By Carl Sara  |   Submitted On June 11, 2018


istake #1. Lots of small companies try to grow too big too fast. Small companies are resource constrained. Stick to your knitting and do only what you do best. Not even large companies try to be all things to all potential customers.

Mistake #2. High order volume can swamp small business quality control safeguards. Remember, your reputation is built on the quality of the product you ship. When the order volume increases, ensure the quality control, the resources and the processes match the increase in production.

Mistake #3. Workplace politics and office dynamics can hurt productivity. Small companies especially can become wedded to the status quo. Don’t be afraid to make policy, task assignment or employment changes that are in the best interest of the business.

Avoid these three common mistakes and your business can grow.

NOW, Here are 5 Steps to Winning the Right Government Contracts:

Step #1. Hire a proven business development leader and empower her/him to execute a planned process. Don’t fool yourself by giving a junior person on your team the title, and expecting that person to miraculously know what to do. You are setting them — and your company up for failure. Would you hire your plumber work on your car engine? Would you have your electrician fix the kitchen sink leak?

Step #2. Develop a strategic plan and update it quarterly. Seriously examine how well it matches your corporate capabilities to the marketplace opportunities. Are you targeting the right agencies based on your skills? Are you honest with yourself on what you are really good at doing?

Step #3. Develop and execute capture plans for each ‘Must-Win’ opportunity. If you lack certain expertise seek a partner with that talent and recruit that company to be part of the team. Big companies do that all the time. No reason why you should not.

Step #4. Develop corporate capabilities and approach features that favorably discriminate you from the competition. There’s plenty of ‘me-too’ companies out there. Figure out product or service enhancements that will set up apart. Otherwise, you are in a commodity marketplace.

Step #5. Establish the price to win first — then adjust the solution to fit the price. As much as everyone wants to hit a home run with the federal government, maybe getting the double is not only the best approach but the only viable one. Be real. Be reasonable.

Carl Sara is a seasoned, 30-year business development executive in the federal contracting community. He has won contracts upwards of billions of dollars for his clients which include both public companies and startups.

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Small business people are people with goals and values that can’t be calculated on a profit and loss statement.


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