GROWING FEDERAL BUSINESS: YOU CAN DO IT FAST, OR YOU CAN DO IT RIGHT
Succeeding in the federal market is not about doubling business overnight. Experienced contractors know that if a company grows that quickly they will inevitably make mistakes and have to give some of that money back. Still, either your business or partners you work with may insist that their solution is just what the government always wanted (Jeff Bezos’ credit card number?) and it’s up to you to manage expectations. Lesson number one: It’s a big government and there has to be focus to any company’s business efforts. Even large companies can’t be everywhere at once. Lesson two: There is risk inherent in selling to the government. This is often difficult for small businesses and subcontractors to accept, but the phenomena isn’t just limited to those groups. Risk has to be managed, no matter what your business size or level of federal experience. It takes discipline and resources to manage it correctly. Regardless of a company’s size and federal experience, growth has to be done in a sustainable manner. That means ensuring that both your company and your partners have as much of a commitment to compliance as to driving new business. Large business primes can be an important link in the chain by educating their partners not only on business development but on the importance of having good compliance systems in place. At the same time, any business needs to be prepared for companies that promise to deliver huge amounts of new business in a short time. It’s more tempting than you might think. A phone call from a previous partner about an opportunity to sell masks when you’re a furniture company should make you think twice, no matter how “easy” the money seems. Everyone wants to increase their business, but doing it in way that stays within the rules and protects your corporate reputation is essential – no matter what your business size.