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Making the Most of Your Debriefing: Top Tips for Smart Contractors

Debriefings are a critical tool in any federal contractor’s toolbox.   As a threshold matter, they are a useful (if not mandatory) first step in many bid protests, helping contractors gather the information they need to substantiate protest arguments.  But debriefings are a useful information gathering tool outside the protest context as well.  Indeed, they are

2021 Hot Wash Cover Image
Blogs

What’s A Federal Q4 Sales Hot Wash? (and Why Do One)?

You know the feeling, when the Federal fiscal year is about to end or has just wrapped. Maybe you’re waiting to hear about wins, super busy onboarding new clients, or closing the books on what didn’t happen. Everybody’s ready to move on. It’s done — not a minute too soon!  You’ve wiped the slate and

Ready for FY22? Think Again!
Blogs

Ready for FY22? Think Again!

No one can predict the future, but you can be ready for it! The Challenge: Plan Federal Fiscal 2022 We were finishing up our weekly online Growth meeting with the Executive Management Team via Zoom when the CEO said, “It’s time to focus on our 2022 strategy.  Let’s start to put something together for early

Five Allowable Gifts For Your Federal Buyer
Blogs

Five Allowable Gifts For Your Federal Buyer

Gifts are one of the ways we connect as humans. But even the newest GovCon quickly learns not to offer gifts to Federal buyers. FAR Part 3 on Allowable Conduct defines the limits of allowable gifts, and it’s better not to offer anything at all.  Our Federal buyers are human, just like us. They have

Win 8(a) Contracts: Five Keys to Success
Blogs

Win 8(a) Contracts: Five Keys to Success

New Research Findings Create an overall strategy to increase your 8(a) contract awards using these five effective strategic practices Introduction Although the U.S. government stresses the importance of small businesses in government contracting, small business owners continue to face challenges in securing and maintaining contracting opportunities[1]. In my 2021 DBA Capstone, I explored how owners

Four Things Your Contracting Officer Wants in Q4 and how to give it to them Image
Blogs

What Your Federal Buyer Wants In Q4 (And How To Give It To Them)

The last few weeks of the Federal fiscal year can feel like a mix of excitement, anticipation, confusion, and, sometimes even despair — for buyers and vendors! As vendors, often we feel like we have so much to offer… if only that buyer would return our calls or emails! What does it take to break

Blogs

Federal Year End: Position to Capture End-of-year Dollars

Now that we’ve entered the federal fourth quarter, government contractors often ask about the possibilities of capturing any potential end-of-year dollars. There may be an opportunity for 2022 dollars to be allocated in 2021 or there may be unspent budgets that must be spent before the fiscal year has concluded. Before you focus your attention

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8(a) Mentoring & Joint Ventures: Keys To Success (And How To Avoid Top Mistakes)

You’ve been certified as a participant in the SBA’s 8(a) Program.  Congratulations–it’s not an easy (or quick) process!  But now that you’re an official 8(a) Program participant, how do you maximize your chances of winning 8(a) contracts?   For many 8(as), mentoring and joint ventures are a critical piece of the puzzle.  In my career as

Blogs

4 Ways To Show Value In A Winning Federal Proposal

Many Federal contractors — large and small — mistakenly see their value as primarily the services or the products they offer.  While competency in your capabilities is vital, we often have more value to offer than we realize!  Our value proposition — whether as part of a team or as a prime — can include

Blogs

Four Federal Sales Myths (And How I Busted Them)

Four big myths stop people from winning millions of dollars in Federal contracts…and, worse yet, prevents talented small business owners from bringing expertise and value to Federal buyers who need what we do to deliver their missions and serve citizens. I know, because those myths were stopping me, and my clients Until I broke through. 

Blogs

The Ultimate Guide To Win Federal Contracts

Where To Start, What To Do, Who Can Help Introduction Want to win Federal contracts? Congratulations! You’re in the right place. The Federal government almost certainly buys from companies like yours. Whether you have expertise, services, or products, the world’s biggest buyer could be your next customer. What to do, who can help, and your

Blogs

What Teaming Is, and What it Isn’t

Many Government contracts today are set-aside for small businesses, or certain types of small businesses, and the proportion of set-aside contracts will most likely continue to grow in the future.  Indeed, the Biden administration recently stated that it views the Government’s “procurement power” as a means to even the playing field for certain disadvantaged groups,

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3 Reasons GovCons need alternative financing for their contracts

There is a growing gravitation of commercial businesses engaging in government contracting these days. As they seek contract vehicles to help with access to opportunity, the question of their ultimate success usually comes into play. To be successful requires access to cashflow to keep your profit ahead of your expenses. The common challenge of the

Blogs

How To Win Federal Contracts: Dive Into Contract Data!

