By Global Services on Friday, March 29, 2019
Paying homage to Women’s History Month, on March 27, 2019, hundreds of Woman-Owned Businesses, partners, and industry experts gathered to discuss the opportunities and impact women in government contracting (GovCon) have on their clients, teaming partners, and the industry at the first ever “Women in GovCon: Never Go Against the Family,” sponsored by the federal contractor networking site govmates.
PANEL ON WOSB GROWTH STRATEGY IN THE GOVCON MARKET
As Institute Sponsors and part of the “It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business” panel, Global Services was there to discuss how WOSBs can capitalize on the GSA Schedule market and make a name for themselves in the world of GovCon. Jody Franklin, Global Services’ VP – Director of GSA Accounts, joined Summit Insight’s Judy Bradt and Wolf Den Associates, LLC’s Kimberly Pack to discuss how WOSBs can capitalize on connections, gain notable experience, and, of course, build their bank accounts.
On the panel, the three Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) stressed that being an WOSB, like having a GSA Schedule or any contract vehicle, will not automatically win business, but your strategy will. In other words: use it or lose it. You must actively work to drive procurement towards your WOSB by establishing solid working relationships with decision makers and key agency customers. Also, you may consider collaborating with other WOSBs to increase your exposure and establish a support network for future contracting endeavors. In the case of GSA Schedules, bringing in GSA to assist in the process can help seal the deal given their own financial stake in the game. In the end, make sure you take an active role in the procurement process and that your contract vehicle portfolio is robust and diverse so customers can see the full extent of your capabilities! PS: look for Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) on-ramps and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) in 2019.
KEY EVENT TAKEAWAY 1: KNOW YOUR WORTH
From set-aside contracts to subcontracting with a prime, women may find many opportunities for success in the GovCon market. While a WOSB certification will not automatically win you contracts, it does increase your visibility in a market looking to fulfill inter-departmental socioeconomic goals. Remember, the federal government’s target is to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to WOSBs. To this end, certain contracts are set aside exclusively for WOSBs. However, do not sit still and wait for set-asides! With a majority of WOSB contracts awarded outside of set-asides, it is CRUCIAL to build a foundation based on your excellence in your field.
On another note: consider subcontracting. In order to meet subcontracting goals, large Prime Contractors face significant pressure to ensure that their proposed teams include WOSBs, as well as other socioeconomic categories (such as Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs), Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HubZone), etc.). In other words, in order to capture that major contract, a Large Business would need YOU.
KEY EVENT TAKEAWAY 2: EMBRACE YOUR COMMUNITY
In any industry, finding a community of mentors, business contacts, and confidantes can make or break your business. Within the WOSB community, women can find potential teaming partners, free resources, and networking opportunities through organizations like the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Remember, by joining a community, you can gain access to a vast network of contacts that could blossom into steady working relationships.
Whether you’re a WOSB, a VOSB, or any other business type, navigating the federal marketplace can seem a daunting task. For answers about GSA Schedules, Small Business Set-Asides, and other key questions, contact Global Services today!
Created by Stephanie Alexander, CEO of BOOST, LLC and Katie Bilek, Senior VP of Republic Capital Access (RCA), govmates is a free platform in which government contractors can find teaming partners. Using a formulative approach to matchmaking, govmates facilitates teaming partnerships based on capabilities, customer past performance, set-asides, or other contract-specific needs.