With one month to go in FY’18 many contractors we’ve spoken with are working on over-drive to keep up with the pace of business. Here are three things to focus on now to ensure your year finishes strong.
1. Stay Focused. Bluebirds are nice, but they can be distracting and fly away before your eyes. Stay focused on the leads and projects you’ve been following for months. Don’t ignore good stuff that falls into your lap, but don’t get distracted by stuff you’ve never heard about, either.
2. Answer the “How” Question. Allen Federal recently spoke with a newly retired DOD exec who confirmed that he wouldn’t even speak with companies about their solutions this time of year if they couldn’t tell him how they could buy from them. Know your contract options. Know the scope and access fees. Know the government owners the customer can speak with if they have questions. Propose recommended solutions. How + What = Closed Business.
3. There Is Such A Thing As Bad Business. Never heard of the company on the phone who now wants to team with you on a deal that “must” get done in 24 hours? Does your customer want to use your supply contract to acquire classified code breakers? Use your spider sense. Don’t get into business relationships with companies that can wreck your performance rating. Make sure work stays in the scope of your contract – even if the customer says it’s ok. You want to collect money from your sales this month, not pay money back for improperly conducted business next month. There is a lot of business on the table in September. Make sure you’re prepared to close it, but do it the right way.
Up to 70% of federal discretionary programs could be funded at the start of the 2019 Fiscal Year if Senate leaders have their say. The chamber, which has been in session for much of August, has essentially completed work on nine of twelve appropriations measures and is now ready to offer the package to the entire Senate in September. Another measure, a three-bill minibus covering smaller numbers, like Energy and Water appropriations, is also nearing completion. While it is still way too early to be optimistic, this is as close as Congress has gotten to implementing more than one or two spending bills on time for many years. Indeed, the last two years have started with 100% of the government operating under a Continuing Resolution. Most contractors would be happy with DOD and Homeland Security having money at the start of the year. That may happen this September, though there are at least three factors that could lead to a familiar CR in October. First, is whether any deal can pass muster with the more conservative members of the House. They may want to show constituents that they are holding the line on spending moving into the November election. Second, there is a very limited window of time in September, with the House being in session, at best, for 10-11 days. Lastly, the President must also be considered. Congressional leaders have no assurance that he will sign any partial or total spending measure, especially if it fails to contain funding for a border wall. Stay tuned.
Occasional reader O. Winfrey of Chicago writes, “A federal customer recently insisted that the Buy American Act be applied to a GSA Schedule transaction. Does BAA apply and, if not, what’s the harm anyway?” Products and services sold via the GSA Schedule are NOT bound by the Buy American Act, O. All Schedule services and products are, instead, covered by the Trade Agreements Act. This fact is not well-understood by many government customers who Read more
Annual ethics training is a best practice for all government contractors. New people and new interpretations of old rules mean that regular tune-ups are essential to a successful business. Fall is a great time to get that training for your team. Allen Federal has conducted countless ethics and compliance courses tailored to specific clients. Our classes are actually fun – as well as educational. Even better, they’re usually less expensive than alternatives – especially audit costs. Find out what we can put together for your team today. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If it’s August there must be talk of a government shutdown. President Trump appeared to put Congressional Republicans at ease last week saying he would not hold the government hostage over funding for a border wall. That position may have changed this week, though, Read more