Get into the swim of how and why you can use free, open-source competitive market intelligence , and bring back the wins you want. These lively lessons share unique insight into how to tap that data to open up the relationships you need to succeed. When my team and I do our research into past

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Innovation in federal BD: The Players and Layers Methodology

Would it surprise you to know that there are FIVE LAYERS to every federal business opportunity?  For over 33 years, I’ve worked with established companies in every industry from the intelligence community to additive manufacturing. And every time I unpack this for seasoned business development professionals, their eyes light up. Here’s why. Once you know

Blogs

It’s a Wrap: Determining Wrap Rates to Price Competitively

Budgets are tightening. Agencies are feeling the pinch by awarding more contracts on the basis of lowest price, combined with technical acceptability. When margins narrow, how do you develop viable proposals while maintaining company profits? (5) Your bid requires wrap rates, formulas that are critical to survival in this cost-competitive environment. Simply: The wrap rate

Blogs

Consolidated GSA Multiple Award Schedule Opportunities and Hazards

What’s the MAS Consolidation About? GSA’s revamped Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program simplifies the acquisition process for both agencies and contractors. Under the program, businesses and their offerings are pre-vetted and easily accessible, removing burdensome requirements for contractors to sell their products/services, and for agencies to purchase them.  Initially, GSA Schedules consisted of 24 separate

Blogs

The Art of Human Connection in the Federal Arena Master Your 15 Magic Minutes

 How to Optimize Industry Outreach Conversations! In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes or so the saying goes.  Your Industry Outreach could be your Fifteen Minutes of Fame….. so if you only get one shot, what are you going to do to maximize it”? It’s YOUR fifteen minutes!! Never more true than

Responding to Sources Sought
Blogs

Why Should I Pay Attention to Sources Sought and RFIs?

The COVID-19 crisis is driving us all crazy, but now is a very important time to review your processes for monitoring and reacting to Sources Sought and RFI notices. Why? Skip Blackburn, capture expert and CEO of BIT Solutions, points out that “…at 22.3 percent, many Federal agencies are not meeting their small business goals,

Blogs

GovCon Tryouts Have Been Announced!

Mastering Industry Outreach Meetings… Tryouts are announced! Coach announced his goals for the season and the tryout announcement said, “All interested in being on the team need to be ready for the tryouts on Wednesday at 3 PM.  Team session first and then individual try-outs.  Bring your gear and be ready to show the coach

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Three Key Considerations When Negotiating/Drafting Subcontracts for Use on Federal Government Contracts

Federal government contracting can be very complicated.  The complex web of rules and regulations governing these contracts can be difficult to navigate.  Sometimes, subcontracting can be even more confusing because contractors – whether prime or sub – don’t know what they don’t know.  A successful subcontracting relationship on a federal project is a balancing act

Blogs

Value Propositions – Stand Out from Your Competitors

As many Federal Government contractors tackle the newest array of requests for proposals that are coming out, there is an important element of proposal writing that must be contained in every response – value propositions.  Too many Government contractors leave this ingredient out of their proposals.  Our emphasis typically is on the business volume, but

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Blogs

FY21 Opportunity Outlook for Federal Contractors

We had such and exciting webinar with The Pulse of GovCon, talking about GovCon opportunity in this new administration, we wanted to share some of the highlights.  You can download the full webinar below.  Don’t miss out on this can’t miss information. As we enter 2021, the Government Contracting industry is benefiting from a 10-year

Capitol in Winter JJ
Blogs

How To Win Contracts In A New Administration

For many GovCons, contract spending is slower right now, as departments and agencies await new budget authority, new priorities, and new leaders. Seasoned GovCons are relaxed. They’re patiently calling on their Federal buyers, even while “nobody knows anything.”  Why aren’t they worried, and why are they in such a great mood? In this post, we’ll

Stand out by how you engage
Blogs

Stand Out by How you Engage…..LESS is More

So you are just hanging up the phone after talking with the government POC for the meeting with the potential customer team, excited that you have a chance to engage in the upcoming acquisition with some ideas you have had for a while on the challenges the government may face in improving the services you

Government Contractors Working Together
Blogs

What is Come Together for GovCon Conversations with Contracting Officers??

