Not every Federal agency or geographic market is cut from the same cloth. When you’re deciding which contracting opportunities your 8(a) construction firm should target, it takes a lot of up-front
leg work to know where your efforts will be best invested. That’s why it’s Important to have an intuitive business plan before you go knocking on agency doors.
There’s a lot to consider when forming your plan. To get started, here are two key points to remember and common pitfalls to avoid:
Create realistic financial projections.
If you’re constantly projecting higher sales volumes than what you actually bring in, your bonding opportunities will suffer. More importantly, your employees are counting on this work coming to fruition, and you must stay accountable to them. Conduct a thorough analysis of each market, agency, and project you’re targeting. Then, choose your opportunities based on projected ROI. Be realistic about your chances of winning a contract and the cost of business if you win it. Some projects will require more investment than others to be profitable. If you’re too optimistic in your projections, you’ll likely end up with a disappointing ROI. So instead, forecast conservatively; it’s better to under promise and over deliver.
Properly define the target customer.
Before you pursue a customer, you should have a clear grasp of their needs and your capacity to deliver on them. These are the two biggest mistakes I see from 8(a) contractors:
- Acting entitled.
Just because you’re an 8(a) doesn’t mean the customer is required to give you a contract. To work with the government, you have to show you can add value to the mission. The contracting agency has an end user to support within a specific budget and timeline — and as a contractor, you can either help or hinder that mission. At sales meetings, be ready to explain how you can help, and provide tangible, relevant examples of the value you bring to the table. If you can’t, don’t expect to win the contract based on your 8(a) status alone.
- Assuming an opportunity is the right
The last thing you want to do is take on a $20 million project you’re not equipped to handle. Too often, I see an 8(a) win a big award and then default or go out of business because they bit off more than they could chew. To avoid being a one-hit wonder, don’t target customers and projects you’re not ready for yet. Before you go all-in, be honest with yourself about whether you have the resources to meet the requirements. If not, then make that a long-term goal.
Bold Concepts Can Help
When pursuing construction contracting opportunities in the Federal market, it’s important to be realistic, self-aware and forward-thinking. Do your research, understand your audience, and choose wisely. Above all, approach business in a way that prioritizes your customer’s critical mission.
Bold Concepts can help you with these steps and more. Contact us today to start putting together your strategic business plan.