PREPARING FOR BUSY SEASON IN A VIRTUAL WORLD
Don’t look now, but the last quarter of the federal fiscal year is just one month away. While there will likely be the annual “race to the finish” in terms of available business, how you pursue and close opportunities has undeniably changed. Here are three things to focus on now to make sure your business in shape for the sprint: 1. Relationships Matter: Now, more than ever, good relationships matter. It’s difficult to develop new relationships virtually, especially when your customer is being pulled in multiple directions at once. Whether the relationship belongs to you or a partner, success this year-end will hinge on making the most of established, available relationships. Remember, too, that your relationships with other contractors are key. Use all of your relationships to help stay focused, but also to look for opportunities with those your relationships know. 2. Make It Easy To Buy From You:A customer that is working remotely, socially distancing, supporting critical missions quickly, participating in “regular” agency meetings, and balancing kids out of school for the summer has little time to initiate an open market buy. That’s why this year is likely to see an increase in the use of existing IDIQ contracts like the GSA Schedule and similar contracts. Also, small business set-aside use will almost certainly accelerate. Whether it’s your Schedule, your size status, or your ability to accept a government purchase card, ease of access is key to closing the sale this year. 3. Use Your Common Sense: Unscrupulous companies and people have already contacted many contractors trying to use their contracts and relationships to “sell” products and other solutions that they either don’t have or are authorized to sell. The lure of easy money can be very tempting, but remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. You’ve built a reputation and relationships over time that have made you a successful company. Don’t let that all evaporate by taking a shady deal from someone that vanishes as quickly as a Redskins fourth quarter lead. Prepare now for the end of fiscal year and you can take that vacation just as everything opens back up.