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A July Message from Jenny

As we enter July, the month where we all come together to celebrate our country’s independence, it’s important to recognize that we are in a time of great shifts.

America was built on personal freedom, defined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I am an American citizen. That doesn’t mean that I am more equal than anyone else. Our freedom is only guaranteed as long as the freedom of all citizens is guaranteed. 

I don’t speak for groups that I may associate with, be identified with or belong to. My relationships are with people, and I define what those relationships look like and how we interact.

Let’s get back to seeing people as individuals, and not guessing how they feel because they could also be a member of a group.

Every Friday we have a conversation.

It’s a conversation with friends and associates…

focused on helping people …

take control over their own ability …

to earn a living …

so they won’t need to depend …

on a system …

that is not looking out for their best interest.

To join us click here.

 

I am so grateful to Debbie Miller for helping to gather the events and

announcements we will share throughout July.  Our goal for this newsletter

is to make it easier for small businesses in federal contracting, transitioning

veterans, and veteran advocates to connect to each other.

To view the July newsletter, click here.

 

Above all, I want to express my gratitude to all of you. If you would like to connect regularly, I invite you to connect with me here.

With gratitude,

 

Planning on Profits?

As a federal contractor, getting a handle on COSTS is key to PRICING so you can win.

It’s frustrating not to have financial information you need to make decisions. Like not being able to tell which contracts are making money and which ones are losing money.

Or, knowing the billing rate that the prime “suggested” to you, can you determine what pay rate you can offer a prospective employee and cover all your costs.

Federal Contract Accounting has its own lingo: FAR 31, Unallowable Costs, What goes in Fringe and Overhead and G&A, Labor Categories, Cost of Money, CLINS, SLINS, ACRNS, Burdens, Weighted Guidelines, Multipliers, Provisional rates, SF1408 DCAA PreAward Survey, Incurred Cost Submissions, Indirect rates, Fringe on Direct Labor included in Overhead pool or base?

In DCAA’s Information for Contractors, the section on accounting system requirements implies that you don’t have to have an operational system in order to bid. But these days, RFPs are coming out asking you to produce a letter from DCAA showing your accounting system as adequate. You as a contractor cannot call DCAA and get them to do an accounting system review for you.

The biggest pressure is coming from Prime Contractors. Risk averse, they don’t need small businesses on their teams that don’t understand DCAA Compliance and don’t have the systems in place. They don’t have time for companies that are not ready.

Your reason for having an accounting system that meets DCAA Compliance is not just to pass an audit. You need it so that you know what your costs are, and have an idea of what “the going rates” are and how your actual costs plus budgets compare to the market.

At Florida GovCon Summit on February 28 and March 1 in Orlando, we’ve got tons of topics – and we just had to include one on Cost and Pricing. You’ll be drinking from a fire hose hearing from Traci Shepps, Wayne Leland and Rich Wilkinson about what it takes to price competitively and stay profitable in federal contracting.

Here’s a Podcast with Wayne Leland talking about Indirect Rates.

Here’s one with Traci Shepps about GovCon Math.

Here’s one with Rich Wilkinson of Unanet (The Godfather of GovCon) about Answering the PM’s Questions

WANT MORE? Join us in Orlando at the Florida GovCon Summit – click here to go to the Event Website.

Message me if you need more info!

5 Tips for Improving Business Development Outcomes, Now!

You spend so much money trying to identify and go after the work in the federal sector.

You’re always gearing up – getting this certification and trying to get qualified for HUBZONE or whatever, going after another big IDIQ, setting up your GSA Schedule and trying to get on teams.

Is that enough?

At the Florida GovCon Summit on February 28 and March 1 in Orlando, we have a rare opportunity to hear from Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition, and Stephanie Zink of Taurus Group, in our opening session we’ve code-named “Frick and Frack.”

Here’s a description of what Guy Timberlake and Stephanie Zink will be talking about:

Doing business in the federal sector is a fast-moving target. It’s subject to constant change due to increased competition, fewer opportunities as a result of consolidation, larger dollar values, the diminishing value of incumbent status and a continuing shift in how, if or when deals and decision-makers can be influenced. 

Companies who understand and implement core tenets of the business development life cycle (Assessment, Strategy, Marketing, Business Development, Capture Management and Proposal Management) based on deliberate Market and Competitive Research, almost always possess and demonstrate a clear and identifiable competitive advantage as a result of intentionally pursuing and sustaining an information advantage. 

During this comprehensive and interactive discussion, Stephanie Zink (Taurus Group) and Guy Timberlake (The American Small Business Coalition) discuss real-world tactics, tools and resources companies can use to improve their federal sector business development processes and outcomes.

If you don’t know about Guy Timberlake and Stephanie Zink, now is the time to sign up so you can soak in some knowledge and strategy for your #GovCon business.

Do you feel like you’re paddling in murky waters, where everyone else is trying to fish?

What if you could spend some strategy days with small business peers and #GovCon industry experts – who can share some their insight – even getting maps and charts with favorite fishing spots? What is we could show you how to cast a wider net? What if we could make sure that the communications channels are open, that we can share information that will protect your own fishing fleet?

