Intel Small Business Blog

September 12, 2012
Dan Callahan

Selling into the IC and the Defense agencies is not easy.  Here is part three that will convince you to “up your game” when it comes to tools—in this case, procurement databases and news services, that help you stay on top of events and sales leads.

You may have noticed that I won’t say which one is the best because I believe this has to do with one’s needs and preferences.  The best for my situation may not be the best for you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012
By: Dan Callahan

This is part 2 of a short series on tools you can use to increase your efficiency in hunting down targets and understanding your IC and Defense markets. It would be a challenge to use all of these but without much trouble, you’ll find the right mix for you and your business. Side Note: understanding your core market is critical to solving problems in it, especially with technology and innovation. Put yourself in the shoes of a defense or intelligence program manager: would you listen to someone trying to sell you something if she/he did not understand the larger context of your challenges? Maybe yes, may no. Good business developers are constantly trying to remove barriers to building relationships with clients and prospects. Ignorance of your client’s world is an easy barrier to remove.

Monday, July 16, 2012
By: Dan Callahan

Like a good horse for a range-roving cowboy. Like a decent hammer for a carpenter. A business developer needs tools to hunt down the right business opportunities and to efficiently engage the right clients. Several news tools have come to my attention recently and several older ones that still provide great value. This blog entry is one of several, over the next weeks, to highlight what’s available for the current BD practitioner in the federal/defense market. If you have been a BD professional for awhile and are not updated, this will help. If you’re still learning, this will be even more help. In any case, having the right tools is vital.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
By: Michael Gallo

In part 1, our guest blogger discussed the wisdom found in sharpening your pencil on cost build-ups before applying margin as well as the wisdom in asking the right question to assure your bid and your delivery of services is solving the right problem. Here, in part 2, we explore how to be more competitive via learning from previous projects and using this to win the next one.

Monday, June 04, 2012
Guest Blog By: Michael Gallo

There is mere 'opinion' in this market and then there is 'qualified opinion'. In the case of the former, everybody has at least one. Just ask someone what small businesses can do (in the intelligence and defense markets) to become as competitive or more competitive than large businesses, and you'd get a mixed bag of answers. Below--and in the next blog entry, are the comments of Michael Gallo, owner and principal consultant of Valerisys Consulting. ( He has a qualified opinion to address several core issues that many services firms (in this market) deal with on a weekly basis: capital investment decision making in the federal sector including cost and price forecasting, modeling, assessment and review, proposal support, and training. Michael's 20+ years of experience has given him insights that many of us may miss. What is so valuable here is that (in my opinion) if you take his advice, you'll better understand how to solve real challenges, and with a higher quality of service. And being better at what you do will cause you to win more business as a direct result.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
By: Dan Callahan

The world is changing in small as well as large ways. If you’re not adapting, you may be losing ground to your competitors. In fact, I’m working evenings and weekends, to gain the competitive edge right now… possibly on your company.

Monday, March 12, 2012
Dan Callahan

Even during a drought, weeds seem to continue to grow. This reminds me of when I was a kid, my dad had a full stock portfolio during the recession of the early 1970s. And he made money! He reminded me that thrift stocks and things like aftermarket auto parts grow because fewer car owners can afford to take their vehicle to the mechanic, so they fix it themselves. These two examples serve to remind us that shifts are constantly occurring in any given market. The key is to follow the flow of money, during the shift.

Friday, February 17, 2012
Dan Callahan

Real changes are afoot and your company needs to flex with the times. In reading the out-takes from the 2013 federal budget handed down by the executive branch, small businesses serving the Defense and intelligence markets need to tune their offerings in order to be responsive. First, let's quote Mary Ann Lawlor's article in AFCEA Magazine's Signal Connections (2/13/12):

Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Dan Callahan

Is your firm participating in any trade shows this calendar year? The chances are probably high that you are. Allow me to recommend a few tips; I have been practicing these for years in the IC table top shows, and they work; i.e., they drive results. No team would execute them perfectly, but it’s not rational to spend the cash for this trade show marketing and give a half effort once your team arrives at the venue.

