Editor’s Note: This Article Has Been Updated July 28, 2023
The new Fiscal year has started, but contract awards are still coming in. Do you know what it will take to fully survive the incoming work? It’s a fast-paced time of year and there are key actions you can take to be proactive that will allow you to stay ahead of the chaos and the requirements of contract awards. Regardless of the time of year, contract award preparation and management are essential survival steps to successful execution and transition.
Preparing for a contract award, regardless of size, scope, and complexity requires mindful administration, along with methodical preparations. What questions do you need to ask yourself and your teams? What if you don’t have a team, how do you accurately capture all the activities that need to be done before the contract award? First, and foremost, create a checklist. Ideally, pre-work eliminates worries about what you may be missing down the line.
What are the most essential items you need to do first?
- Use a checklist as your guide: What needs to be done – the who, what, when, why, how. You can structure your checklist in phases.
- Decide what activities are going to take priority and which ones will take the longest? For example: Resources, Equipment, Onboarding, Management Plan, Quality Plan, etc.
- Who is responsible? What and when does it need to be reviewed.
- If you don’t have a team to assist, what can you do immediately to get extra help? You can always call BOOST! We offer consultant for government contracts services that can keep you on track.
- Think of the paperwork that comes from the contract award itself, but all contracts have paperwork to be done in the beginning, throughout the middle, and at the end.
- Read and RE-Read the RFP and your proposal – know what is required within the first 30 days, 60 days, etc., then add a timeline to your checklist to prepare you for the content award.
- Ensure your SAM.gov registration is up-to-date; your accesses to business resources are current and available.
- Is your facility clearance still active?
- Is e-Verify setup?
- Have you checked or updated your certificate of insurance?
- Do you have contract files prepared to ensure easy filing and tracking of documentation signed and executed?
- Do you have vendors or subcontractors? What documentation can you get prior to the contract award – such as W9s, Certificate of Insurance, NDAs, subcontract agreements (drafted & pre-negotiated), and worked out expected role for supporting the transition.
- Communicate, both internally and externally, if you have subcontractors, get them ready, and include them in areas that make sense for the onboarding/preparations. If you have consultants or outsourced support – let them know and ask for what they will need to be ready.
An important note to remember: the execution of the contract will require TIME, which seems like the last thing you have – when it’s needed the most. Prepare the best you can. The more organized and prepared you are the easier the transition and onboarding will be. For example, if you have new employees, that need to sign NDAs, Contingency offers, and learn rules and policies – why not set up a Contract Employee Onboarding package? This will save time and energy and make the activities and tracking more efficient. This same type of pre-work could be done for subcontractors, 1099’s, consultants, and vendors. In the end, this type of prepared organization will give you peace of mind.
Make the beginning part of your contract award a valuable and smooth transition into execution. Prepare for your next contract award by establishing a routine of activities that are easy to replicate, allow for differences in size and scope, but remain efficiently effective for getting off on the right contract execution path. Start with a checklist, prepare and organize onboarding packages, and communicate! Before you know it you have bypassed panic and chaos, and created a unique process that works for the survival of any size company! Oh, and of course, you can always reach out to the BOOST team for help, that is why we are here!
About BOOST’s CEO, Stephanie Alexander
Stephanie Alexander has spent more decades than she wants to admit supporting high growth government contractors with an eye towards their bottom line. She is the CEO and founder of BOOST LLC which supports back-office functions for government contractors. She is a co-founder and Partner at govmates, a free teaming platform and technology scouting tool to connect business across the federal landscape.