Most agencies will talk to you about the benefits of Government contracting, but very few will actually point out the most challenging aspects of this venture and how to overcome them. Ask some of the most successful contractors, and they will tell you that their Government contracting endeavours had their fair share of flaws.
Making mistakes in Government contracting is completely acceptable. Not learning from them is what jeopardizes your business and pushes it to the back of the line. It is a highly competitive, rigorous and complex market that requires the utmost expertise, dedication and perseverance. Without these, you cannot possibly hope to attain a modicum of success in the field of Government contracting.
As mentioned before, learning from the mistakes made is key to surviving and thriving in the Government contracting business. When you commit a mistake, you should be quick to acknowledge it, understand it and respond to it with the necessary adjustments and changes. This is how you develop your contracting skills and put yourself in a more advantageous position the next time around.
The following are three of the most costly mistakes that contractors have made in Government contracting. Acquaint yourself with these fatal mistakes so that you can avoid them and have a smoother run in this field.
1) Making Your Business Look Risky
What does a risky business look like? Well to begin with, a risky business is one that has no praiseworthy or laudable track record. When you have no customers that you can refer to, you are running a risky business. The lack of a bank account, credit history, website or social media page are all indicators of a business that does not have a guaranteed existence, let alone guaranteed success.
You need to understand that contracting officers are trained to select the crème of the crop, which certainly does not include businesses that are under the risk of extinction. In other words, the motto of Government contracting (from the Government’s perspective) is to choose the option that has the lowest risk factor.
Now that you know the requirement of the contracting officers, it is on your shoulders to ensure that you lower the risks as much as possible. The lower the risk factor of your company is, the better will be your chances of being acknowledged and approved by the Government officials. To make sure that you look credible, the first course of action that you need to take is be registered in the Central Contractor Registry or CCR. This is the simplest way of securing the legal basics. Once that is done, you can focus on increasing your reputation by opening up a website, social media page, a professional email account using your website’s name and everything else that will add a greater degree of credibility to your company.
2) Not Understanding the Language
It does not matter whether you are at the local city level, the state level or the Federal Government level, every section has a language of its own, along with individual procedures and processes. If you expose your inability to understand the conversation, procedures or acronyms, you endanger your chances of ever making it up the Government contracting ladder.
At every new meeting, outreach session and conference that you attend, you will come across a host of new terms and acronyms that you have probably never heard of before. It is your responsibility to jot down these words and become familiar with them as soon as possible. This is how you learn the lingo and enhance your command over the language.
3) Being Unprepared
A lack of preparation before asking for and meeting with decision makers makes you appear as a careless and unprofessional organization that does not fully comprehend the value of research. You will be provided with abundant background information by the Federal Government entities, but at the same time, you need to do your homework to be able to analyze the information that you have been presented with.
This is where business philosophy comes into play. Having data on your table cannot be regarded as knowledge. It is only when you assess and analyze the data that you acquire knowledge. Without ample knowledge of the subject, your preparation with the decision makers will always remain incomplete.
If you avoid these fatal mistakes, you will be doing yourself a world of favour in the field of Government contracting. These tips can lay the foundation for a healthy, well oiled and stable Government contracting business.