The late December passage of an omnibus appropriations package means that your federal customers should know their individual budgets for the rest of Fiscal Year 2021 by early February.  Most agencies should also have at least as much money as last year, with many having even more.  That means that its time for contractors to move discussions from the “what if” phase, to a more solid footing.  Having more specifics will help you better identify an actual business pipeline and   dedicate resources accordingly.  While there is still definitely time to have comparatively longer discussions on capabilities and new offerings, the tenor of your customer discussions should gradually shift to specifics.Now is also a good time to hone your company’s messaging.  Never underestimate the need to establish or update your company’s branding message.  You’re competing for time and attention not only with hundreds of other contractors, but with the “day jobs” of end user customers.  It can be tough to break through without a clear, topical, message and good relationships.  Remember, too, that the relationships don’t always have to be yours.  Leveraging partner relationships to develop business is an excellent way to expand your horizons.  It’s also important to always have an answer to the “how’ question.  Don’t make your prospect guess at how they can do business with you.  Provide them with 2-3 recommended acquisition options and be prepared to show why they’re a good fit for the specific circumstance.  A new administration will mean new budgets and priorities – mostly next year.  Now is the time to move ahead for FY’21.