New business development is the cornerstone of every business. It is what ultimately determines the longevity and success of your business. After all, without new business opportunities, customers, and clients, your company will not thrive.
A big part of new business development that is critical to the success of those doing contract work with the federal government is marketing preparation. Networking and relationship-building should be as integral a part of your business development strategy as the decision about which opportunities to pursue.
But how do you know who to network with? Where do you find these opportunities? How do you capitalize on these relationships once they’ve been made? Below I offer my top tips for marketing preparation to assist with your business development strategy.
Capability Summary Flyers
Capability summary flyers are one-page documents, graphically designed and printed, that offer a snapshot of who you are as a company. Your flyer should include:
- DUNS number
- Cage code
- Designation (service-disabled, veteran-owned, 8a, woman-owned, etc.)
- Company overview/background
- Past performance (condensed list is OK)
- Company offerings
- Contact information
- Contract vehicles you own or are working under
Always carry your flyers with you. They can be invaluable to prospective clients and customers you may encounter at conferences and to hand out as a follow-on at the close of a meeting with potential government clients and partners.
Prime Contractor Partners
Identify and develop relationships with potential prime contractor partners. It is very important to have identified a possible opportunity that you are tracking and bring that information to the capture and proposal meetings.
As you’re seeking out larger companies who you are compatible with you, don’t just limit your scope to companies who do what you do. You should also be looking for companies that NEED what you OFFER. For example, an engineering firm that you might not normally consider working with may be weak in IT, which is what you provide—this could create a beneficial teaming relationship.
The power of networking is priceless. Opportunities can often present themselves as a result of who you know. But you have to get out there and meet people and develop those relationships. Here are some areas where you can focus your networking skills:
- Identify potential government agencies and entities that have needs in your offering space. Plan to strategically visit with those requiring agencies’ technical leads and their contracting offices.
- Knowing how to optimally accomplish this involves searching agencies’ websites to find their opportunity forecast information, including any conferences they are planning. As a result of networking, determine who you’ve met that is working with a given agency you have an interest in and discuss teaming with them on some opportunities they are pursuing.
- Identify and attend other conferences of interest that potential clients are hosting who are focused on your offering areas. Be sure to bring your capability summary!
- Join and attend local professional organizational monthly meetings, including your Chamber of Commerce’s networking events.
Marketing preparation can be the difference between your business’s success and its ultimate failure. Be sure that you are clear about who you are and where you want to take your business, be prepared to act when opportunities present themselves, and you will be on your way to successfully growing your business.
What do you do for marketing preparation? Do you see this area as necessary or something you don’t have time for? Feel free to comment in the space below.