A Few Salient Takeaways from CEO Panel to Small Businesses

February 11, 2016
By Katie Helwig

Sometimes, it's the simplest of ideas that can draw out the biggest change. This week, AFCEA International hosted a small business event that fostered some great conversations on hiring, business focus and capture strategies.

My favorite quote of the afternoon came from Barbara Gray, CEO of Gray Matters Technology: "In the federal marketplace, IT companies are like liquor stores, you can find one on every corner."

Her point? Determine how you plan to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

During the event, an all-star CEO panel offered attendees a few other golden nuggets. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • "Your focus as a federal contractor is to get your customer promoted." –Barbara Gray.
  • Do not name your company after yourself. –David Kriegman, Z2B LLC. (All on the panel enthusiastically agreed!)
  • Your company name should have meaning. Customers will ask. Be ready to deliver a memorable story. –Heidi Gerding, HeiTech Services
  • A prospective employee goes through a six-hour interview process with multiple people to ensure that he/she fits into the company's culture. –Eric Gillespie, Govini.
  • Companies should not be looking for business development, they should look for capture strategists. –Barry Landew, Wolf Den Associates.

Katie Helwig is manager of small business programs at AFCEA International.

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