The Federal Contracting Market is HUGE.
HUGE Opportunities and Risks.
How to Avoid Boiling the Ocean
Most government contractors, large and small, mature and new approach the federal contracting market carefully trying NOT to boil the ocean! Some agencies have 15+ sub-agencies each with their own budgets and buying power. So, you can see why it’s a task not to boil the ocean.
Because the federal government is so large it is imperative to create a thoughtful, fact-based strategy to get work, otherwise you will waste a lot of time talking to the wrong people, gathering intel from the wrong places and working on bids that have a very low win ratio for your company.
In order to build a good strategy, most successful government contractors have done loads of market research and have built relationships with decision makers within the agencies they are targeting. Additionally, they may even hire former agency employees who have strong ties to the agencies.
Below are the two predominant strategies used by successful government contractors to obtain work.
Strategy 1 – GO WIDE:
Identify current/forecasted opportunities from several agencies that match your experience and where they have some customer intimacy (meaning they know decision-makers who will discuss the agencies’ needs). They focus on the opportunities themselves and where they intersect with agency decision-makers.
Strategy 2 – GO DEEP:
Determine where you have strong customer intimacy and work with those agency reps to determine where the work is and when its going to come out. They then follow these work efforts through the bidding lifecycle. They don’t take on new agencies, without spending time and resources gaining customer intimacy.
For those companies that don’t have customer intimacy because they are just starting out in the federal contracting market or they are targeting a new agency or introducing new products, refer to The Government Contracting Market – Where to Start? 3 Step Guide for tips on how to gather the data required to start building customer intimacy, which will then lead to developing one of the strategies above.