Thursday, January 05, 2012
Dan Callahan

When I was a kid, my dad made good money during the very early 1970s, which had a particularly poor-performing stock market. I grew up believing that even during a recession… certain things actually go up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Dan Callahan

Let's give Credit where it's due… the Director of National Intelligence is shooting straight. At a recent speaking venue, he said, "now we're in a 'we're in a running out of money so we must think' mode, I think this is serving as a stimulus, if you will, to do some more creative thinking. I think this would do wonders in terms of saving money, efficiency and promoting integration".

Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Dan Callahan

AFCEA's Signal Magazine Chief Editor, Bob Ackerman, hosted a recent "Five Questions" Series interview with Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Wow. I highly recommend this to anyone who has ever aspired to effective leadership in any capacity.

Monday, November 14, 2011
Dan Callahan

Too often, as small business owners, we’re tempted to use our agility to jump around and try new things even before we have given our current plan a chance to succeed. This is a great time of year to escape to a quite place—some Tuesday afternoon, and pull out your 2011 goals. Take an honest look at where your team succeeded, where it failed and where you simply did not track or pursue the goals at all. Before 1 January, recalibrate this plan for 2012. (For those readers who you made these adjustments already, using the federal fiscal year, then an end-of-first quarter review is what you would call your review.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Dan Callahan

This caught my attention and I recommend it to all sales personnel, business developers and managers of same:

Monday, October 03, 2011
Dan Callahan

Somebody help me, please. I need either therapy or a definitional explanation, or both.

Why do I get roused every time I see a small business with the man or woman at the top titled "chairman"? Isn’t the term used for publically held companies where there is stock, a full sized board of directors and divisions, etc. rather than small, privately held LLCs and sole proprietor entities?

And the same goes for the title of ‘chief executive officer’. Doesn’t this imply a person is Chief among a cadre of sector VPs, regional officers and other managers who can commit an organization?

This may be peevish on my part, but I don’t care for titles that inflate one’s size or importance. And I’m thinking there are many titles out there that attempt to do so.

Can anyone help me with this?

Monday, September 19, 2011
Dan Callahan

For starters, why does the US Army love heat and humidity during August? Tampa during the last part of summer is three degrees from Hades (or at least it felt that way!). In spite of the heat, my team had a successful--if not perfect go-of-it the Bay City.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Dan Callahan

Some professionals occasionally exhibit poor sales and business development behavior. I probably should not be surprised but it still makes me chuckle…
At a very well done AFCEA-DC event, I had an enjoyable conversation with another professional whom I have seen over the years and occasionally talked with. At this most recent conversation, I learned that his daughter when to my ala mater high school (a fun coincidence!) and we talked about some fund raising that he was involved in. I don't remember talking about his company products (which did not bother me one bit). In general, a polite conversation.

Monday, August 15, 2011
Dan Callahan

With this idea (i.e., Spend Money to Save Money), I am repeating Scott Lewis, a northern Virginia consultant serving the systems integrator market here in the federal arena. He explains that "Without a compelling cost justification there is no way an agency will invest to reduce O&M cost". He is dead-on target with this… and it is becoming true, to an increasing level, with so many eyes looking for ways to cut the Defense and intelligence budgets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Dan Callahan

Getting on a prime contractor's team can be daunting if you're not used to the dance routine. But it is a critical skill for anyone trying to enter the federal market, let alone the IC and DoD markets. Here some tips that will keep you focused.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Dan Callahan

Wait. Don't roll your eyes! If you're over 40 years old, you may be tempted to do so, but I would caution you, to stop doing so, if that's the case. What matters is the client's perception of "Cloud Computing" (CC) and what they think about it. If they either want to or currently do-- believe in CC, then don't argue with them (even behind their back).