Success in the Government Contracting Industry
Editor’s Note: This Article Has Been Updated November 2, 2022
What defines success in government contracting? Success for everyone is different. GovCons are no exception. Some may say it’s a lifestyle company; others may point to the infamous sale at $100M. Further, others say it’s buying the island after the sale. Regardless of what you define success as, there are certain tenets that are true.
- Top Line is for Ego, Bottom Line is Business – essentially, you can push all the revenue you want into your company, but if you aren’t profitable, it does not count. Don’t sacrifice your bottom line.
- Culture – if you don’t appreciate your employees or your GovCon clients, your reputation will get around the industry. Poor delivery, major rate hikes in execution, and non-responsiveness of senior leadership will quickly get to the source selection team. Your employee’s morale will be known throughout the recruiting world. Your competition will know whether your key personnel are ripe for the picking or if they won’t make a move. Your clients will know whether your employees are treated well and if they enjoy working for you. A GovCon that manages to get past the “employees that have gone native” challenge is indeed a success.
- Compliance – In an industry that is overly regulated and where everything must be documented to the nth degree, keeping your GovCon compliant only keeps you off the front page of the Washington Post (in a good way). If you plan on staying in this industry or selling at any point, remember that folks have long memories when it comes to scandal in GovCon. Having your house in order is a success.
- Diversity – You become successful by listening to those that have differing opinions and different viewpoints and pushing beyond your boundaries. Diversity of thought, diversity of background, and a diverse client base all bring value. If you are surrounded by people that look, speak and think like you…you’re not doing it right. You’re missing the opportunity to pivot. If your leadership team professionally challenges one another, through their different points of view to do better and drive towards your end goal, you are successful.
- Innovation – This is an overly used term when applied to anything, but it’s hard with which to argue. If you are a butts-in-seats organization that does pretty much everything, you really have little value or differentiation in a market filled with butts-in-seats organizations. Success is finding your niche and exploiting it across various agencies/clients and differentiating yourself from the herd.
Success for your GovCon
Perhaps right now, success is just making it through the proposal season, winning your re-compete or hiring a new business development person. Regardless of your measurement of success, remember the above factors in how you keep score.
Need help aligning your team to a common set of goals, with focus on the above? Are you looking to put your strongest proposal foot forward this season? Shoot me an email at [email protected]