Tag Archives: Business Success

A Framework For Federal Government Service Contracting Small Business Systems

Image: “Smalltofeds”



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

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


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:


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.”


23 Small Businesses Win Spots on $7.5 Billion Defense Information Systems Agency IT Contract

Shown here is a front view of the new Defense Information Systems Agency building complex at Fort Meade, Md., Jan. 2, 2013. (DoD photo by Thomas L. Burton/Released)


“The Systems Engineering, Technology, and Innovation (SETI) contract uses “best value tradeoff” evaluation, where government decides whether the tech advantages of a solution warrant a higher price. ______________________________________________________________________________

“Twenty-three small businesses will engineer information technology innovations for the Defense Information Systems Agency, after winning spots on a maximum $7.5 billion contract.”

All 23 awardees will receive a $500 minimum guarantee during the base ordering period, with additional funds allocated by task order.

SETI runs five years with another five-year option, as the Department of Defense aims to deliver timely, agile engineering task orders to small and large businesses while reducing agency costs.

Winning small businesses were: Affinity Innovations LLC, Applied Systems Engineering Joint Venture LLC, A Square Group LLC, Business Computers Management Consulting Group LLC, Bluestone Logic LLC, Credence Management Solutions LLC, DHPC Technologies Inc., InCadence Strategic Solution Corp., INNOPLEX LLC., Innovation Evolution Technologies JV LLC, Innovative Government Solutions JV LLC, Integrated Systems Inc., Interactive Process Technology LLC, Mission Support LP, NetCentric Technologies Inc., Riverside Engineering LLC, Semper AASKI Alliance Inc., Superlative Technologies Inc., Synergy Business Innovation & Solutions Inc., TechSynap Corp., Tiber Creek Consulting Inc., ValidaTek Inc., and VOLANT Associates LLC.

Small businesses were part of a restricted pool, while a second, unrestricted pool received awards on June 14, 2018. Winning small businesses were selected from among 99 proposals.”

5 Federal Service Contracting Marketing Challenges To Overcome



challlenges - deeppatel dot com

Image:  “deepatel.com “


“No-growth firms are concerned about competition and commoditization of their service set.

High-growth firms anticipate a much broader set of challenges around a growing remote workforce, maintaining differentiated capabilities with new skills, and changes in the government buyer.”


“The government contracting industry has experienced increasingly rapid growth over the past three years. Among firms in the Government Contracting segment of the 2018 High Growth Study, the median annual growth rate for government contracting firms in 2017 was 13.3 percent, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2016 (see Figure 1). In contrast, the growth rate for firms that do not sell any government services fell by two percentage points to 9.1 percent.

Figure 1. Median Annual Growth by Level of Government Contracts

Median annual growth

Our study identified a segment of government contractors with significantly higher growth rates than their peers — as much as 3 times as high. Almost four out of 10 government contractors (39.5 percent) are in an elite category that we refer to as “High-Growth” firms – firms that achieve at least 20 percent compound annual revenue growth over a three-year period.

The big challenges, and how High-Growth firms address them

We also found interesting differences in the way high-growth firms view the future threats to the industry, as depicted in the tables below. Where as no-growth firms are concerned about competition and commoditization of their service set, high-growth firms anticipate a much broader set of challenges around a growing remote workforce, maintaining differentiated capabilities with new skills, and changes in the government buyer.

future growth

Challenge 1. Changes in how buyers buy

Notably, high-growth government contractors perceive a top industry threat to be in the way government buyers are making purchase decisions. Not only from a regulatory perspective. They are also noting a shift that requires firms selling to the government to do far more than just meet RFP requirements. Firms with a high degree of visibility for what matters most across the professional services landscape – expertise – is what it takes to help them rise to the top. As such, the top-most strategy identified by high-growth firms, in green in Figure 2, was to make their expertise more visible in the marketplace, as shown in Figure 2. No-growth firms, in red, by comparison, focused more on improving their marketing in general.

Figure 2. Key Business Strategies of High-Growth vs. No-Growth Government Contractors

Growth strategies

Challenge 2. Competition from all sides

Another of the marketing challenges identified by high-growth government contractors is increased competition — not just from established firms, but also from new and emerging competitors. One of their chief strategies in addressing this challenge is to differentiate themselves, which many do by specializing how they go to market. Our study found that high-growth firms are dramatically more likely than no-growth firms to specialize in the technology they use – which makes intuitive sense if high-growth firms also view the advent of AI as a primary industry threat.

