New Business Development for Government Contractors: Know Who You Are, Where You’re Going

new business development government contractors jay newkirkNew business development (NBD) is the cornerstone of all government contracting companies and organizations who do business with the federal government. Successful NBD requires having a clear plan about where you’re going, what you want to do, and how you’re going to get there.

We must not confuse activity with accomplishment when it comes to pursuing new work. If you find yourself frantically submitting responses to Requests for Proposals (RFP), but haven’t answered the following questions, I hope this blog will help you get focused and on your way to contract awards and successful company growth. Without a well-thought-out plan that can be executed consistently, we’re simply throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks, instead of going after contract opportunities that actually have a high win rate.

New business development starts with knowing:

  1. What is your branding strategy? What are you known for?
  2. What are your core competencies?
  3. What past performance experience do you have?
  4. What are the capability strengths of your current staff?
  5. What is the state of your market sector needs?
  6. What is your business growth projection for the current year?

If you don’t have the answers to these questions, I suggest scheduling a leadership team meeting reaching concurrence on answering them. Doing so lays the groundwork not only for your NBD pursuits but also for your leadership development and your proposal writing and bid/no-bid strategies.

Once you have the answers to these questions in place, you will be strategically poised to respond rapidly and succinctly to RFPs that are actually applicable to you and your company’s offerings

I know the fast-paced world of government contracting is in constant flux and the market shifts can be hard to track. But, having insight into who you are and a clear view of where you’re going enables you to save time. Instead of responding to wrong RFPs or wasting time on opportunities that don’t fit,  you can focus on pursuits with high win probabilities.

If you’re already spending a lot of time responding to RFPs but not getting a positive response, consider slowing down and investing some of that time in figuring out who you are. Doing so can lead to an extraordinary outcome.

What has been your experience with you NBD strategy? Do you have one? Feel free to comment below.