In 2013, there are selling opportunities at the end of the federal fiscal year, says Gloria Berthold Larkin who is president of Baltimore-based TargetGov. The federal fiscal year 2013 ends Sept. 30.

Larkin’s company helps businesses sell the products and services that government buys. TargetGov provides tools to help contractors make connections to the people within federal, state and local governments.

Here are Gloria Berthold Larkin’s views on the government market as the federal fiscal year 2013 winds down.

GPN: How is the end of the federal fiscal year 2013 shaping up?
Gloria Berthold Larkin: I anticipate that both sequestration and budget cuts will have an impact on slower fiscal year-end awards of large contracts currently under source selection. These contracts would have normally been awarded in April, May, or June, and are now delayed until September.  

GPN: What is unique about federal FY 2013, that ends Sept. 30?
GBL: Between furloughs, retirements and budget uncertainty, acquisition staffs are holding many of these contracts for a last-minute shuffle of all of the remaining funds.

Here’s another characteristic of the 2013 federal marketplace: Smaller contractors are feeling the pinch as well, since there are very little funds left for discretionary purchases.

We will still see an avalanche of last-minute negotiations on the remaining best-value contracts with lowest-price technically acceptable (LPTA)-type contracts seeing a greater increase in usage, even for complex service purchases.

GPN: What can forward-thinking businesses do in this kind of environment?
GBL: Contractors who have aggressively worked customer relationships to use existing purchase vehicles such as Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), task order contracts and strategic sole-source vehicles will benefit from this shaky market.

GPN: What else is notable about federal FY 2013 and sequestration?
GBL: I predict that an unpleasant after-effect will occur when the 2013 federal fiscal year ends and invoices are submitted and contractors will be denied payment for services they performed on furlough days. Many vendors will need to fight for their billings if they have not prepared and documented furlough days appropriately.

Larkin is the author of a book, “The Basic Guide to Government Contracting: How to Build a Successful Business Selling Your Services and Products to the U.S. Federal Government.”

The book has strategies and tactics that can help businesses do the following:

• Determine if the federal market is right for your business

• Register as a federal contractor

• Locate the agencies that buy your firm’s services and products

• Find the opportunities perfect for your company

• Identify the real decision-makers

• Market your business with the decision-makers

• Price bids to win and still make a profit

Gloria Berthold Larkin explains in this video how to prepare for a federal government contracting conference.