Challenge 3. Need for top talent

Government services, like many industry sectors, faces a never-ending challenge to attract new talent. Fortunately, the criteria that top talent find most important when selecting their next professional home are closely aligned with the leading criteria organizations use when vetting firms. In my firm’s separate research on employer branding, we found that being aligned with a growing firm was most important to job candidates in their search.

We also know from other research that expertise is the chief quality decision makers are looking for when selecting a firm. This means that building both your external and your employer brand around specialized expertise is a powerful strategy. Doing so signals to decision makers you have what it takes to get the job done, and it signals to future recruits that you are the firm best able to help them achieve their career goals.

Challenge 4. Competing primarily on price

While a win theme as lowest cost bidder certainly is applicable in certain circumstances, firms cannot maintain a sustainable competitive on price alone. A better alternative is to pursue a differentiation strategy — highlighting a meaningful difference between you and your competitors that is valued by your potential clients. Differentiation is not easy or simple, however.

Challenge 5. Marketplace unpredictability

Government contractors face a variety of market unknowns, whether driven by agencies’ budgets, regulatory pressures, or other factors. In our study, we found that high-growth firms tend to place a priority on cultivating a deep understanding of the government buyer and identifying competitive advantages. In fact, they are almost 2 times more likely to conduct frequent research into their target markets and respective decision makers than firms that are not growing.

Position your firm for faster growth

Recognizing your key marketing challenges is the first step in overcoming them. Another good strategy is to gain insights from the fastest-growing firms in the government contracting arena and incorporating relevant strategies and tactics in your own program. To learn more, I invite you to view our recent study for yourself.”


Elizabeth Harr

About the Author

Elizabeth Harr is a partner at Hinge, [http://www.hingemarketing.com/] a marketing and branding firm for professional services. Elizabeth is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced executive with a background in strategic planning, brand building, and communications. She is the coauthor of Inside the Buyer’s Brain, How Buyers Buy: Technology Services Edition; and Online Marketing for Professional Services: Technology Services Edition. 











Nine Trends Remaking Business


Keenan-Flagler School“JOHN BATTELE – ON LINKED IN”

“Millennials are now the largest force in the global economy, and they have a markedly different view of work.

Purpose and “making a difference in the world” are central in their work-related decisions.

Thanks to NewCo, I’ve gotten out of the Bay Area bubble and visited more than a dozen major cities across several continents in the past year. I’ve met with founders inside hundreds of mission-driven companies, in cities as diverse as Istanbul, Boulder, Cincinnati, and Mexico City. I’ve learned about the change these companies are making in the world, and I’ve compared notes with the leaders of large, established companies, many of which are the targets of that change.

As I reflect on my travels, a few consistent themes emerge:

1. Technology has moved from a vertical industry to a horizontal layer across our society. Technology used to be a specialized field. Technology companies sold their wares to large companies in large, complicated IT packages and to consumers as discrete products (computers and software applications). In the past decade, technology has dissolved into the fabric of our society. We all can access powerful technology stacks. We don’t need to know how to program. We don’t need a big IT department either. Now, technology is infrastructure, like our physical systems of highways and roads. This levels the playing field so new kinds of companies can emerge, and it’s forcing big companies to respond to a new breed of competitor, as well as a newly empowered (and informed) consumer base.

2. Big companies are on the precipice of the most wrenching transformation in history — and tech is only part of the reason why. BigCos change very slowly. They are cautious by nature and extremely suspicious of “the new.” BigCos study new developments and wait for proof before they change. As digital technology spread through society over the past three decades, big companies were slow to get a web page, slow to conduct business over the web, slow to lean into mobile and social, and slow to respond to new types of startup competition. Of course, now that the web is mature and consumer platforms like Facebook and Google are massive, BigCos have shifted resources to digital. But that last point — responding to startup and business model competition — is far more problematic, because responding to new kinds of competition isn’t something you can outsource. It requires a fundamental shift in corporate social structure — and culture is hard to change.

3. The next generation’s leaders don’t want to work at BigCos (if they don’t have to). In the past year I’ve met with senior executives at massive companies like Nestle, Publicis, P&G, Walmart, Visa, and McDonald’s. When I ask what keeps them up at night, all of them answer “hiring the next generation of leaders.” The best and brightest now see “launching a company,” “working at a startup,” or “working at a digital leader like Google or Facebook,” as a preferable career choice, starving BigCos of their most valuable asset: talent. While one might dismiss young professionals’ penchant for startups as a fad or a phase, there’s something far deeper at work, namely …

4. A job is table stakes. To win talent, companies must compete on purpose, authenticity, and organizational structure. Millennials are now the largest force in the global economy, and they have a markedly different view of work: Purpose and “making a difference in the world” are central in their work-related decisions. They’d rather work at The Honest Company than Unilever, if given a choice — and the best and brightest always have a choice. Members of the next generation want to be at a company where work means more than a paycheck. They believe work can be a calling (Reich) or an expression of our creativity (Florida). BigCos aren’t currently organized to enable their workforces in this way (human resources, anyone?), but NewCos — even the very largest ones like Google — most definitely are.

