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Interview with Monica Hayes, Part 2: IDN’s Services

June 29, 2022 | Business Development, Government

In this second excerpt from my conversation with the Indiana Defense Network's Deputy Director Monica Hayes, we discuss IDN's services--and how it serves as an "orchestrator of the aerospace and supply chain ecosystem" in the Hoosier State. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8rCsrFvxPo[/embed] If you’d like to learn more about IDN, watch for more excerpts to be posted soon, or click here to watch the interview in its entirety.

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Interview with Monica Hayes, Part 1: The Indiana Defense Network’s Origins

June 22, 2022 | Business Development, Government

This is the first in a series of excerpts from my conversation with Monica Hayes, Deputy Director of the Indiana Defense Network. In this segment, Monica discusses the founding of the Indiana Defense Network, how her team is structured, and what her role is in executing IDN's mission. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W14eML4a_wU[/embed] If you'd like to learn more about Monica and IDN, watch for more excerpts to be posted soon, or click here to watch the interview in its entirety.

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Not Ready to Hire A GovBiz Expert? Here’s How To Start On Your Own

June 15, 2022 | Business Development, Government

    Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-using-macbook-5882683/ There are many good reasons to sell products and services to the federal government, but getting started can be a little daunting. If you’re not quite ready to begin, you can take some steps in the right direction before you make a significant commitment. Here are a few things you can do now to set your business up for long-term success:   Contact your Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Each state has its own--and you can find them here. Their services are free, and they can help you with all the items on this…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 6: Ghosting Socio-Economic Set-Asides

June 8, 2022 | Business Development, Government

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels The final installment in our series on RFIs discusses how savvy contractors ghost socio-economic set-asides, including small business, WOSB, SDVOSB, VOSB, SDB, HUBZone and other designations In the interest of equal opportunity, government agencies actively seek opportunities to partner with small businesses and woman-owned small businesses (WOSBs), veteran-owned and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB and SDVOSB), small disadvantaged business (SDB) and historically underutilized business zones or HUBZone small businesses. In the interest of leveraging these socio-economic set-asides, smart contractors use RFIs to communicate whether they fit these descriptions. One way they can make…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 5: Ghosting Certifications and Experience

June 1, 2022 | Business Development, Government

Photo by MART PRODUCTION: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-person-writing-on-a-planner-7718675/ Part 5 of our series on RFIs details the ghosting of certifications and experience, with an example of a software development client who successfully recommended that specific criteria be included in an RFP If you read our last post in this series, you won't be surprised to hear that smart contractors often ghost*--in other words, suggest that a government agency specify--criteria that give them a competitive advantage. This is the case again with the ghosting of certifications, experience, education, and sometimes even security clearances.  One of our clients used this strategy in a bid for…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 4: Ghosting and GWACs

May 25, 2022 | Business Development, Government

                        Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-businessman-signing-contract-in-office-3771097/ In part 4 of our series on RFIs, we discuss ghosting of Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC)--and a few examples that demonstrate how smart contractors use this tactic In An Insider's Guide to Winning Government Contracts, Joshua P. Frank coined the term “ghosting” as it related to RFIs. Ghosting is a commonly-used RFI response strategy, where contractors recommend specific information to be included in a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) that gives them a competitive advantage. The elements that…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 3: “Ghosting” salient characteristics

May 18, 2022 | Business Development, Government

  Part 3 in our series on RFIs covers ghosting as it applies to product specifications--or what the government refers to as “salient characteristics”  Last week, I provided an overview of “ghosting” as it applies to RFIs. In short, ghosting occurs when a contractor recommends that specific information be included in a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) to give it a competitive advantage. As discussed, there are different aspects of RFIs that can be ghosted, including experience, certifications, and clearance; the use, or lack of use, of contract vehicles; and acquisition size. In this post, we’ll…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 2: Ghosting as a Response Strategy

May 11, 2022 | Business Development, Government

  This is the second in a series about Requests for Information (RFI) related to government work. We continue the conversation by defining “ghosting” in the bidding process and how it’s used strategically by contractors. When you hear the term “ghosting,” you may think of the modern definition of suddenly opting out of a relationship after frequent contact. As it applies to contracting, however, it means quite the opposite. “Ghosting” as an RFI strategy demands being very present in terms of the relationship you hope to build with a government entity.   Here’s how it works: a contractor will recommend that…

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FYI on RFIs, Part 1: Do I Have to Respond–and What’s the Minimum I Can Include?

May 4, 2022 | Business Development, Government

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash This is the first in a series of posts in which I’ll discuss different aspects of responding to Requests for Information (RFI) related to government work. I'll begin by talking about whether RFI's are a necessary prerequisite to winning government bids, and then I'll detail some best practices for ensuring your RFI keeps you in the running. I’m often asked whether it’s necessary to respond to an RFI to win a government bid--and, if so, what’s the minimum that can be included in a response. The bottom line is that it is not required--but my…

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When should you protest a government award?

April 27, 2022 | Business Development, Government

When my company first started pursuing government contracts, I took a different approach to protesting government awards. I was impatient, impetuous, and had a little larger chip on my shoulder--and as a result, I did some things that I should have done.  While I’m not an attorney, I’ve learned some things along the way about when it’s worth issuing a protest and when it’s better to walk away. Here is some advice that I now follow--and recommend to my clients. Don’t protest only because you’re angry. If you’re at all competitive, you will occasionally get angry when you don’t win.…

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MYTH: Government agencies always award contracts based on price alone. Lowest price always wins.

FACT: While some contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, government agencies also make awards based on the best value which includes trade-offs between the ability to perform the work, quality, past performance, and price.

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