7 Ways to Kick Off the New Fiscal Year with a Bang: #1 Don’t Wait Until October 1st!

September 21, 2023 | Business Development, Government, Time Management

Image taken from Shutterstock

As the federal fiscal year-end draws near, proactive government contractors are already gearing up for FY’24. You must plan, strategize, and be several steps ahead to hit the ground running. I have shared seven critical efforts to ensure that you’re prepared and in a prime position to maximize your government sales opportunities

1. Don’t Wait until October 1:

The biggest mistake many make is waiting until after the new fiscal year begins or, for that matter, waiting until November or December. Some people think because historically, it’s slow for new contracts to be released on the street, we shouldn’t be fully engaged. That’s not a reason to begin prepping for FY’24 because the most successful government contractors focus 80% of their time on pre-acquisition activities.

2. Review Last Year’s Performance:

Dedicate time to review your performance metrics; contract wins and losses, and client feedback from the past fiscal year. Document some of the feedback you received from your informal debriefings in the losses. Was it the price? Lack of past performance? Lack of experience? Make sure you have a solution for each of these issues so that when you begin submitting proposals again, you address them thoroughly.

3. Update your Past Performance Matrix:

RSM Federal expands on this exercise and calls it value mapping. Include both government prime and subcontracts as well as your commercial work. We are capturing more than just the customer, description, and dollar amount. We also collect information about how many units of a specific product were sold, how many people our product or service impacts, and our geographic footprint. These are only a few examples.

4. Update Your Capability Statement:

Once you complete the value mapping exercise, update your capabilities statement with specific metrics. Ensure you include information like the geographic landscape of where you sell products and services, people impacted by your product, and how many units were sold if it applies. This is another excellent time to make sure contract vehicles are updated to include new ones and update the numbers of ones you’ve held in the past.

5. Map Out Conferences and Training Events For FY’24

Start vetting conferences for the next Fiscal Year. Make sure these conferences align with your company’s objectives. Will buyers be present at the meeting? Will other potential teaming partners be there? Attend these to network, gather intel, and stay updated on upcoming government needs and trends. Also, be mindful of opportunities to receive training and certifications in your expertise, adding value for your customers. As one of my mentors and friend, Josh Frank, says, “The difference between a job and an occupation is lifelong learning.”

6. Rerun Who Buys What You Sell for FY’23

Market dynamics change. Agencies’ priorities shift. New regulations and policies emerge. Contracting officers come and go. By revisiting and possibly refining your target market, you can ensure you’re focusing your efforts on the most promising and profitable areas.

7. Engage in Training and Skill Development:

Use this transitional period as an opportunity for growth. Encourage your team to attend training sessions, workshops, or webinars relevant to your industry. The more skilled and informed your team is, the better positioned you are to offer valuable services to the government.

I’ve seen countless businesses bask in success while others struggle to find their footing. One of the defining differences? Preparation. Successful companies thoughtfully prepare. The new fiscal year provides an opportunity for a fresh start—a chance to redefine your approach, re-energize your strategies, and reaffirm your commitment to excellence in government contracting. So start now because when the new fiscal year arrives, you’ll be ready to kick off the new fiscal year with a bang!

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MYTH: Providing goods and services to the government means you have to wait forever to get paid.

FACT: Many government contracts are subject to the Prompt Payment Act which was enacted to ensure the federal government makes timely payments. Bills are to be paid within 30 days after receipt and acceptance of goods/services or after receipt of an invoice whichever is last. If a timely payment is not made, interest should be automatically paid.

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