GovCon Resources to help you grow your Federal Business First, what the heck is “Come Together for GovCon Conversations with Contracting Officers”?? It’s not a webinar. It’s not a class. It’s FULL-ON ENGAGEMENT. It’s raw courage to have live conversations with real contracting officers to tackle the toughest challenge in GovCon: How YOU can get

Blogs

GovCons your #1 Resolution/Goal this year should be to…

Get on your Federal buyers’ Calendar https://growfedbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-01-06-VLOG-For-LinkedIn-Get-on-your-Federal-Buyers-Calendar.mp4  GovCons are you ready to take on the one resolution? GovCons, are you ready to take on the one resolution we all need for 2021 success?  Don’t worry, I’ve got you. The single most important thing that drives our success is… Relationships. The most powerful thing we can

Gifts for the holidays 2021
Blogs

5 Perfect Gifts For Your Team

5 Perfect Gifts For Your Team Still looking for the right gifts for your GovCon team or your colleagues?Help is here. All of us in GovCon — solo-preneurs, business owners, contractors — rely on a mix of trusted advisors, partners, employees, and contractors all year long. Our success depends on attracting the best people into

Blogs

How To Win Contracts In A New Administration

How To Win Contracts In A New Administration  A new Administration can make late fall and early winter an anxious time in the Federal contracting arena.  Many Federal employees and GovCons feel anxious and uncertain: how will program priorities, budgets, and jobs be affected in the months ahead? Pandemic continues to stress our personal and

Blogs

How did FY20 rate on the GovCon Pain Scale for you?

You’ve probably seen this at the doctor’s office or ER, especially if you’ve been there with kids. Here’s why it matters to you now. If you do business with the Federal government, this question How did FY20 rate on the GovCon Pain Scale for you? is vital for your survival right now. Here’s why. If

Blogs

Veterans in GovCon Teach Us All

5 Lessons Veterans in GovCon Teach Us All Veterans Day is a time of reflection and of gratitude. For those in Federal contracting who (like me) are not veterans, it’s also an opportunity to learn more, begin a conversation, or deepen a friendship with someone who has served. We want — and need — to

Federal New year, Coffee time
Blogs

Start your Federal New Year check-in calls

Your first win is both a lot smaller, and a lot more important, than you ever imagined: It’s a conversation. (And no coffee required, especially these days. But when Pumpkin Spice Latte appears, remember, it’s not just a beverage. It’s your signal that it’s time for conversations!) Yup.  Most of us have a couple dozen

Commit to your plan and federal goals
Blogs

Commit To Your Federal Sales Goals

If you were successful beyond your wildest dreams in federal FY 2021, what would be true for you 12 months from now? Committing to your Federal Sales Goals will help you get there. https://growfedbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Commit-To-Your-Goals.mov Think of them not just in terms of that big dollar figure, but also in terms of things like these: Number

What is a hot wash-Hot Wash Vblog
Blogs

Federal Sales Plan Hot Wash

Your next step to a great Federal new year is your Hot Wash. Evaluate and create a Federal Sales Plan that works. https://youtu.be/TfilL9OG6G4 Your next step to a great Federal new year is your Hot Wash. Evaluate and create a Federal Sales Plan that works. Read on to find out: What’s a hot wash? Who

graphic conveying organic business growth
Blogs

The 12x Factor: How to Close More Federal Contracts at Fiscal Year End

Are you willing to do the work to get in front of federal buyers for the win? If so, it’s closing time. There is one simple thing you can do TODAY. Cost? Just courage. Welcome to the home stretch of the Federal Fiscal year end, your last chance to close contracts before the new fiscal

Blogs

Federal Lead Generation, Pipeline & Capture Power Pack

These three trainings left people speechless when they realized what they’d learned…and how much easier they could be winning federal business using these tips right away. First, find out why federal buyers aren’t finding you, and how to fix that: How To Lead Your Federal Buyer To Your Door So They’ll Buy From You Next,

Blogs

Doing Business With The Smithsonian Institution: A Vendor’s Story

What would you do if the missing link between you and a federal contract win was a few conversations with somebody you care about? For the most part, I serve people who want to win federal contracts. That’s been my profession for over 30 years.

Mars rover traversing plains while lit by the dawn, a small blue pilot light, and a green internally placed lightbulb.
Blogs

Hot, Dry, Barren: But…Signs of Life?

