Setting the foundation for success in the government-contracting world

Growing up, we are always told how important school is, and that we should get a college degree. After 12 years, there’s still more to come. Why must we become so educated, especially when most of us do not become lawyers, doctors or engineers?

I mention those degrees because those are the ones in which we study specific topics for the career that we have chosen, where the skills learned must be used. But most of us end up getting a marketing degree or something vague like an education or English degree, even though we will not become an educator, and the only English is the language that we speak.

We get this degree normally for one reason—to create opportunities or ultimately make money. So, we have these badges of honor or certificates that open doors and hopefully allow us to make money and live the American dream. Well, folks, the same needs to happen with your business. When positioning your business to work with the government, in most cases, you must have these so-called badges of honor and certificates to succeed.

As an individual, we need a résumé that documents our education, experience and references. As a business, we need the same, but it’s called a capabilities statement. This is a business résumé that is used for government opportunities. This document has your registrations, certificates and schedules. It also has your bio, core competencies and differentiators.

As individuals, we get that all mighty degree, because at times we need it to even get the interview. Then while interviewing, we want to stand out, so the more certifications or badges of honor, the more attractive we hope to appear for our new career opportunity. When a business enters the government contracting world, it works the same way. Having certifications and honors is sometimes how you get a prime business or government contracting officer to even look at you, let alone chose you for a contract.

As an individual, we go through elementary, junior high, high school and college. And, hopefully, the more educated we become; the more opportunities will present themselves.

Well, the elementary of the government contract world is registering with the System for Award Management or even the Dynamic Small Business Search.

Middle school, as some call it, or junior high school is registering with your city, county or state. When moving into your high school equivalent, you hopefully would qualify for a socioeconomic status such as a woman, minority, veteran or HUBZone owned business. Then to your college master’s degree, the General Services Administration schedule. Having a GSA schedule is what all in the contracting world aspire to achieve.

So, as we climbed the educational ladder through high school into college, we hoped for opportunities and wealth. Well, as your business takes those same steps, you hope for the same. Even though some with only a high school degree have accomplished great things and made millions, and others with the master’s degree did not attain such achievements. The education, certifications or badges of honor only open the door or present the opportunity. The real key is what you do with the opportunity once it arises.

Because up to this point, we have only talked about the foundation, or, as I like to call it, positioning. Either as an individual, we position ourselves for a career opportunity, or as a business, we become viable or eligible because of the prior time and effort that has been applied. But to this point, we have only positioned ourselves for these opportunities.

But the important point is, it all starts with positioning. Because when you have taken these steps and you have the certifications or badges of honor, you are now ready to enter this environment and have a great chance for success.

So, understand that the foundation must be laid, and becoming successful as an individual or as a business does not happen overnight. And those taking the long road and putting in the effort normally do see results, whether they’re a high school graduate, or have a master’s degree. ♦

You May Also Like

Habits of salespeople who thrive during times of economic uncertainty

Are we in the midst of – or are about to enter – a period of economic uncertainty? Who knows? But some high-achieving salespeople don’t just survive hard times – they create new “personal best” performance levels during potential down cycles in their business. How do they do it?  In a new white paper, the

Four big takeaways to grow your business

Every year, more than 1,000 of the world’s top sales, leadership and management professionals gather in Orlando for what we call the Sandler Sales & Leadership Summit, where we network, share ideas, celebrate each other’s successes and participate in sessions led by top Sandler training professionals from the United States and around the world. The

The Etiquette of Enthusiasm

Have you ever had an idea so strong you felt like you could not wait to share it? It seems most of us will agree, publicly at least, that we don’t like a “Donnie Downer” (surely you can appreciate the reason we don’t say “Debbie Downer”…), and yet very rarely do we think our enthusiasm

Is your selling process aligned with your buyer’s journey?

What process do your buyers follow before deciding to buy?  Regardless of the person’s title, product, service or industry, we can map out a clear progression from the time a prospect is considering a purchase until the contract is signed and payment is made. The stages of the buyer’s journey that salespeople need to understand

Other Posts

The etiquette of receiving difficult feedback professionally

You might agree that most unsolicited feedback is perceived as criticism. And, with that in mind, you also may agree that it takes constructive, useful feedback to grow. So, what happens when you receive an idea, criticism, feedback or a “You know, you really should …”? It is important to realize most people—not all—absolutely do

5 metrics to include in your goal-setting playbook for the new year

The first month of the year is a classic time for business owners, and sales professionals, to identify and focus on their most important personal, and professional, goals. We’ve noticed, though, that the goal-setting behavior of an organization’s leaders during the month of January tends to have the biggest bottom-line impact on the year, as

How to finish the year strong

The holiday season is already upon us and you might be wondering: “Where did 2022 go?” Maybe you and your company had a great year, blowing through your billing projections and setting revenue records. Or you might be asking yourself: “What went wrong and how do I prevent it from happening again?” But, before you

The importance of pre-qualification

If you’re in sales, sales management or business development, here’s a reality check for you: Are you counting on closing a deal or projecting income from an opportunity that isn’t fully qualified? Whenever we ask sales professionals this powerful question, we often hear an awkward silence in response. Sometimes that silence is because the person,