Congratulations! You’ve made it through the past couple of years (which were tumultuous for many) and into 2022! This is a great time to pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come, or maybe for just getting started.
It’s also a good time to develop new goals and aspirations for what you want your business to accomplish over the next year.
To assist with your New Year’s (business) resolutions, our team of expert Procurement Specialists have come up with 10 tips that will help take your business to the next level in 2022.
1. Look for partners. Agencies like to contract with firms that have credible past performance. Partnering with experienced small or large businesses can help your business successfully penetrate the government marketplace. Sites that allow you to search for potential partners include USASpending.gov and the Dynamic Small Business Search tool. For more on this, view our webinar: Market Research Utilizing the Dynamic Small Business Search Tool.
2. Keep your business info current. Remember, the IRS, State of California, Dun and Bradstreet, and the System for Award Management (SAM) all communicate with each other. Your company name and address must be the same in all of those systems or you will start to have rejection/access errors. If you change your address, follow the process and make the same change in all of the systems. Be kind, be patient, and be gentle with yourself and each other.
3. Take compliance seriously. Government contracting compliance can make or break a business. Compliance is the ability to meet the various terms and conditions that are embedded in the actual contract document. These compliance requirements are included in the contract clauses that are presented to you by either full text or incorporated by reference. It is a crucial requirement for any potential government contractor to fully read and understand all of the clauses, terms, and conditions.
4. Develop relationships with buyers. Relationships are key to successful government contracting. Knowing upcoming buying needs and the relevant decision makers can make all the difference in the world to a firm seeking leverage in a very competitive marketplace. In 2022, commit to researching your target agencies' needs, speaking with their contracting officers, and understanding their concerns. This extra step can be the difference between receiving a contract and losing it to your competitors.
5. Do your market research. Now is a good time to conduct market research to determine which agencies purchase what you sell. You can do this by searching databases that contain procurement data. These databases include FPDS-NG.gov, USAspending.gov, Data.gov, and SAM.gov (Contract Opportunities). View our webinar: Finding Opportunities in the Government Marketplace
6. Renew your registrations and certifications. System for Award Management (SAM) requires recertification each year. Before your renewal date, take the time to go in and update your information and re-certify representation. While you are at it, check your state registrations and certifications too. It’s helpful to track all your renewal dates via calendar so you have ample time for the process.
7. Update your capability statement (or SOQ). At the beginning of a new year is a great time to dust off your capability statement (or SOQ) and make sure all the information is still correct. Add any new performance information, products or services, or update pictures and refresh the look. Once you have updated your CS, send it to Small Business Specialists in the federal or state agencies you wish to target. View our webinar: How to Prepare a Statement of Qualifications
8. Perfect your elevator speech. We like to call this your power speech! This is critical to how you present yourself and the first impression you make. Your power speech should be a 45 second version of your capability statement and should communicate your value, key clients, and differentiators (what makes you different from your competitors). Don’t use overly generalized language like, “we are the best company since sliced bread!” – trust us, they’ve heard that before. Root your speech in facts that demonstrate how your business will solve a problem or fill a need. View our webinar: Power Pitch | Making a Great First Impression
9. Prepare your 2022 Strategic Marketing Plan. A sound marketing plan allows an entity to grow its market share which results in more revenue and profits. Start by understanding your market competition and your prospects. Here are some components to consider: outline the current position of your company by examining your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT); list your company’s marketing goals and strategies to be implemented; identify emerging or existing marketing opportunities; define target market for your products and services; and allocate a realistic budget for marketing resources.
10. Practice good virtual etiquette. For better or worse, as we head into 2022, a lot of business is still being done virtually. When meeting with someone via Zoom or other virtual platforms it is important to be on time, well dressed, and use an appropriate or professional background image. Always test your technology prior to an important meeting so you don’t waste someone’s time by having to troubleshoot an issue live. Similarly to an in-person meeting, you should seem engaged and attentive by looking straight into the camera and taking notes.
Accomplishing new goals is easier said than done – especially when you run a small business with limited time and resources. If you would like assistance with these tips, or anything related to government contracting, please reach out to your PTAC Procurement Specialist or apply to be a client here.
Written by: The Norcal PTAC Team
Get in touch with us at email@example.com or 707.267.7561