Our friends over at GovWin attended a Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce event focused on the FY 2012 contracting outlook for small, women-owned and minority-owned contractors.
A few key takeaways from the GovWin article:
- Networking and relationships are key for success in contracting, especially as a small contractor (with or without minority status)
- Spend time wisely – only go to events that you are sure will provide new connections or information
- Focus on the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Energy. The VA had 102.7% growth and Energy had 94.2% growth of small business contracted from FY05-10.
- Plan for growth. You may need to hire or increase your infrastructure to handle new contracts but be prepared for delayed Federal payments so they don’t throw your business into a tailspin.
- Leverage relationships with large contractors to meet their contacts, especially with respect to agencies that are actively working to meet their small business contract goals (VA & DOE).
With less money in the pot for FY 2012 due to automatic budget cuts, small business contractors can reap huge benefits by focus on their networks and leveraging agency requirements for small and minority contracts. At the same time, with increasing competition it will be more difficult for small businesses to beat out bigger contractors for lucrative prime contracts. What does all this mean? It means if you’re a small, women-owned, minority-owned or service disabled veteran owned contracting firm you’ve got to be on your A game in 2012!