You know how hard Federal contracting is. You’ve had those weeks, those months: no signs of life anywhere. You turn over the rocks, you dig. Everything seems absolutely uninhabited. Nobody’s returning calls. No opportunities. Nothing. And yet. You know that Federal agency is spending money. In fact, your competitor is winning some of it, and

Blogs

How To Become The Vendor They Trust

You know you have the superior solution for that Federal buyer…if only she would give you a chance. What’s the secret to winning work from a Federal buyer who’s already working with your competition? “We have to know you, like you, and trust you,” they say. But how do you build trust when you can’t even

Hand holding three green apples
Blogs

Put “Low-Hanging Fruit” In 2020 Plan

One evening after I gave a presentation, someone asked me, “Where is the low-hanging fruit in Federal contracting?” Then, I told them confidently, “There’s no such thing.” I was so wrong! There is plenty of “low-hanging fruit” in the Federal market! Micro-purchases (up to $10,000), and simplified acquisitions (as much as $250,000 and sometimes even more),

Email in an envelope
Blogs

Whitelisting Summit Insight Emails

Signed up for Summit Insight emails and haven’t received any? I can help! Make sure Summit Insight addresses are added to your email whitelist so your access to our content and updates isn’t interrupted. What’s a whitelist? An e-mail whitelist is a list of approved e-mail addresses or domain names you can personally select so

Want Hermione's Time-Turner to give you the extra proposal hours you need?
Blogs

The 30-Day Proposal: What Really You Need

“I need more time,” you’re thinking as you pull another all-nighter slammed up against yet one more proposal deadline. “How does anybody get these things done in 30 days?” What you need most is a reality check. If you’re looking for the way to do the whole job, start-to-finish, in 30 days, stop what you’re

Office looking guy with a fun tie!
Blogs

Find The Contracting Officer: Where and How?

The “why” is obvious. A Contracting Officer has power that the President of the United States does not: the legal ability to bind a company to the federal government in a contract to provide goods or services. They need to know you, like you, trust you, and know how to get to you. Contracting Officers

Veterans Affairs website screenshot featuring a brightly colored map
Blogs

Veterans Affairs VISN reorg: New map and why you care

Summit Insight’s team works with federal agency websites every day. We constantly find new stuff, from overhauled portals and agency reorganizations to entirely new market intelligence resources (my favorite)! I love to share the top changes with you as soon as we discover them, and show you why they’re useful right away. The news: the

Two women in business suits survey what is in front of them. One stands before hurdles with barbed wire strung between them. The other has a red carpet laid out before her. Wouldn't you like to know which you might be?
Blogs

Ten Ways To Tell If That Federal Contract Is Wired For Someone Else

You’ve just seen that federal contract opportunity on FedBizOps. It looks perfect for you! But there’s not a lot of lead time. You want to give it your best effort to win! Should you submit that Federal bid? Or do they have someone else in mind? Here are ten things you need to look at!

A right hand who's palm is face up, holding just the face of a clock with the seconds hand indicating motion. The tick marks of the clock are circumscribed by the words "TIME FOR ACTION!"
Blogs

Three Simple Steps To Prevent GSA Schedule Cancellation

Is the clock ticking on your GSA Schedule? You’re nowhere near that $25,000 sales goal, and you’re facing cancellation of your contract within the next couple of months? That doesn’t have to happen to you. Here’s how you can buy some time to make good on your goals. First of all, GSA really doesn’t want

Minority business owners working on strategy
Blogs

8 Success Factors for the 8(a) Business Development Program

After studying trends among over 1,500 8(a) Business Development Program participants in Metro Washington, D.C., we discovered some common characteristics and best practices of those who leverage this federal contracting program. Here’s what the most successful companies do to grow their companies through the first four years of the developmental phase, and then the final

Image of logo for GSA Schedule
Blogs

Is A GSA Schedule For You? How to Tell

A General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contract isn’t part of every company’s federal success strategy. Yes, it’s a popular kind of contract. It’s essential for some companies selling certain products or services to specific buyers. But the effort to get one also takes big upfront resources of time or money, usually both. Related: What’s A

Blogs

Easy Tips For Pre-RFP Marketing

A vendor who targets her most promising buyers and builds relationships with them over time has a distinct advantage: she gets to know the needs and concerns of program managers and end users of her product or service. Start building your key relationships long before the solicitation is posted. You can do that through formal

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