5 silver bullets for winning proposals

February 5, 2014 by

Is there one silver bullet that wins proposals? Yes (kinda). Trust is the closest factor I have found to being the silver bullet that wins proposals.

Our customer must trust that we can deliver the solution at the agreed-to price with little to no issues. (Do you make it a habit of buying from people or companies you do not trust?) No trust, no win.

Definitively, there is no one silver bullet factor that guarantees a win. There is no one thing that always works; nor is there one thing that offsets a sea of negative influencers (e.g., bad reputation, noncompliant or poorly executed proposal, lack of customer insight).

However, there are five silver bullet factors that greatly impact the likelihood of a win, and these factors require customer trust.

These five silver bullet factors historically tip the scales in favor of one solution provider over another. Which factor(s) to use varies according to circumstances. The five silver bullet factors can be cumulative. They are relative to one another and relative to other factors.

In other words, relative to all other aspects of proposal development, one could call these silver bullets because of the historic weighting of these five variables.

Keep reading this article at: http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2014/01/22/insights-parkinson-silver-bullets.aspx 

Georgia firms win federal contracts in Jan. 2014

February 3, 2014 by

Ever wonder who’s winning federal contracts in Georgia?

Wouldn’t this information be helpful if you are looking for subcontracting prospects?  Or when you’re trying to figure out who your competitors are?  Or when considering who might be a good partner on an upcoming bid proposal?

Each month, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) publishes a list of federal contracts awarded to Georgia businesses.  The list comes complete with point-of-contact information on the awardees, the name of the awarding agency, the dollar value of the contract, and much more.

Download the award winners for January 2014 right here: FEDERAL CONTRACT AWARDS IN GEORGIA – JAN. 2014

For information on Georgia businesses that won federal contracts in 2013, click here.

Pinterest is tool for both governments and government marketers

January 31, 2014 by

Governments have a sizable presence on Pinterest, the pinboard-style photo-sharing website. Pins and boards on Pinterest cover the following and many other public sector topics:
Public works (in general)
Public works architecture and design
Public parks and recreation
Green government
Public sector tasks such as grounds maintenance
Government procurement

The Pinterest site has a page devoted to businesses that have successfully spread the word about their products and services through Pinterest. Lowe’s, Sony Electronics, Kraft Foods and The Container Store are some of the firms that have won business through Pinterest.

PINTEREST_LOGO_LONG_0Lowe’s, for instance, has created a few Pinterest boards dedicated to smaller design and decor projects. Their most repinned pin—a create-your-own colorful doormat project—has gotten more than 200,000 repins so far. Lowes is also a major player in the government market, with sites for federal and state and local government buyers.

No question about it, Pinterest can help sell products, says Danny Maloney, CEO and co-founder of Tailwind. Tailwind is an Oklahoma City-based Pinterest-analytics firm that offers social media marketing tools. The company’s clients include brands from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies (i.e., Disney, Nike, and Target).

Keep reading this article at: http://americancityandcounty.com/technology/pinterest-tool-governments-and-government-marketers-related-video

Contractors should resolve to adapt in 2014

January 21, 2014 by

[Note: The following article was written by Lindley Ashline of Deltek, a firm which analyzes the government contracting market.  The article was published by The Washington Post.]

From shutdowns to changed buying methods, the federal contracting market is evolving. Smart contractors will not only face down these changes, but find the best ways to take advantage of them.

Here is how to get ahead in 2014.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/contractors-should-resolve-to-adapt-in-2014/2014/01/03/4a6e3e2e-6e64-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html 

Reflections of a small IT contractor on the government shutdown of 2013 and 2014’s uncertainties

January 14, 2014 by

[Note: This article was written by Terry Verigan, vice president of CompuCure.] 

Hurricane Katrina nearly killed CompuCure. In the wake of the storm, just three of us remained by Oct. 1, 2005, and the weeks ahead promised to be grim for our New Orleans-based IT services firm — what was left of it anyway. But we weren’t going to let that damn storm chase us away from our city.

By September 2013, eight long years after Katrina wiped out so many lives and businesses, CompuCure had rebounded sufficiently to make Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest growing businesses in America. With a talented staff of 30 delivering projects that had achieved national recognition for quality and value, it was tempting to think we’d made it to some sort of safe high ground, economically speaking. But by late September, our president and owner, Angelina Parker, faced another storm, this one political. The federal shutdown nearly took down the business again.

While we had become accustomed to the disruptions that stemmed from continuing resolutions — the stop-gap budgets lawmakers typically adopted while they continued to disagree over larger spending questions — those rarely impacted our work at federal sites. Employees would clock in while budgets were frozen and eventually CompuCure would be reimbursed. Our line of credit was more than sufficient to carry on. Interest charges eat away at profitability, but we could keep going, knowing that our people and their families felt secure. Our most valuable resources, our employees, would still be on the job.

But the shutdown was different. It meant lost revenue to CompuCure, not just a delay in getting invoices paid. Disturbing questions emerged, notably: How would we keep our talented employees from moving to other companies less dependent on federal contracts?

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2013/12/reflections-2013-year-nearly-killed-one-small-federal-it-firm/76097/?oref=nextgov_cio_briefing

Hoping to sell to the government? Then start being a P.E.S.T.

January 10, 2014 by

When my business entered into government contracting in 2005, it did not take long for me to realize that we had entered a whole new world after years in the private sector. Certifications and set-asides were unfamiliar concepts; ones that frankly made me a bit uncomfortable, as I wondered whether I wanted my company to get “special” consideration because of my gender or the size of our operation.

