We meet with many small business owners and executives and listen to the unique challenges that they face with government contracting. Those discussions and that feedback works its way into every aspect of our products. That’s why, at Federal Compass, we aim to level the playing field by empowering small business contractors. Learn more by downloading the free eBook, Small Business Guide for Federal Contractors.
At a high level, we see two groups of problems faced by small business contractors. First, there are process issues, which include things like managing an opportunity pipeline or interactions with contracting officers. Second, there are business development problems, including opportunity identification, new customer identification and of course, identifying pathways into those opportunities and customers.
We see many small business contractors who rely on just a handful of contracts spread out among even fewer customers (many times just a single customer). The lack of customer diversity presents a real risk to small business, and at the same time many small business contractors don’t have access to market intelligence tools that can identify pathways to new customers.
Underlying business challenges like process and business development, cost exists as a real roadblock for small business, preventing the adoption of more robust tools that can help solve those problems. We found that many small businesses rely on spreadsheets to manage their pipeline. This is a problem because spreadsheets lack the process (workflow, notifications and alerts, status, ownership, etc.) that push opportunities from identification to win.
We also found that cost is the leading factor in limited market intelligence for small business. This means that instead of pursuing opportunities with good fit and alignment to strategy, small businesses often just chase the latest RFP. With finite resources, this misalignment can waste B&P dollars on a pursuit destined for loss. It’s also important for small businesses to set aside funds to engage consultants when the time comes to pursue an opportunity, perhaps for competitive intelligence or price to win strategy.
Small business should strive for a robust and integrated process. This means market intelligence, opportunity identification, and pipeline management all within a single tool. Traditionally, software solutions that check all these boxes are prohibitively expensive for small business. At Federal Compass, we believe that shouldn’t be the case, which is why we have solutions for any sized organization.
Is your company prepared for the shifting landscape within Federal IT procurement? For nearly twenty years, GSA Schedules and agency-IDIQs paved the way for the evolution of second-tier competitions. In 2019, GWACs outpaced IDIQs, for the first time, to become the Government's preferred pathway. Every Federal customer interacts with GWACs, and these vehicles continue to lure in new adopters. From the broad range of services to the number of contractors vying for work, the loyalty to IDIQs is waning as customers begin their march towards GWACs. For many, this statement makes sense; however, getting on a GWAC, let alone finding success, creates a challenge unique to these types of vehicles. It isn't enough to know POLARIS, CIO-SP4, and 8(a) STARS III; a clear vision and strategy are critical to determining the right team, surviving the scorecard, and moving into post-award with a proactive plan to capture business, rather than hopelessly reacting.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 03/09/2021
Revenue growth is the primary focus of every small business, but in a market as complex and fluid as the federal contracting market, growth can often stall due to the lack of the right resources. And when effectively managing expenditures puts the right resources out of reach, small businesses often get caught in a growth Catch-22.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/25/2021
Huntsville, Alabama, has long represented a tantalizing market that always felt out of reach for many contractors. Over the last decade, this zip code has been a focal point of growing interest as it became home for many organizations that, on an annual basis, manage billions in contract spending. Based on the latest news, Huntsville's influence over the aviation, space, and missile enterprise will grow significantly in 2021.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/15/2021