The last quarter of the federal fiscal year is in full swing. These three months determine whether many government contractors will have a great year or something less. We’ve previously discussed the need to stay focused right now. Distractions can lead to lost business.

Here are four additional tips on what smart firms should be doing so that there will be smiles in October about something other than the return of football season.

Guard Your Potential Business Closely: Now is the time when opportunities you’ve been tracking for months turn into actual acquisitions. Make sure you’ve kept up communication with all parts of the customer’s team: customer, senior staff, money people, and contracting. Failure to follow through with one or more of these groups increases the possibility that someone else will end up with business you “knew” would be yours. Don’t let carefully prepared groundwork go to waste. Follow through until the project is yours.

Assisted Acquisition Opportunities Are Closing Fast: If you or your customer likes using assisted acquisition offices, like Interior’s National Business Center, time is running out for this fiscal year. Most assisted buying shops will not take new work after July, with some closing in mid-month. While a few organizations may take smaller projects in August, it will soon be time to move on to other business methods for the remainder of this year.

Strengthen Small Business Ties: If you’re a small business, this is the time of year to let both federal buyers and industry partners know it, particularly if you have an additional status like veteran-owned. If you’re a large business, make sure your small business partners are committed to working with you through the end of the year.

Harried federal buyers like to turn to small businesses near fiscal year-end to move as many projects off their desk as possible.  Make sure you know the rules on how feds can buy from you easily and quickly and be prepared to walk a CO through the process.  You’ll close more business and develop critical relationships that can pay off this year and next.

Closely tied to this are the ability to understand how simplified acquisitions ($150,000, or more in some cases) work and how micro-purchases paid for with a government credit card can make smaller buys avoid a host of regulatory hurdles. Reminding customers of flexibilities they have helps them help you.

Consistently Monitor E-Buy: Do you hold a GSA Schedule or other GSA contract? You need to know about E-Buy. This is the time of year when smart companies monitor E-Buy several times a day. If you see an open project in your wheel house, bid on it. Companies that weren’t originally selected by the customer do win business this way, especially at year-end. If you’re not watching E-Buy, your firm IS losing business.

Some fed market analysts predict that 40 percent or more of an agency’s total procurement actions take place in the last quarter of the fiscal year. Knowing what methods to focus on and when, being able to lead an unsure customer through the maze, and staying close to partners will all position you well. Stay focused and happy selling!

Larry Allen

About Larry Allen

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Larry Allen has over 20 years’ experience in government acquisition. He has provided critical information and advice to most of the top 10 federal contractors doing business with the government today. His relationships in, and knowledge of, the federal contracting arena are second to none. He is routinely sought-out by contractors, investment firms and other consultants to provide expert insight into various aspects of the federal market. This includes spending trends, market leaders, acquisition policy, and the opportunities to shape federal acquisition via coordinated government affairs campaigns. He served as a member of the Multiple Award Schedule Advisory Panel and the “Federal Contracts Report” Board of Advisors. He has testified often before committees of the US Senate, House of Representatives, and several state legislatures. He hosts his own radio show on government procurement, “Off the Shelf” on Federal News Radio in Washington, DC.

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