limitations goes a long way in shaping sustainable marketing efforts. Many talented firms with affordable solutions lose interest after seeing mixed results from initial marketing efforts, leaving the field disenchanted. Some shy away after sizing up the effort required to learn to market to the government, and some get discouraged from the long sales cycle.
But when your marketing efforts do result in government clients, you need to have a contracting vehicle for them to buy your products. Priming yourself with this understanding early helps leverage the value of timely relationships when you create them, helping sustain your success in the government. Primed companies don’t lose interest in selling to the government, because they benefit from reduced learning curves, shorter sales cycles, and increased efficiency, all positively affecting their bottom line and competitive strengths!
Eagerness to sell is not a human folly, but not understanding the government’s process of weighing the best possible choice of available solutions is definitely a killer. Consider the following statistics:
These hard numbers tell the story – over 50% of all contracts are awarded on IDV contracts. So get your GSA Schedule and have it handy when you need it! For more information concerning this analysis, email email@example.com or visit www.fedmine.us for more information.
What We Are Writing
- A Marriage of Inconvenience: GSA Schedule Contracts & The Contractor Code of Business Ethics & Conduct Clause
- Emerging Small Businesses: To Grow Your Business, You Must Plan For Growth
- Government Contracting: Look Before You Leap!
- GSA Schedules – Strategies for Success
- New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations
- Pay on Display – Understanding the Executive Compensation and Subcontractor Data Reporting Requirements & Ramifications
- The GSA Schedule: Your Ticket to the Federal Market (May 2010)
- The New FAR Codes of Conduct and Compliance Program Provisions
- The Seven Deadly Sins (of contract compliance)