Tag Archives: Business planning

A Framework For Federal Government Service Contracting Small Business Systems

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Image: “Smalltofeds”

SMALLTOFEDS” By Ken Larson

INTRODUCTION 

Waiting for a contract award to achieve a government contracting business process is not advisable. A win may not happen at all without addressing the structure and process requirements in your proposal to convince the customer you understand his business environment.

If you are not prepared in advance and you are fortunate enough to win, then in a very short time frame you will have to evolve your business system to perform on your contract and submit a billing.

This article will discuss a framework for a small enterprise to develop a business system in service contracting, which is the most frequent venue utilized to enter the government market.

The above diagram depicts the major elements of a suggested integrated template.

If you are a small startup organization, your process and automation may be quite rudimentary and simple in addressing the above structure and functions. If your company is in a high growth mode with many transactions, projects and details your processes and computerization will be more complex.

The point to remember is the need to overlay the above on your existing company for the unique products and services you provide, and then address how to fit, supplement, or accommodate the necessary adjustments to support contracting to the government.

Please read the following articles on the highlighted topics for details that may assist in evolving your unique business processes to support government contracting:

Long Range Planning

Should You Consider Small Business Federal :Government Contracting?

Provisional Indirect Rates

Teaming in Government Contracting

Protecting Intellectual Property and Proprietary Data

Human Resource Planning

Generic Contingent Hire Agreement

Contracts and Pricing
Proposal Preparation

Pricing
Project Planning

Earned Value Management Systems

Contract Baseline Management

Cost Centers, General and Administrative , Operations, Job Cost Records

The “Past Performance” Challenge

Establishing FAR and CAS Compliant Small Business Systems

DCAA Audits and Small Business Job Cost Accounting Systems

Customer Relations

Customer Relations and Government Personnel Roles

What Small Business Should Know About the FEDBIZOPPS Web Site

Multiple Front Marketing In Small Business Federal Government Contracting

Small Business Set-Aside Designations

SUMMARY

You may wish to download the free book and related documents at the “Box Net” cube in the right margin of this site for further information and live examples:

https://www.smalltofeds.com/2009/09/federal-government-contracting-small.html

Remember, small business federal government contracting is not rocket science – it is taking what you do well in the commercial environment and applying it in a slightly different manner from a business perspective to accommodate the way the federal government does business.”

https://www.smalltofeds.com/2009/09/federal-government-contracting-small.html

When Starting A Business What Are The Most Important Steps?

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Image: Liquipedia Overwatch

By Ken Larson

“Don’t let technology make a monkey out of you and your idea as well as raid your treasury before you launch. Define your business vehicle and its journey first. Then pick the right technology tools to make a successful trip.”

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Test your idea:

1. Do you have a product or service niche in mind?

2. Do you believe you have a market for 1 above and the means to reach it?

3. Are you willing to develop a business plan using the tool kit linked below to validate 1 and 2 above before you launch?

Plan your Enterprise:

If the answer to the above questions is “Yes”,use the below planning aids to design your business vehicle and the road map you intend to follow on your journey:

General Planning Considerations

Market Research Guidance

Free Sample Business Plans

Use Your Plan to Choose Your Tools:

When you have completed the above definition and planning process you will then be in a position to astutely select the tools you wish to use along the way and apply them successfully.

You will be able to network your vehicle, pick up riders as industry partners, and attract revenue fuel in the form of customers by marketing and social networking based on the thorough definition and content of your business plan.

Don’t let technology make a monkey out of you and your idea as well as raid your treasury before you launch. Define your business vehicle and its journey first. Then pick the right technology tools to make a successful trip.”


Image result for Ken larson rosecoveredglasses

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ken is SCORE and Micro Mentor Counselor currently living in Hastings, Minnesota. His interests range from existing small businesses to startups. He specializes in strategic, market and business planning as well as advising on government contracting and business operations for small enterprises.


Are You Driving the Tools And Not The Car In Launching Your Small Business?

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23071686-car-with-wrench-and-steering-control-wheel

“SMALLTOFEDS”  By Ken Larson    https://www.smalltofeds.com

There is a new kind of monkey these days –  the technology monkey. That sucker will bury us if we don’t learn to deal with him.

As a small business counselor I have noticed there seems to be a belief that automation, the Internet and social networking can make the business succeed when in fact the real design of the enterprise itself is lacking (niche, market base, business plan, competitive analysis and financial forecasting).

I hear from many clients who ask, “What Now?” having launched an enterprise that is going nowhere because they are driving the tools and not the car. I take them back to the garage; design the auto to see if it can run and then apply the wrenches retroactively if that is possible. It is usually a traumatic experience and could have been avoided with strategic and business planning before launch. Below is a simple test to develop your potential idea for a business.

