With each new year comes new opportunities and new goals. Some goals are more short-term and can be achieved throughout the year. Others require smaller milestones to be hit throughout the year in order to reach your much larger ones. If you are still in the process of laying out your goals for 2023, the important thing to keep in mind is to be realistic. If your current federal revenue is $90M but you want to hit $210M, is that a realistic number or not?
When companies plan out their year, one element that they often overlook is their internal processes. It is so easy to continue on with normal operations because they worked well enough to grow the business, so why not keep them going, right? The old, "if it ain't broke why fix it" method can only work for so long. "We grew revenue by 4% last year, we should see another year of 4% next year." But why? Why not make some minor adjustments to increase that 4% to 6%? Why not increase growth AND revenue?
Maybe this is the year to enhance some existing processes to hit all of your goals and check off smaller milestones to help get you to where you want to be in five, 10, or 15 years.
Ways to Enhance Your Process Efficiency
List Out Your Goals for The Year
One of the first steps in enhancing your team's process efficiency is to identify what you are trying to accomplish. In terms of business development and growing your federal contracting business, the revenue trap plagues far too many contractors. Thinking you will grow your business simply by increasing revenue is true to an extent, but it is so much more involved than that.
Increasing revenue stems from winning larger contracts or more contracts. If that is the case, that may mean you need to hire additional staff members to find more opportunities and create your bid/no-bid determination. It may involve identifying teaming partners so you can be a subcontractor or have subs under you. It could be that you have not explored additional markets and that is an easier path to victory.
Identify your goals, break down how they can be accomplished, and build your roadmap to success. Sometimes it really is as easy as starting with the basics and building up from there.
Opportunity Process Management
Identifying federal opportunities is good but actually winning those opportunities is great. Are there opportunities you were tracking in 2022 that are set to be released in the next 12 months? Are there opportunities set to be released later this year or next that you should be tracking but are not currently?
If you are using SAM.Gov to track opportunities, by the time they are published it is often too late. Your incumbents have most likely been networking and in contact with that contracting officer and while there are no guarantees in life, let alone government contracting, they are in a prime position to win that work.
Having a system in place, whether developed in-house or an external federal contracting management platform that provides your team with in-depth market intelligence and aligned opportunities might be what your team needs this year. Success for federal contractors starts with identifying what you can win, what the pathway to winning entails, and putting together the actual bid. A strong process can go a long way for your team to manage internal elements along with external components that are required for your bid.
The government wants to know how your past-performance relates to the bid you are putting together for a targeted opportunity. Using buzzwords and showing how you have connections is a small component but is not what will push you through to victory. You need to be able to prove what you have done, that it was a success, show your CPAR score, and demonstrate why you are the contractor to beat. If your current opportunity process does not include these components, we should talk.
SAM Registration, GSA Schedules, Contract Vehicles
New year, time to refresh your registrations. When does your SAM registration run through? Is it time for you to update that? Is your GSA schedule up to date? How about your reporting? Can you prove that you have a high PWin or does it seem like you are simply winning work here and there and you are doing so at all costs?
This is your opportunity to identify how your government customers are buying. Are they beginning to adopt contract vehicles to procure work or are they still publishing solicitations on SAM.Gov? If you are on a contract vehicle, are you using it? Far too many contractors are on a contract vehicle or have access to one but do not take advantage. Use it to your advantage!
Company Branding - What is Your Company's Identify?
Buzzwords do not win contracts. Past-performance does. How have you positioned your company within the federal market? Can your buyers quickly understand who you are and what you do, or will the overpromise and underdeliver plague haunt you?
If you want to do business with the DoD, what is your plan? Is there a portion of your website that speaks to this? Are you speaking the right language and networking with the right people? If not, why not?
Do not be one of those companies who have tons of marketing jargon and fodder on their website and collateral with buzzwords but are unable to actually perform that work. Your company branding is essential, especially when dealing with the federal government. Stick to your company's identity and core competencies. It is great to expand into new markets, just be sure that the ones you are currently talking in are the ones you can actually walk in.
Looking for a way to roll all of these elements under one roof this year? We have you covered! Federal Compass is an all-in-one solution that helps your team identify opportunities, support why you should chase them, and manage them throughout the procurement process. Learn more today >