5. Today’s consumers are newly empowered and are making decisions on more than price. If millennials are choosing employers based on purpose and authenticity, it follows that they decide how they spend their money in similar fashion. Convenience, selection, and price are important, but new kinds of competitors are exposing weaknesses in big companies’ essential truths, and that’s an existential threat. Dollar Shave Club questions Gillette’s core premise, MetroMile questions Geico’s core premise, Earnest does the same to large financial institutions, HolaLuz to energy companies, and the list goes on. Companies profiting from practices or products that demonstrably create more harm than good in the world are threatened in an age of transparency and accountability. Regardless of good intent or excellent marketing, if your business makes people unhealthy, or depends on exploitation of vulnerable workers, or can be laddered to climate change, it’s at risk of mass consumer migration to businesses with better narratives.

6. The platform economy means traditional competitive moats are falling away. Today’s largest consumer companies earned their power by consolidating and optimizing their access to commodities (what their products were made of), manufacturing (how their products were made), and distribution (where their products were sold and how people became aware of them). They were built on humanity’s first global platforms: television and mass transportation networks. We all know that the Internet undermined this hegemony; physical distribution is no longer a surefire competitive advantage (just ask Walmart). But what’s not well understood is how quickly other parts of the product stack have become platform-ized. Just as startups can now access technology as a service, they can also access sourcing and manufacturing as a service (Dollar Shave doesn’t make its blades, for example). This of course bolsters point #5 above: If any company can access the same economies of scale, brands must compete on more than price or distribution, they must compete on voice, innovative (and information-first) approaches to markets, and purpose.

7. Cities are resurgent. I just returned from Mexico City, which earlier this month hosted its first NewCo festival. While there, I heard a refrain consistent with my visits around the world: The city is changing for the better and new kinds of companies are at the heart of that change. When people gather at NewCo meetups or inside NewCo sessions, I keep hearing “There’s just no way these kinds of companies could have made it in this city ten years ago.” Coupled with the horizontal force of technology and the rise of a purpose-driven zeitgeist, cities have become both the epicenter of humanity’s greatest challenges, as well as the birthplace of our greatest innovation. One generation ago, one-third of humanity lived in urban centers. Today, it’s more than 50 percent. One generation from now, more than two-thirds of us will reside in the tangled banks of a city center, and that number will surpass 80 percent by the end of this century. Cities offer access to capital, education, regulatory frameworks, and a collaborative density of human curiosity and connections. It’s where great companies are born and grow.

8. BigCos are deeply aware of all this — and a massive shift is about to reveal itself. For as long as I’ve been in the media and technology business, I’ve heard big company executives proclaim they were committed to change. But it always rang hollow: Large companies expended far more resources preventing change than they ever did committing to it. Over the past year, however, I’ve sensed a deep shift in the tone of my conversations with BigCos. These are some of the smartest people in the world, and they understand the technological, generational, and social tectonics at play. In their board rooms and C-suites, conversations are already underway about changes so significant, they’ll be viewed as “calendar reset” moment: Before Shift and After Shift. We’re already seeing leading indicators — Walmart’s commitment to sustainability, GE’s move to Boston, Publicis’s rewritten purpose statement and organizational structure — but in the next year or two, the pace will quicken. New CEOs at category-leading companies like McDonald’s, Ford, and P&G will most likely announce stunning new initiatives that would have been inconceivable a decade ago.

9. The best NewCos realize there’s a lot to learn from the BigCos. After years of feasting on BigCo markets, “established upstarts” like Google, Facebook, Uber, Zenefits, and Square are transitioning from cultures based on “move fast and break things” and “ask for forgiveness, not permission.” Their leaders are now turning to questions like “How do I build a company that will last for generations? How can I maintain a strong corporate culture when I have thousands of employees? How do I work productively with regulatory and policy frameworks, now that I’m an established player?” Turns out, BigCos have decades, if not centuries, of experience in answering these kinds of questions. In my conversations with leaders of both NewCos and BigCos, I sense a new kind of detente as each side realizes how much it has to learn from the other. In the coming months and years, I expect we’ll see a lot more cooperation between the two.”