Although some in government insist that “the government is one customer”, experienced contractors know that federal business success requires a variety of approaches depending on what you’re selling and to whom you are selling it.  The approach a company uses to sell to a large agency may be very different than that for a smaller or independent government customer.  It’s even true that a successful program for Navy business will differ from growing sales to the Army.  Research and relationships are key to creating a business plan that will have the best chance to drive business with diverse customers.  That’s one reason why many contractors focus on a handful of potential customers, especially when starting a federal program.  They realize that few companies can develop the expertise needed to sell across the entire federal spectrum overnight.  Similarly, many a contractor CEO has also told us that federal business is not a “go it alone” proposition.  Developing a base of experienced partners with complementary capabilities, and often varying business sizes, is essential to sustained business growth.  So, too, is working with experienced market researchers, contract consultants, and even attorneys.  There is no reason to try and “reinvent the wheel” of federal success when knowledgeable partners are readily available.  Partners can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to grow a successful federal presence and help keep you away from falling off the compliance cliff.  Your wardrobe isn’t one size fits all, even after a year of working at home.  Neither, too, should be your approach to the federal market.