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Did anyone see who was driving that bus?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Tuesday, September 04, 2012
So this is what it feels like to be run over by the proverbial bus.
A lot of us are still trying to figure out if the driver was Congress, certain federal agencies, or one or more prime contractors. Maybe it was a "mechanic" carrying out their respective wishes, you know, to have us just go away.
numbers down
FY12 has been a tough year all around and the prospects for FY13 don't look any better, to say the least. Industry pain is compounded by the presidential election, ongoing budget cuts, and sequestration, whatever that ultimately means to us.

It's worse for small government contractors and it seems we get kicked in the face over and over again. Here are just a few of the reasons many small businesses that survive FY2012, will want to leave it in the rear view mirror, quickly.

businessman in dispairIT ain't what it used to be
While most small businesses will feel the impact of environmental changes in FY13, small IT contractors will get a special punch in the gut based on the division in Washington and the importance (or lack thereof) of IT priorities by federal managers. One of the most notable trickle effects is more primes cutting (small business) subcontractors with wild abandon.

We hoped reverse auctions would "Frye"
Reverse auctions continue to be a bane to many small businesses, and although it looked as if the action's of VA's Jan Frye might temper this acquisition method somewhat, it continues to gain momentum.

So what exactly does 'Veteran's First' mean?larry, darryl and darryl
Speaking of VA, there is the ongoing debacle related to SDVOSB companies and their "ranking" in the Veterans First acquisition food-chain when up against GSA Schedules, the other debacle related to the certification/re-certification process for our service disabled Veterans and the other debacle that pits them against AbilityOne. Feels like a scene right out of Newhart when the character Larry talks about his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.

Why do we keep these knuckleheads?
return congressIf you want characters, we've got 'em! Just take a trip to Capitol Hill where you'll see the master's of inaction, in action. Not only do they continue to drop the ball on budget activities that have us all taking turns pronouncing se·ques·tra·tion and wondering why it was we elected any of them in the first place, the stream of mostly useless small business "help" legislation that always peaks right around elections is just icing on the cake. They should step outside and take a look at the number of small business chalk outlines on the sidewalk. These elected officials are key contributors to the pain experienced by small government contractors.

Taking the good with the bad
There is GSA's Demand-Based Model for future GSA Schedule slick salespersonsolicitations/awards. While on the surface it probably will be harmful to new companies entering the market or those already here trying to build their credentials and experience to qualify for a schedule, the unintended side effect may actually quell the number of GSA Schedule scam organizations out there, especially the number of bad apples that seem to be centrally located in Tampa/St. Petersburg. Now if we can only do something about these CCR/SAM Registration shysters.

Take these examples along with the growing number of delayed contract awards and procurements cancelled midstream (in some cases, after responses are submitted), the ongoing saga of primes vs. small business, and you too can know what it feels like to be run over by the bus.

The stakes have never been higher. This is the time for America's small businesses to increase our competitive posture, minimize actual and perceived dependence on small business assistance programs, and come together in a way that ensures we are at the wheel the next time someone is thrown under a bus.
Instead of our always being on defense let's plan out a good offensive series, and take the game to them.


The Chief Visionary


"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Differentiate Yourself. Develop and Leverage Your Small Business C4ISR™.
(Capacity, Commitment, Core Competency, Intelligence, Strategy and Relationships)

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