As President Donald Trump's first 100 days draws to a close, it's important to recall that every new president brings new energy and ideas to the office.
With those ideas comes new focus and changes to where and how government funding is spent. Identifying changes early allows you to capture needed intelligence to help boost your capture management process.
You might be familiar with the term, "business intelligence," as it relates to your internal practices, but in government contracting, business intelligence also means capturing information about awards and opportunities.
Government Contracting Predictions for 2017
With a president who campaigned on a ticket that pushed the importance of jobs and development at home, it should come as no surprise that the government is likely to pay more attention to SBA guidelines than ever before, with Linda McMahon at the helm.
Free Playbook: 5 Key Capture Management Steps for a Win
As the year progresses, the government is going to be focused more on small business set-asides and women-owned businesses for contract opportunities, squeezing the market for mid-sized and large businesses. (The latter of which McMahon specifically called out back in January, as part of her plan to support "disadvantaged businesses.")
This shift may provide growth opportunities for your small business if you can put together the right CRM pipeline management tools and processes to take advantage of the new profit avenues.
Leveraging Business Intelligence for the Win
With the shift in allocations also comes the opportunity to develop new partnerships. Larger companies may be looking to work with multiple small business partners to stay relevant in a market where money is being funneled to these smaller players.
Where a small business can't provide all of the services needed for a contract, a partnership offers the opportunity to bridge those gaps and create a successful proposal. Identifying the best partnerships depends on your ability to gather business intelligence before making a decision.
To create meaningful and profitable partnerships, you need to know where and how to focus your efforts.
Understanding Business Development Life Cycle
Your business development life cycle involves a lot of moving parts and pieces when dealing with federal government contracts. Before you can even start putting together proposals, you need to identify the best opportunities.
After all, you don't want to waste effort trying to win a badly matched award. Even if you get it, you likely won't perform well during the contract period. After finding opportunities that best meet your company's competencies, you've got to pitch them to management. Without management support, your government contracting bids never get off the ground.
With management support, your capture exec can get started. This is when you really drill down to the best opportunities using stringent review criteria and pulling together tons of business intelligence surrounding each contract opportunity. It's also when you start looking at possible partnerships.
Even if a contract isn't a total match, a good partnership might tip the balance and give you another possibility. When you have your final list that passed the review process, you can start developing your proposals.
Win or lose, after the award you need to do a post-award analysis to figure out where you went wrong and improve your process for the next round. The more data you gather, the more successful your capture management process will become.
Identifying the Biggest Challenges
When putting together all of the information you need for the first steps in your business development life cycle, you need to be able to find source material. Thankfully, government contracts include an element of transparency that makes it possible for you to gather a tremendous amount of information.
You can look at previous contracts, other proposals, RFPs and a lot of other history surrounding every deal as you shape the landscape for the next deal.