Business Development – It all starts with G2!
By Ann Martin | Harkcon's Vice President and Business Development Specialist
As a former colleague would routinely ask when discussing any new business opportunity – “What G2 do you have on the opportunity?” If we did not have any “G2”, then no further effort would be expended until we had substantial “G2”. “G2” as I learned, was the term used to refer to “intelligence” in the DOD world. Intelligence (Intel for short) in terms of business development involves researching and learning everything possible about an agency, their specific problems for which you have a solution, their budget and the competitors that are likely to go after the same work. Intel is also understanding your company’s core capabilities and identifying teaming partners that may be needed to provide a complete, robust, winning solution.
Building business in the Federal space is challenging – the length of the business development cycle is extensive. On a recent contract the RFP was submitted for evaluation in July 2014 – and awards were not made until July 2016 – that’s 2 years of waiting! Developing new business is critical to the health of any company and the Federal market is strong and therefore a good source for new business.
Collecting Intel about agency challenges, strategic plans and budgets, and aligning those items to your company’s core capabilities is essential when identifying new business. One source for locating agency information is the agency website where you are likely to find strategic plans, organizational charts and mission statements. A source for budget information is: Acquisition Planning Forecast System (APFS) - http://apfs.dhs.gov/. Beyond these, there are a number ofsources available to assist in collecting Intel to identify opportunities – some are quite costly, others are free and some are very useful and others are less useful. You should explore each of these options and decide which ones can most benefit your efforts to identify new opportunities.
Deltek GovWin IQ - https://govwin.com/login/loginpage This site provides background information on most large opportunities, the information is fairly accurate, but there is a monthly fee for using the service.
FedBizOpps – https://www.fbo.gov/ This is where Requests for Information (RFI) or Sources Sought (SS) are announced, providing some insight into what agencies are expecting to acquire in the near future. It is also where many opportunities are posted when released by the government, however once the opportunity appears on this site it is often too late to collect Intel as most bids require a response in 30 days.
GSA e-buy - https://www.ebuy.gsa.gov/advantage/ebuy/start_page.do is similar to FedBizOps but is restricted to contractors that hold GSA schedules, opportunities are posted for contractors based on the schedules held.
FedConnect - https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/Default.htm is similar to FedBizOps and is the preferred location for posting opportunities by some agencies including Department of Energy, Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.
Next article we will discuss how to determine whether or not to invest in a new business development opportunity. If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the title, "Business Development- It all starts with G2!"