Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

I Want it All Coach and I Want it Now!

Several years ago during the Dallas Cowboys glory days, owner Jerry Jones added another larger than life personality to the Super Bowl team he had already assembled.  He added future Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to a less than stellar secondary.  During that same timeframe, Pizza Hut was marketing a new pizza in which you could get X topping or Y topping.  Deion and Jerry appeared together in a Pizza Hut commercial in which Jerry asks Deion if he wants X (the $10 million contract) or Y (the $25 million contract) – to which Deion promptly replies, “I want it all Jerry, and I want it now.”  That little story reminds me of comments I hear clients make from time to time as I share information about Government Contracting.  Everyone wants it all and they want it now!  The reality is that few, if any of us will ever get it all and even fewer will get it now. 

Keep in mind; Government Contracting is a marathon, not a sprint.  We are in it to win it, no matter how long that takes.  Sure, it would be great if we could come out the gate winning multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts.  For most of us that is not, has not been and will not be the case.  I am not trying to take the wind out of anyone’s sails, but I do want to establish and keep healthy, balanced and realistic expectations at the forefront of our minds.  We can and will grow into those type contracts if that’s what we truly desire, but it is part of a process to get there.  Besides, it’s extremely costly to support those multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts.  For now, we’ll just keep winning our $100K and below contracts.  Those add up quite nicely too, you know. 

See you on the high ground!

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Filed under: Uncategorized

The Shortcuts to Government Contracting Revealed

Merry Christmas!  This is your Christmas present – from me to you.  Since this is our before Christmas post, I thought I’d use it to give out a present to all of us.  A present that some people THINK them want, but only because that don’t know the truth – yet.  Here ladies and gentlemen is the ground truth; THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING.”  Most people want to believe there are shortcuts.  Some people will even tell you there are shortcuts and that they know them and for a fee, you too can know the shortcuts to Government Contracting.  Of all the things you’ll spend money for while pursuing Government Contracts, please, don’t let this be one of them.  

The statement I made earlier about “THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING” is an absolute.  I retract that statement, in-part; because there are few, if any, absolutes in life.  Most of the people reading these posts can’t afford and will not participate in the shortcuts I know about.  I say that with a belief and faith that those reading these posts are honest, morally upright, ethically grounded, solid citizens.  I believe you can’t afford to, quite frankly, go to jail, period!  I believe you can’t afford a multi-billion dollar lobbying machine.  I believe you can’t afford lengthy court battles.  I believe you can’t afford and will not participate in – you fill in the blank.  The statements about what you can’t afford are not exclusively about money.  

So you see “THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING,” at least none I think you want to know about or participate in.  Am I wrong about the people reading these posts?  

See you on the high ground!

          

Filed under: Uncategorized

Inside the Numbers – A Closer Look

Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) negotiates socioeconomic procurement preference program, or ‘contracting,’ goals with Federal agencies. These goals are based on statute, and require that, in the aggregate, agencies award contracts as follows: 23% to small businesses; 5% to Small Disadvantaged Businesses; 5% to Women-Owned Small Businesses; 3% to HUBZone Small Businesses; and 3% to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.  In fiscal year 2009, the actual goal attainment was 21.9% or $96.8 billion. 

If true, the $96.8 billion would represent a hefty amount of money flowing into and through the Small Business community.  There however, exists several problems that greatly reduce that total dollar spend in the Small Business community.  Let’s’ just list a few; 1. Many contracts designated for small businesses go to a large business masquerading as a small business, 2. Many small businesses allow themselves to be used as pass throughs, resulting in the bulk of the money going to big business 3.  Many contracts that could/should go to small businesses are bundled with other requirements, thus exceeding the capacity and capabilities of most small businesses – effectively making the requirement large and taking it out of the small business arena and 4.  Actual contract awards are incorrectly recorded and counted against the goal attainment for small businesses.  

Depending on whom you talk to or where you choose to get your data, the federal government spend each year exceeds $1 trillion, which in turn sets the goal for small business spending at $230 billion, per year.  My friends, we are no where close to $230 billion per year coming to the Small Business community.  In this scenario, it appears the truth is a moving target, and, as we all know, a moving target is hard to hit. 

See you on the high ground!

Filed under: Registrations & Certifications,

Parity in Contracting: What Does That Really Mean?

Parity; the American Heritage Dictionary gives us a rather lengthy definition, but when it all comes right down to it, parity simply means “Equality, as in amount, status or value.”  All the federal contracting programs are now on a level playing field.  Everything is equal.  If that is true, why then are there different contracting goals for each program?  The HUBZone Small Business contracting goal is 3%, the 8(a) BD Small Business contracting goal is 5%, the Women-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 5% and the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 3%. 

By assigning different “values” to different programs, we are regulating the “amount” of growth and prosperity businesses within those respective programs can achieve.  Is that parity?  Parity in contracting really only means there is parity in the language governing the use and selection of those federal programs.  In essence, the language has changed from “shall” in ONE program to “may” in ALL programs.  Language really does matter.  There will be more on that topic later.   

From my perspective, “parity in contracting” is a distraction, a ruse played on the Small Business community yet again.  Parity in contracting signals increased infighting among members of the federal contracting programs as they jockey for position prior to contract awards.  Small Businesses with any of the federal designations remain very attractive to large business and others that understand the power, significance and leverage of certifications.  

How many ways and how many times are we going to slice the 23% share of work supposedly coming to the Small Business community?  Instead of infighting among members of the Small Business community over a greater share of the juvenile 23% federal contracting goal, let’s increase that amount to oh let’s say 46%.  Let’s really create “Parity” in contracting by further leveling of the playing field.  Let’s give more Americans the opportunity to achieve and live out the American Dream.  Small Business is the engine that drives this country and our economy will continue to sputter until we properly and fairly address the issue of “Parity in Contracting.”  Just some random thoughts.  What do you think?

See you on the high ground!

Filed under: Registrations & Certifications,