Sign up today for the Florida GovCon Summit in Orlando

Targeting, Teaming and Tactics for GovCon Growth

FEBRUARY 28TH & MARCH 1ST, 2018 | 8AM TO 5PM

https://solvability.com/govcon-summit/

Questions – Message me on LinkedIn!

Paul Huszar of VetCor Services awarded Governor’s Veteran Service Award 2017

Paul Huszar of VetCor Services will be speaking to the Florida GovCon Summit on March 1, 2018 in Orlando, on “The Value of a Veteran.”

Florida GovCon Summit brings together Florida’s federal contracting community for two days of Targeting, Teaming and Tactics. Concurrent with the #GovCon track, there will also be a Veteran Connections track, with speakers on topics for transitioning service members, including job seekers and veteran entrepreneurs.

http://bit.ly/GovScottHuszar

Bill “Roto” Reuter on The Brutal Truth of Customer Engagement

Talking to “Roto” Reuter, I asked: “What is the main thing that small businesses need to understand in order to be successful in federal contracting?”

His answer: “You have to show that you UNDERSTAND the DOMAIN.”

In other words: “What does it really take to understand the domain, that will give you the credibility to solve issues for the customer? If you are just going into prospective client meetings with a slide deck showing “here’s what we do/have done/want to do,” then are you wasting the customer’s time? How do you show that you understand their priorities and issues, and that you have the team and skills to work with them to solve them?”

We all know that you have to build relationships. Are you including everyone? Does the small business representative know your company and capabilities and are they in a position to advocate? Have you connected to the Contracting Officer and PM? Most importantly – how have you connected to the Stakeholders? What do you understand about the Stakeholders and how they want to see the contracting activity executed?

We’re looking forward to having Roto Reuter of R-Squared Solutions as a keynote speaker at the Florida GovCon Summit in Orlando on February 28-March 1, 2018. He’ll be sharing his insight on “The Brutal Truth about Customer Engagement.”

At R-Squared, Roto and his team of well-respected business community members help businesses identify the best opportunities for reliable and profitable partnerships. During his career, Roto went from test pilot to commander for the Navy’s premier training system research and development organization, managing more than $1 billion in training solutions annually, and leading a diverse team of more than 1200 Navy professionals, both active duty and civilians. He understands what agencies need for the warfighter, and can explain how second-stage small businesses in federal contracting can target opportunities that best fit their strategies.

The Florida GovCon Summit brings together experienced federal contractors for sessions on Targeting, Teaming and Tactics, including:

ADVANCED WORKSHOPS

VETERAN CONNECTIONS TRACK: We’ve created sessions both days for transitioning veterans with a great lineup of speakers, including Kristy Nevils ofBusiness Academy for Veterans on Entrepreneurial Victory for Veterans with Chip Ellis of Federal Contracting Institute on Getting Started in Federal Contracting.

For more information or to register, visit:

https://solvability.com/govcon-summit/

To learn more about small businesses in federal contracting – here’s a link to our weekly podcast

https://solvability.com/podcast/

Solvability works with second-stage small businesses in federal contracting through annual online training and coaching programs that address 20 Benchmarks we’ve identified as crucial barriers to small business success. We look forward to meeting you at Florida GovCon Summit, where we’ll be collecting participant responses to the 20 Benchmarks, giving you an idea of how you stack up compared to competitors in this market and creating a roadmap that addresses your priorities.

How Can Your Small Businesses can Participate in Defense Innovation?

Accelerators. Prize Challenges. Other Transaction Authority Consortiums.

Follow the principles from Money Ball – based on the Oakland A’s strategy of getting more at-bats, more hits, more opportunities to score.

At the Florida GovCon Summit, you’ll hear Tony Gray describe how small businesses need to quickly adapt their strategies to participate in defense innovation, or be left behind by focusing only on services work. Tony has joined me on two podcasts recently, sharing his insight about SOF Technology and the need for rapid response as part of our national security priorities.

With the SOF Technology Association, Tony Gray is sharing information about opportunities for you to participate, and has created a LinkedIn group as well as a mentorship/advisory program. Learn more from the podcast with Tony:

Florida GovCon Podcast with Tony Gray on SOFTA

Tony Gray talked about how small businesses need to communicate their value in their proposals but also explain and execute the customer experience as they start the contract, in order to set up for follow-ons and recompetes. As much as companies are investing to win – they need to think long term about how to keep contracts. In defense innovation, the key is to get a chain of small projects and keep delivering. Here’s Tony Gray’s podcast on creating the customer experience.

Florida GovCon Podcast with Tony Gray on Creating the Customer Experience

Joining Tony Gray at the Florida GovCon Summit is Bernice Kiyo Glenn, the Senior VP of Strategic Partnerships with the National Security Technology Accelerator (NSXTL), who put on the Defense Innovation Summit in Tampa in October 2017. Bernice Kiyo Glenn will discuss the role of NSXTL as an OTA Consortium, and the role of the new accelerator in Orlando called TRex.

To learn more, join us at the Florida GovCon Summit in Orlando on February 28-March 1, which is focused on Targeting, Teaming and Tactics for 2nd stage small businesses in federal contracting. More info at the event website at Solvability.com.