During the fourth quarter of the federal fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, government agencies are finalizing their acquisitions for the year. Agencies are assessing and calculating their remaining dollars to potentially check off a few items not purchased on this year's wish list.

Many small business contractors find that they can pick up a few hundred thousand dollars or even a few million dollars in revenues from various government customers during this period. This is especially true for small businesses with special certifications. This is especially true for small businesses with special certifications that have taken the time to prepare for the federal year-end buying season.

This year holds a few extra challenges that we have not had to consider in the past—sequestration and differing evaluation factors. This year, the pressure to complete acquisitions and spend budgets has put extra pressure on contractors as well as procurement officials, since staffing hours are cut up to 20 percent where furloughs have been implemented. Being able to anticipate and identify opportunities, being ready to respond and capture quickly and have your pricing competitive, has never been more important. 

You may have won a contract with a customer who loves you and was willing to pay a bit more since they considered you the “best value,” but beware that the evaluation factor is quickly changing in importance and in reality. The term LPTA or “lowest price technically acceptable” is quickly becoming the leading factor in choosing winners.

So how can small businesses land more dollars in this fourth quarter of FY2013?