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Doing too much when it comes to finding opportunities?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, July 06, 2014
Updated: Sunday, July 06, 2014

Doing too much when it comes to finding opportunities?

As a  contractor or vendor to the U.S. Government, are you realizing too little return on your investment of time and money when it comes to developing viable business opportunities? Maybe the problem is your company's time is spread between too many so-so prospects.

One of the greatest challenges facing government contractors today is efficiency. This transcends attributes such as business size, socioeconomic status and technical abilities and results from internal and external factors for many companies. In this case I'm referring to efficiency in developing information and relationships specific to organizations with need and budget to buy what you're selling.

For example. I hear from companies large and small that claim Department of Agriculture as their customer. My usual response is "What part of USDA?" followed by "There are eleven contracting agencies within USDA that have obligation activity this fiscal year, three-hundred and fifteen contracting offices making buys for forty funding agencies, some of which are external to USDA. How many of them do you touch? How many current dialogues are you maintaining? How many individuals within those organizations do you actually know and do they know you?"

For the record, USDA is just one of sixty-one federal agencies, boards and commissions contributing to the $230B in FY2014 YTD obligations, and there are plenty of companies with 3-5 departments (versus agencies, buereaus or even offices) on their prospect radar. All of this while a chief complaint remains not being able to get to decision-makers and influencers. This scatter gun approach results in not enough time committed to effective relationship development to support market research, business development and capture efforts and more often responses to RFPs and RFQs that are nothing more than throwing something over the fence to see if it sticks.

While varying degrees of exception to this might exist, generally speaking, those companies with relationships and a greater understanding of an agency's operational needs, stand a much better chance at getting information that is more accurate and timely than those without. Preliminary market research is relatively easy to achieve since the bulk of the information needed to get started is freely available. Additionally, the cost of doing business for opportunities is lower when you execute market research rather than forging ahead without it.

How's your opportunity ROI? Is your organization willing to do what's needed to refine its focus?


The Chief Visionary

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

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