Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Dan Callahan

Every once in a while, I need to take a step back and reground my motivations.  Why?  Because the federal market--let alone the most intricate and challenging portion of the federal market… (i.e., the DoD and intelligence community submarkets) require long term stamina.  I recently got a reminder of what a typical warfighter goes through on an average day in Afghanistan.  If you have not read what a typical day in-theater is like, please check this out: A Soldier’s Guide To Staying Healthy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  It will give you a new appreciation for the urgency in helping our military and intelligence professionals get home quickly.

Look carefully… camel spiders are really the one’s running the show in Afghanistan!

Another way to stay focused on the goal is to step back and see your federal market from 10,000 feet.  I recently spent some time with the private investment bankers at Kipps DeSanto and was very impressed with their analysis of the federal market and moreover, the IC’s unique contribution to the overall economic picture.  Their strategic analysis of trends in this space will help you to remember why you’re building a profitable, sustainable and differentiated revenue stream. 

Their April newsletter clarified for me what is happening at the strategic level: the natural stability of the federal market is still very attractive to the traditional commercial firms who specialize in diversified offerings, especially since commercial firms are looking for stable revenue to be able to ride-out the roller coaster economy we’ve all seen over the last several years.  Single digit growth (or even flat revenues) would be a welcomed refreshment in a global economy that is seeing double digit downturns.  Hence, the high interest in profitable, sustainable and differentiated federal businesses by the diversified services firms in the commercial space.

This is why you do what you do:  To ultimately build an attractive company that will be highly desired by large or midsized, more diverse product and service firms.  And when you’ve accomplished this, you will begin to see the big money start to flow.  If you have doubts of this, I recommend browsing the Kipps DeSanto newsletters at  It is easy to get lost in the tactical and day-to-day decisions of delivering on promises and proposals.  If you’re at all like me, you need constant reminders that keep you motivated to stick with it.

So, hang in there, small business owner!  The United States intelligence community and DoD are two of the most stable submarkets in the global economy!  Building a successful business here will be highly rewarded if you can make a go of it.  Don’t give up!  It will be worth the journey!