How did you get lost?
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of companies that were totally lost in their journey to the federal marketplace and quite a few of these companies held GSA schedule contracts.
The incredible number of successful companies that seem to be taken by organizations that make big promises when comes to federal contracting really blows me away. Then they try to go it alone, bidding, submitting proposals, attending trade shows only to be met with frustration.
What I just can't get my head around
For the most part these were companies that had a high level of success in the B2B/B2C marketplace. And for one reason or another they decided to pursue the federal marketplace. And for those of us who live and breathe federal contracting we just can’t blame them for wanting in, but what I cannot get my head around is how these successful organizations get taken by companies charging $600.00 for a SAM registration and/or $20,000.00 for a GSA contract.
Now I am not saying that there is no value in having someone prepare your GSA contract, so before all you GSA Schedule holders and GSA Marketers start with the negative replies let me explain. These companies that I am talking about that were successful in the B2B world did things right. They developed exceptional marketing plans and they executed on those plans. But for the most part, when it came to the pursuit of the federal marketplace they had unrealistic goals, an inexperienced staff, an insufficient budget and no real marketing strategy.
Into the Promised Land
They believed that if they had a professional organization handle their registrations and contract proposals their company would just walk into the Promised Land. These companies have told me stories of organizations promising to market their company to the “buyers of their products” which, when it came down to it, only meant that they were emailing the companies capability statement out to their data base of contracting officers.
Really, did these companies believe that the “build a relationship model” that had served them so well in the private sector was not going to be important in the public sector? Don’t get me wrong, I get it, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Are the folks at these “registration” organizations that use websites that try to look official and have words like Federal and Government in their names, just trying to convince these companies to form a belief that it is going to be that easy? Small investment upfront with unlimited upside.
This was supposed to be a simple blog post but I fear it has turned into a rant. So let me just finish by saying to my small business followers... use the diligence you used to build a successful company and remember, because you have the money to spend does not mean you should spend it before you are prepared for the journey to become a federal contractor.