More and more businesses, especially small firms, are pursuing Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts.  They can be fast and easy ways for government to purchase and may even carry a “Best in Class” designation, providing more encouragement for agencies to use them.  If your company is new to this, or there’s just a new opportunity to pursue, here are three quick tips to ensure your company prepares itself for success.

1.  Ask Questions:  There is almost always a period of time before the RFP is issued for industry to interact with the contracting agency.  Make the most of this time and ask plenty of questions.  Don’t assume you “know” what the agency is looking for.  Plenty of companies do just that and then miss out on an award because their offer was off the mark.  Make sure you’re prepared to respond the right way.

2. Winning the Contract and Winning Business Require Two Different Skill Sets:  Many companies, particularly newer ones, become so focused on winning a spot on an IDIQ that they’re not prepared to capture business if they do.  Winning and IDIQ is like getting a fishing license.  It’s only worthwhile if you know how to fish.  Pursuing the base contract requires good proposal writing skills and a focus on process.  Competing for and winning task orders requires good business development and sales skills.  One skill set isn’t necessarily more important than the other, but companies should understand that they will need people with both in order to succeed.

3.  Find A Good Partner:  Large businesses will definitely have a small business subcontracting plan.  Small businesses may need to partner with another company in order to provide covered solutions or show necessary past performance experience.  Either way, finding a good partner can be essential to succeeding on an IDIQ contract.  Start early and have discussions with many potential candidates.  Not only should you seek companies that have experience with IDIQ’s, but those that have relationships in targeted agencies.  Also, make sure you’re a good partner yourself.  IDIQ contracts can take time and money to pursue.  The right approach, though, can bring returns many times greater than the initial investment.