This is a guest post by Dennis and Kathy Demolet of Demolet Consulting (www.demoletconsulting.com).
You are a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. You have your official certification logo from the Center for Veterans Enterprise. You have your SAM registration (https://www.sam.gov) up to date and ready to surf Fedbizopps (www.fbo.gov) and other procurement web sites for good opportunities. What now?
To keep as many opportunities coming your way as possible, procurement specialists will beg you to answer as many RFI’s (Request for Information’s ) as you possibly can. As long as there are at least two good responses, the opportunity can remain in the small business or sdvosb arena. To facilitate your responses, have good information for your company available in easily pasted paragraphs. Document how you accomplished steps in any previous work you have done whether for the government or commercially; either will be adequate. Each RFI will ask for specific capabilities so be sure to only include those most pertinent to the request; in short ‘answer the mail’ completely and effectively. If others help write, be sure to keep the tone of your paragraphs similar so when you cut and paste, the document sounds cohesive. In your reply make sure you give good background information on your company and keep your response flow so the information can be easily matched to the request. As your business grows, always keep your document library up to date with these written descriptions of accomplishments. They will help you respond more often and more completely to both RFI’s and RFP’s.
Procurement professionals will often bemoan the fact that they don’t get adequate responses to these RFI’s and when they do, often they don’t contain the requested information. If an RFI matches your background, respond even if you may not bid. When contracting officers find it difficult to get adequate response, they get discouraged from trying which only eliminates rather than grows opportunities for your set-aside area.
It may serve your interests best to find a partner that can either respond or work with you to jointly make the opportunity work. When your business is very small, this is the best way to gain revenue. Other ways to make your life easier are to hire others for particular tasks if you can afford to do so. Often using a consultant to help find opportunities or an HR company to manage personnel issues are much more cost-effective than a full-time overhead staff.
It pays to work smarter not harder. Your work must be professional. The image you create for your company reflects who you are and your corporate ethic. You don’t have to be big to be professional.
Dennis and Kathy Demolet of Demolet Consulting (www.demoletconsulting.com) help companies shorten their learning curve to government contracting and identifying and targeting their best customer market (agency).
Go to www.TADPGS.com to view our job openings and join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans and Companies at http://linkd.in/Sg346w. If you have specific questions about issues affecting you, your benefits, your dependents etc., feel free to send them to me personally and I will try to help you. If you have questions about compensation and disability benefits or VA health care benefits, ask the First Sergeant at [email protected].