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Establishing new connections for the federal contracting market within the new normal


Author: Tim Hagerty \ CEO TeamingPro.com - 7\3\2020

Federal contracting, on it’s surface, is complicated, especially if you’re operating in the professional services sector. Think about how many rules and regulations someone has to know, understand and execute upon in order to move their business forward. I can see why our industry would seem outright daunting to most people from the outside looking in.

With that said, the underlying nature of how our industry operates is relatively simple. Ours is a relationship-based industry. So the more connections we have, the more business we can ultimately do, we can see some good examples of this in companies that have grown over the decades to large prime contractors. They put in the time, effort and expense to ultimately shake the right hands, prove their worth and grow. I find it exciting to see so many examples of what any small business in our industry can aspire to if they’re able to follow the same model.

So how do we make these connections? Well, remember conventions? They were fun. Business developers of virtually every ilk would use conventions and local events to shake hands and establish connections. This is important because these connections lead to relationships and from these relationships comes work share. I know this group and paradigm well because I used to be one of them and have spent my fair share of time performing the ole grip and grin.

Regardless of the fun, I realized along the way that this was a limiting proposition. I’ll explain. Even if I was able to meet every person in the room, I’m still just meeting everyone who happens to be in that room, not necessarily making the connections I would need to increase my probability of win and actually move my business forward. But hey, at least it was something.

Unfortunately, in the wake of COVID-19, large conventions all the way to small local events have fallen by the wayside. With this, we’re seeing a change in the front end of our business development process. This my friends is going to eventually become a much larger issue. We’re trying to fill in the gap with virtual events but, let’s face it, they’re just not as impactful.

So how do we keep growing within our industry if the main source for new connections has dried up? LinkedIn is a great tool but it’s a person-based platform and our government customers demand entity level certifications, entity level past performance and the like, which you can’t find within that solution.

So what else is there?

You could use solutions like the DSBS (Dynamic Small Business Search) hosted by the SBA. This will allow you to identify small businesses, but you won’t be able to vet them through that system or filter companies by their past performance.

The new beta.sam.gov site has some neat features to be able to find companies, contracts, and opportunities in one place but it’s not the easiest to traverse, the frustration levels reported by users of the system are fairly high and you still have the past performance vetting issue to deal with.

With something so important to our growth and ultimate stability, I think demanding more innovation in this area is not only appropriate but needed, especially now. I’m not sounding off the alarm bells or anything yet but, ah, they may not be too far behind us.

New platforms like TeamingPro have taken on this challenge. We put every company competing in the federal space on-line so we can all find each other way faster. This kind of innovation will help get us jump started in the right direction. Being able to find any company in the industry based on their capabilities, past performance and other factors, all within a few clicks, shortens the time and expense it takes to establish new connections. Being able to do this in our proverbial pajamas just makes it all the better.

Of course, I’m a little biased since I created TeamingPro, but I’ve seen this issue creeping its way towards our industry for a while now and it’s a problem that can be solved through technology.

We have federal contracting companies using our system and report finding teaming partners in minutes, literally minutes. Think about that for a second. Companies can now find other companies to partner with in a fraction of the time it used to take. Not only that but the companies they’re finding are strategic since search criteria is centered around past performance, government customers and the like. This is a total shift in how we used to do business and it’s working because it has all the hallmarks of true innovation, it’s faster, better, easier and cheaper than the alternative.

This is where I want our industry to go and this type of innovation is how we’re going to get there. All of this adds up to very good things for everyone involved in the process, both large and small businesses alike, since we all have the same problem to solve.

You can check out our platform here: https://teamingpro.com and even give it a free spin to see how it can fit into your organization.

Until next time,

Tim Hagerty
CEO \ Founder TeamingPro.com