What I have learned is that there really is no “special consideration” but just an opportunity to level the playing field. While certifications can get your business noticed by government agencies, being a woman-owned, veteran-owned, small business, HUB Zone and/or 8(a) organization guarantees you nothing.

This may seem intuitive to some, but it is a barrier to success for many more.

So how can a small business best leverage the power of the set-aside?  By becoming a P.E.S.T. — that is, by being persistent, educated, specific and transparent.

Keep reading this article by Lisa Firestone at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/small-business-advice-hoping-to-sell-to-the-government-then-start-being-a-pest/2013/12/19/3f12d3b6-68f4-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html 


What were your interests in government contracting in 2013? We know!

January 6, 2014 by

36,500 people visited the GTPAC web site in calendar year 2013, viewing individual pages 109,000 times.

An analysis shows that the following were the dozen most-read articles and resources of 2013.  Each headline is hyperlinked to the story:

  1. What is a Capabilities Statement and why should I have one?
  2. It’s a mistake to rush into the SAM vendor registration process
  3. What is a “Sources Sought”? Here’s the answer!  
  4. The 2 most important parts of a gov’t solicitation — and why you should pay attention to them 
  5. How to manage a Federal contract during the Government shutdown
  6. Who’s winning federal contracts in Georgia?
  7. What’s an “elevator speech”? And why you need one!
  8. Procurement Opportunities Guide now available at no cost
  9. New guidebook reveals how government and industry select small businesses
  10. 7 apps for government contractors  
  11. Small Business Specialists and how they can help you
  12. Subcontracting could be your starting point into the government market

And what topics did visitors to GTPAC’s web site search for most in 2013?  Below is a list of the top dozen and, again, each is hyperlinked:

  1. iSearch (GTPAC’s powerful government contracting opportunities search engine)
  2. GSA Schedule Resources
  3. Bid Proposal
  4. Minority Owned Business
  5. HUBZone
  6. Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  7. Small Business
  8. Request for Proposal (RFP)
  9. System for Award Management (SAM)
  10. Davis-Bacon Act
  11. Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
  12. NAICS Codes

Be sure to visit the GTPAC web site regularly for all the latest news and information about doing business with the government!

Here are the Georgia firms who won government contracts in 2013

January 2, 2014 by

Ever wonder who’s winning federal contracts in Georgia?

Wouldn’t this information be helpful if you are looking for subcontracting prospects?  Or when you’re trying to figure out who your competitors are?

Each month, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) publishes a list of federal contracts awarded to Georgia businesses.  The list comes complete with point-of-contact information on the awardees, the name of the awarding agency, the dollar value of the contract, and much more.

Download the award winners for December 2013 right here: FEDERAL CONTRACT AWARDS IN GEORGIA – DEC. 2013

Copies of earlier monthly reports for 2013 are listed below:

Army announces cyber forces to be centralized at Georgia’s Ft. Gordon

December 20, 2013 by

The U.S. Army announced yesterday (Dec. 19, 2013)  that the Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) Headquarters will be located at Fort Gordon,  near Augusta, Georgia.  The move consolidates and coordinates Army cyber and network operations under one commander for the first time in its history.

“Cyber threats are real, sophisticated, growing, and evolving,” said ARCYBER’s commanding general, Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon.  “The Army’s decision demonstrates support for unity of command and the importance of cyber to our Army and our nation,” he explained.

The Army selected Fort Gordon as the permanent location for ARCYBER Headquarters for operational and cost reasons. Since its establishment in 2010, ARCYBER has been temporarily split-located in seven government buildings and leased space across the national capital region. The move to Fort Gordon will co-locate ARCYBER Headquarters with the Army’s Joint Forces Headquarters-Cyber and NSA-Georgia, placing the Army’s operational cyber headquarters with the majority its cyber mission forces.  It will require 150 fewer personnel than other potential sites, as well as reduce military construction requirements and costs by 23 percent less than other considered options.

Establishing the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon will begin by aligning Army cyber proponency within the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, creating institutional unity and a focal point for cyber doctrine and capabilities development, training and innovation.

Before selecting Fort Gordon, the Army evaluated its ability to support U.S. Cyber Command-directed missions and other operational factors such as installation capacity, environmental impacts, and human resource considerations. Community input was also solicited and considered through an environmental assessment public comment period conducted in the fall.

ARCYBER will continue to have a command liaison element co-located with U.S. Cyber Command at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

Additional information about ARCYBER is available at the command website: http://www.arcyber.army.mil/

VA must pay attorneys’ fees in SDVOSB ownership transfer case

December 5, 2013 by

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ordered the VA to pay attorneys’ fees to Miles Construction, LLC stemming from the Court’s February decision that the company’s  ”right of first refusal” provision did not render it ineligible for the VA’s SDVOSB program.

In ordering the VA to pay attorneys’ fees, the Court held that the VA’s defense of its broad interpretation of “unconditional ownership” was not substantially justified–but also suggested that the Court might not reach the same result under the SBA’s SDVOSB rules.

The Court’s decision in Miles Construction, LLC v. United States, No. 12-597C (2013) involved Miles Construction’s request for reimbursement of its attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.   Under EAJA, a qualifying small business may recover its attorneys’ fees for prevailing in litigation against the government, but only if  the government’s litigation position was not “substantially justified.”

Opposing the request for attorneys’ fees, the VA argued, in part, that it had been “substantially justified” in taking the position that the SDVOSB program’s “unconditional ownership” requirement prohibited right-of-first-refusal provisions.  The VA primarily relied upon SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decisions holding that right-of-first-refusal provisions defeat “unconditional ownership” under the SBA’s SDVOSB regulations.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-businesses/sdvosb-program-va-must-pay-attorneys-fees-in-ownership-transfer-case/