1. Do you have a product or service niche in mind?

2. Do you believe you have a market for 1 above and the means to reach it?3.

3. If the answer to the above questions is “Yes”,use the below planning aids to design your business vehicle and the road map you intend to follow on your journey:

General Planning Considerations

Market Research Guidance

Free Sample Business Plans

When you have completed the above definition and planning process you will then be in a position to astutely select the tools you wish to use along the way and apply them successfully.

You will be able to network your vehicle, pick up riders as industry partners, and attract revenue fuel in the form of customers by marketing and social networking based on the thorough definition and content of your business plan.

In short, don’t let technology make a monkey out of you and your idea as well as raid your treasury before you launch.  tech monkey Define your business vehicle and its journey first. Then pick the right technology tools to make a successful trip.

Four Must-Watch Federal Market Trends

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Trends ThinkstockPhotos

Image:  Think Stock

“WASHINGTON TECHNOLOGY”

“With an approved federal budget and a full stack of legislative actions being discussed, government and industry leaders are digging in for some fascinating developments leading up to the mid-term elections.

From recompetes to reorganization, here are four federal market trends to watch from now through the end of the year.”


” Recompetes on center stage

Several major contract vehicles and task orders are coming up for rebid this year. Vendors will face tough competition, whether as an incumbent or new entrant into the market. Procurement leaders, along with agency leaders, will be busy preparing RFPs, rewriting performance metrics, and evaluating proposals to ensure they get the best the market has to offer.

They’ll likely be looking to see what innovative new approaches and technology can help them, but they also won’t simply embrace the latest technology. Instead, they’ll be looking for real-world examples of where a new (or existing) tool has delivered on the value that it promised.

Agency leaders will look for innovative tools and concepts, but they won’t be instituting them based on their “wow-factor” – instead they’ll be scoring them on their ability to support the agency’s mission.

Backlogs at a critical mass

The challenges that some agencies have with backlogs are well documented. Citizen claims and appeals simply can’t be processed fast enough and they’re overwhelming the resources of the agencies that handle them.

Often times this means that citizens are waiting months (or even years) for a decision or resolution on their claims and appeals, while the long road to modernizing the underlying legacy systems that support the decision-making process further contributes to the delays. The old answer of continuing to add more staff or doing a “forklift” transition to new technology has shown to be hit-or-miss (at best) in its ability to reduce backlogs.

Going forward, we expect agency leaders to address them with a more practical approach – one that will focus on re-engineering the business processes to remove bottlenecks, streamlining repeatable tasks, and accelerating decision-making by leveraging technology, such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation.

Uncertainty gives way to direction

Last year the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo seeking internal and external input on how to find new efficiencies in government. The feedback from has now been received and reviewed, and the plans of action have likely been devised and should begin to roll out soon.

The results of these plans could have major impacts on government — from budget cuts to resource reallocation to elimination or integration of some agencies. Whether the actions taken are large or small, this process has created a level of uncertainty over the past year, which has led to slower-moving actions toward procurements to support new and existing initiatives within government.

As new mandates and guidance begin to emerge, while they could create some challenges and disappointments, we expect they will also begin to provide a clear path forward for government leaders. With this movement, we expect to see the development of new initiatives and the opportunities that come with them.

More public-private partnerships

Long the domain of physical infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships may find new applications as we explore their potential in non-traditional areas like technology infrastructure and utilities.

The administration’s stated infrastructure policy goals, which call for $200 billion in taxpayer money to generate $1 trillion in private investment, will likely spur interest from investors, bringing innovative ideas to for partnerships on roads, bridges, buildings and more.

However, there could be even broader potential in projects like federal contact centers, where private-sector partners often have more flexibility around their staffing models to manage surge support during peak times.

This year has already started with a flurry of new actions that present both challenges and opportunities for government and industry. With these and other trends shaping our federal landscape, we hope to see both government and its partners working together to deliver even better and more efficient outcomes to citizens.”

https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2018/03/26/insights-romeo-market-trends.aspx

 

 

 

YOUR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING BUSINESS PLAN

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Your SBFGC Business Plan

INTRODUCTION

When visiting the SBA website on business planning, there are major topics in the business planning process which, when addressed in a plan, will insure the success of an enterprise and assist  in determining and supporting the amount of funding needed. Such topics as marketing, advertising, competitor analysis and financing are covered there. There are presentations and examples that can be followed to improve a plan or generate an initial plan. The link to the site is below:
SBA Write a Business Plan

Articles on strategic planning and developing a marketing plan are at the “References” Box Net Cube at this site. They address evolving an operations vision for an enterprise showing its potential to present to a banker or to an investor.

Here is a site with free business plan samples:
Business Plan Samples

It may assist in visualizing business growth to look at an example of how someone else addressed a given topic.

PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE

The purpose of this article is to supplement the above business planning guidance with suggestions on principal unique aspects of federal government contracting that will yield a successful plan and more importantly a successful execution of that plan in the federal contracting venue.

NICHE DEVELOPMENT

Product entrepreneurs all face the same challenges. Those who succeed recognize they need to visualize themselves in the product development business, structuring an enterprise, generating a business plan, protecting intellectual property and then seeking industry partners and investors to bring the product to market.

In the process, copyrights, patents and royalty issues may come into play and development and distribution agreements are formed. Pricing is finalized based on cost and expense projections and competitive factors unique to the company as negotiation results are achieved with industry teaming partners, developers, manufacturers and distributors.

Product Development Insights

Service contracting to the federal government is a natural venue for small business. It does not require a product with a niche market or capital intensive manufacturing facilities. Service contracting does require skilled management and labor resources capable of performing a scope of work for which the government has identified a need and for which outsourcing to an industry contractor has been selected as the means to fulfill that need. The venue demands strong human resources management, industry teaming and an enhanced business system to price, account and bill on a job cost basis under government service contracts.

Service Contracting Insights for Success

REGISTRATION

Utilize the below link to register your company.  It provides excellent guidance and background, as well as access to the PDF file on NAICS Codes which are critical for you to choose before you begin the registration process.  Give these some careful thought when selecting them.  If there is a chance your firm may wish to be involved in a field, put the code in your registration.  No one will question your qualifications at this point.  That comes later during proposals.

Note the requirement for a DUNS number up front.  You may already have one.  If you do – use it.  If you do not, follow the instructions on obtaining a DUNS free at the Dunn and Bradstreet web site.

When you have completed your registration at the link below you will received a Government CAGE Code, uniquely identifying your firm and its location as a government contractor.

Registering for Government Contracting

MARKET RESEARCH

As a small business becomes known in the federal government contracting community, successful marketing of sole source or group-designated business becomes easier, but it is always a challenge due to the need for taking early action in windows of opportunity.

Find those windows and communicate capabilities to the decision makers and industry team members who can help you.

If you are eligible for set aside designations make small business set asides or sole source procurements key elements in your marketing plan.

Marketing to Achieve a Federal Contract

TEAMING

Be straight-forward and honest with  industry teaming partners.

Do not violate share arrangements, teaming agreements or non-disclosure agreements. Such violations are a death knell for your reputation in the business.

Do not become known as a resource raider by hiring away from other firms with whom you have teamed.

Give it a best shot as a prime or a sub but involve the government contracting officer to resolve industry teaming disputes that may damage a past performance record.

Exclusivity is the practical way to go on any given program. Team early and exclusively and be a winner.

Reputation is key, ethics count and  customers as well as the industry are observing.

Managing Industry Teaming Relationships

BUSINESS SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

Waiting for a contract award to achieve a government contracting business process is not advisable. A win may not happen at all without addressing the structure and process requirements in your proposal to convince the customer his business environment is understood.

If one is not prepared in advance and one is fortunate enough to win, then in a very short time frame one will have to evolve a business system to perform on the contract and submit a billing

This article will discuss a framework for a small enterprise to develop a business system in service contracting, which is the most frequent venue utilized to enter the government market.

Government Contracting Business Systems Development

PROPOSAL PREPARATION

Government contract proposal preparation is time consuming and can be costly. Meeting the agency Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements with a responsive proposal can be well worth the effort if a winning strategy can be formulated. When considering submitting a proposal to a given government solicitation, conduct a bid/no bid exercise.

By going through that process  a company  begins formulating your win strategy or it will discover that it should not bid this job for lack of such a strategy. The elements of the process are discussed below in the form of questions to ask  against topics for key consideration

This article offers guidance as a template to apply marketing operations for accommodating federal government contract proposal preparation. Proposals are special, sometimes exhausting projects, but a necessary part of doing business with government agencies. Like many other aspects of business, the more proposals that are prepared, the more that is learned and the more one can borrow from past practice for the next one.

Government Contracting Proposal Preparation

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Strategic thinking must be applied to structuring a government service contract project management capability in your company. It must involve long term planning and designing a business system as well as establishing rates and factors to bid new work and control it while interfacing with the customer.

When one plans in detail to define the product or the service one reduces performance risk.
The project management challenge is not to launch significant and costly resources before the specification for the product is sufficiently defined, obviating the need for costly revisions or abandonment, yet knowing when the product definition and plan are suitable for release.

Good project management starts early.

Vital Tips for Project Management

SUMMARY

Consider the advice herein when developing and maintaining your business plan. Overlay approaches unique to the company against the guidance offered and place it in the standard format for business planning.  It will yield a road map for success and can be further evolved for growth.

For additional  details on these topics and other important information in developing and executing a government contacting plan, download the free books and supplements available in PDF format at the first, vertical “Box” in the left margin of this site.

Seizing the Moment