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Finding Opportunities or Winning Opportunities?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, September 07, 2014

Finding Opportunities or Winning Opportunities?

Let me begin by saying there is nothing intuitive about the industry-side of government contracting. The only real similarity to commercial, state and local contracting and others is that somebody sells and somebody buys and information and relationships are absolutely vital across the board. In government contracting, unless you have prior experience or experiences that avail you to being familiar with the actual and mythical idiosyncrasies unique to this business, you likely participate in conferences, document reviews and ad hoc conversations where the language spoken or written may as well be some lost ancient dialect. It was like that for me during my first years in the business.

For many companies new to doing business with civilian, defense and intelligence agencies of the federal government (and their contractors) the challenge is these new players want to 'hit the ground running' by immediately pursuing opportunities without the investment of understanding the language or the environment. To put it another way, they frequently come in to the industry with information that is not accurate, often have no relevant relationships developed and almost always want instant gratification. Information and relationships are the keys to developing context to support decision-making. If you lack in either category, I can tell you the outcome as I've seen the movie many times since 1988. In fact, I've starred in that movie more than a few times.

The question I pose to business leaders trying to take their companies to the proverbial 'promised land' of success in government contracting is, what's your real challenge when it comes to business growth in B2G? Finding government contracting opportunities or winning them? The reasons for not being successful in one is often directly tied to the other, and the roots for both are firmly planted in your ability develop and leverage information and relationships.

So which one is it? Is your pipeline chock full of viable opportunities that you are just having a heck of a time figuring out the winning formula? Or is it that your cupboards are bare when it comes to knowing about upcoming agency needs for which your company might be a good fit directly, or as a teaming partner? What information do you need? Where do you get it? What relationships are important and how do you make them happen?

I always ask about finding or winning opportunities when I meet with our CORE™ Small Business members during the kickoff of the strategy and advisory support we provide. My goal is to understand their perception of current and/or future challenges to growth so the process of mitigating or eliminating those challenges can begin. A moment of pride comes from advice provided to one of these companies that resulted in their sharing with us months later they had an actual vetted pipeline. More pride came as we watched some of that pipeline become actual tangible awards from government agencies.

Helping federal contractors identify, understand and overcome the challenge of finding or winning opportunities is the objective of Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™, a program developed to help companies learn to access information, develop context to understand and exploit it for the sole purpose of achieving their growth goals.

Access | Context | Exploit | Growth

Like to know more? Click here to call me or email me at and I'll be happy to tell you about our membership, education and training programs for federal contractors.

Feel free to check out my other articles here.


The Chief Visionary

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

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