Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

To Propose or Not to Propose, That is the Question

Recently, while engaged in discussions with a potential client, a rather awkward moment arose.  The potential client described a situation in which they lost out on a contracting opportunity because of the way they responded to a solicitation and how the proposals were evaluated.

I say it was an awkward situation because they had to be testing my knowledge of my craft because surely they didn’t do what they described.  What they described is in direct contradiction to what they SHOULD have done.  Anyway, now I had a situation to deal with.  I could choose to be B.A.D. = Bold, Audacious and Daring or I could pretend they just misstated their action.

I chose to do what Tracy Chapman said in her song, “Tell It Like It Is.”  Tracy says to Say It | Say it | Say it | Tell it like it is | Say it | Say it | Say it | So everyone can hear!  So I did.  The reality is they WERE doing totally opposite of what they should have been doing.  No wonder they were NOT winning when they proposed on solicitations.  Just more confirmation that companies need help to win government contracts.

Read the entire solicitation, several times, every time.  Sections C and M have particular importance and help you decide To Propose or Not to Propose.

 

See you on the high ground!      

 

 

Filed under: Getting Started, Government Contracting, Proposals, Woods Consulting Group, ,

POL is the Price of Leadership

Here is another Army acronym that some of you will be familiar with.  POL; that used to mean Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants, but for me, it now means Price of Leadership.  The concept is quite simple, really, but the practical application is more of a challenge.  Following, are some examples of what I mean.

When you’re the leader and in a leadership position, you must reward and punish everyone equally.  That only makes sense, right.  Sounds pretty straight forward and simple enough,  but everything changes when we add friends and family in the mix.  Man, you can’t hold your friends and family accountable like everyone else, right?

Not only can you, but you must!  But these are some of the people you have to live and socialize with.  You don’t want to cause tension at home or with your friends.  You fought and worked hard to get your promotion and new leadership position.  Now my friend, you are experiencing the Price of Leadership.  Everything has a price.  If you don’t already know this, you soon will.

Your favorite sports team is playing at home tonight AND you have a major report due to your boss tomorrow morning.  This game helps determine the playoff picture and the stadium will be packed.  You remember that your boss promised the Regional Office they would have her report in 2 days.  We know that you really what to go to the game, but you can’t!  This too, is the Price of Leadership.

Have you ever experienced the Price of Leadership?  Share your experiences with the group.

 

 

See you on the high ground!     

 

Filed under: Government Contracting, Leadership, Woods Consulting Group, , ,

The Shortcuts to Government Contracting

Part of my training and staff development in the U.S. Army included the Army Writing Style.  The Army Writing Style stressed B.L.U.F. That stands for, “bottom line up front.”  So, here goes – there are no shortcuts to Government Contracting!  Yeah, I know, the title appears to suggest there are shortcuts, but the reality is, there aren’t any.  I haven’t found any.  None of the smart people I know have found any.  There is only the process.

We have discussed the process many times over the past couple of years.  Our discussion of the process has not always been about Government Contracting.  Sometimes, the discussions have been about everyday tasks and how we can identify a process that lead to the successful accomplishment of those tasks.  One example was about cutting the lawn, while another was about kitchen renovations.

As you become more seasoned and better established as a Government Contractor, opportunities will begin to find you.  Until then, the best that you can reasonably expect is to have a fair and equal opportunity to compete for and win work.

To help ensure you win your fair share of bid opportunities, you have to read EVERY word of the solicitation, (several times) then, ensure you address every question or concern in the solicitation, dot every “I” and cross every “T” in your proposal.  Do yourself a favor; forget your quest to find shortcuts and just focus on doing your very best job on every solicitation and every contract award.

 

See you on the high ground!

Filed under: Government Contracting, Networking, Woods Consulting Group, , , , , ,

Invest in Your Personal Development

Like many Veterans reading this post, I too tried a variety of non-military related endeavors during my military career.  I admit to trying one that most have heard about, but some are reluctant to admit trying themselves.  I tried Network Marketing!  Actually, I tried Network Marketing multiple times during my career as a soldier.  Each Network Marketing organization I was part of required the members to invest in their personal development.  Whether it be reading personal development books, listening to tapes and CDs or attending seminars.  The bottom line was to grow and develop – to improve. 

Here is another small confession.  I never grew my organizations to the levels of success many in the Network Marketing world desire.  As a result, I was naturally disappointed, but after taking inventory of where I started from to where I ultimately ended up, I realized my journey was a success.  The key to personal success and ultimately to team success is based in large part on how much and how well we develop.  For many people, the real value in Network Marketing is not how much money you can earn, but instead on the training, the leadership, the networking and the personal development you gain.  Kind of sounds like the military doesn’t it?  Training, leadership, networking and personal development.  Didn’t we all get those in the military?  Of course we did. 

Robert Kiyosaki, speaker and best selling author of the “Rich Dad” book series is a strong advocate of Network Marketing.  He always recommends it, in his books, during speaking engagements and other public appearances.  Robert understands the intrinsic value, strength, utility and the genuine need for networks and teams.  An excellent way to develop those skill sets is through Network Marketing.  

This article is not written to suggest joining a Network Marketing organization.  It is however, written to encourage you to continue to “Invest in Your Personal Development,” because you are your single best opportunity for success.  Only you can make this commitment.  2012 is a great year to be the best you can be.  Just do it! 

 

See you on the high ground!         

 

Filed under: Ethics, Government Contracting, Networking, Woods Consulting Group, , , , ,