Editor’s note: GPN contacted Angela Armstrong to learn what contractors need to do if they want to win government business before the curtain comes down on federal fiscal year 2017 on Sept. 30. Armstrong is a senior bid trainer at US Federal Contractor Registration (USFCR).

USFCR’s mission is to simplify the federal acquisition and contract award process for its clients. The firm, which is not a government agency, provides access to seasoned case managers and current technologies that help federal vendors better position themselves against their competition and succeed as government contractors.

Armstrong’s background includes years of working in the legal field. This experience enables her to help her firm’s clients become better educated in legal issues related to government contracting. She also teaches clients how easy it is for a small business owner to become a government contractor, provided he or she has the right team in place. Armstrong likes to say that she opens the door to government contracting for owners of small businesses and teaches them how to walk through it. Below are Angela Armstrong’s views.

As the end of the fiscal year nears, government contracting officers are looking at how to best allocate (i.e., spend) any contracting dollars they have remaining in their budget. Usually, leftover contracting dollars don’t roll over to the next fiscal year, which may not be a problem if the agency doesn’t have anything on which to use the money. BUT, the bigger issue is that by not spending the allocated funds, the agencies may affect how much they receive during the next budget cycle.

To keep your business, products, and/or services on an agency’s radar, I strongly encourage my government contractor clients to refresh their capability statements, marketing materials, and website – when applicable – and let their agency contacts know about the changes as they make them. Letting an agency forget about you is one of the biggest problems I encourage my government contracting clients to avoid.

US Federal Contractor Registration works closely with our clients to make sure they don’t make this mistake – as well as other mistakes that can cost them a contract. For example, you’re not going to win every contract on which you bid. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. But don’t look at missing out on a contract as a lost opportunity; instead, look at it a learning opportunity.

Ask the government buyer why he or she went with another contractor (we call this “debriefing”). Also find out as much as you can about the contractor who received the contract and his or her offer. Some agencies won’t give out this information, but thanks to our proprietary Advanced Federal Procurement Data Search, we give our clients access to this information and a lot more – including information about opportunities the minute they’re posted, which usually beats official notifications via FBO by a business day at least.

Learning about opportunities first has clear benefits, least of which is giving you more time than the competition to craft a response that will generate interest and a contract award. USFCR provides training for our clients who are interested in learning how to craft these types of responses, as well as for clients interested in learning more about locating, researching, and bidding on opportunities in more general terms.

The end of the fiscal year is no time to take a break from government contracting. In fact, now may be a perfect time for you to make an impression; share information about your company, products, and/or services; and cause an agency and/or government buyer to keep you in mind the next time an opportunity comes along that you can fulfill.

US Federal Contractor Registration is the world’s largest third-party government registration firm. Our team has more than a combined 120 years of government contracting experience, and we make training opportunities available every day. For more information, call me directly at 877-252-2700, ext. 710 and/or visit us online at this site.

Editor's note: GPN will be spotlighting government buying and selling opportunities as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches. The topic will be discussed in a series of four Use It or Lose It e-newsletters that will be deployed in July and August before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept 30, 2017.

Please email michael.keating@penton.com if you'd like to submit a commentary on what federal buyers and contractors need to do before the end of the federal fiscal year, the federal marketplace or similar topic. Go here for a sample issue of the free Use It or Lose It e-newsletter.

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