Course #906-13-FXVA-1

The Business of Winning: Seven Steps in Government Contracting

Dates: Nov-01-2012 - Nov-02-2012


AFCEA Headquarters (Map)
4400 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033

Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm

Early Bird Rates In Effect through 10/01/2012!

$800 $700 Government AFCEA Member
$900 $800 Government Non Member
$1,100 $1,000 Non-Government AFCEA Member
               Non-Government Non Member

Note: This class has been cancelled. STUDENTS SHOULD BRING A LAPTOP TO CLASS.

Course Description:

The Business Of Winning: Seven Steps to Success in Government Contracting.  Strategy; Focus; Process; Competitive Positioning; Teaming; Relationships; and Marketing.

This two-day course focuses on the fundamentals of how government business is developed and won (and why people fail to win!), designed for people who want tools, structure, and a systematic approach to win more government contracts, avoid the traps, and hit the ground running toward success. Company owners and business development executives, small business liaison officers, mentor-protégé program managers. and procurement specialists, can learn how to excel in a challenging economy with a tight focus on cost effective pursuit of government contracts for business growth.

Some industry participants have already spent scarce resources on ill-advised government marketing activities like pumping out proposals in response to FedBizOpps notices and getting GSA Schedules without a clear understanding of how much time and money the pursuit will take. Others will have a strong commercial market track record, but are either newcomers to government contracting, or want to increase their success. This course gives everyone, regardless of experience, an organized way to fine tune their approach to a confusing market. Other members of this group are aware of the risks and provide the best advice they can to small business, but are overwhelmed by requests for help (all the more so with stimulus excitement), and often lack the time and resources to give small companies the support they really need to make good decisions.

The course delivers proven steps, tools and systems that build a foundation for success the risks of government contracting based on realistic expectations. The course uses the framework of Seven Steps To Success: Strategy; Focus; Process; Competitive Positioning; Teaming; Relationships; and Marketing. Company representatives and small business specialists alike will use these tools to guide a company's entry or expansion into government contracting.


This course concentrates on the challenge that the small business team (owner, business development executives, technical specialists and operations/administrative managers who deliver niche products and services), and prime contractors (who hold the government contracts to provide the products and services) are likely to encounter on the road to success in winning government business.

Active discussion, case studies developed from real-world questions offered by registrants, role play and small group exercises give industry students a confident start at tasks they will want to complete after the course. Government and prime contractor attendees can also evaluate how they might use or adapt these tools and techniques to brief the small businesses they counsel every day.

Business strategy, targeting, and relationship development form the foundation of this course, with an emphasis on free public sources of information and a review of pay-to-play options. The student will gain a solid understanding of how government business is developed -- for primes and subcontractors -- and get  workbooks to develop ideas both during and after class. The student will not complete a comprehensive business plan for winning government contracts; however, s/he will be able to combine technical or business skills with these tools and techniques to increase the likelihood of success and lower the costs.

The course begins with the most often overlooked foundation: business strategy. How does selling to government fit with the company's plans for growth? And how would pursuit of government contracts change today's plan? Focus explores the world of advance intelligence into opportunities -- where to find it and how to use it -- and setting priorities for winnable business. Process is an overview of how government does business -- key parts of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the most common contract vehicles, and the use and advantages of set-aside programs. Understanding competition is the foundation for developing the Unique Value Proposition, Capability Statement and effective meeting preparation. That prepares you up for Teaming, one of the most misunderstood concepts in government contracting. With those decisions in hand, we look at how winners develop Relationships in business networks essential to success, and choose among myriad options for spending Marketing resources.

The course is oriented to industry business owners and business development executives, small business liaison officials in prime contractors, small business specialists in government agencies, and those who manage mentor-protégé programs in both industry and government.

COURSE OUTLINE: The Business Of Winning

The Course Handout will include the Government Contracts Strategy Workbook and specific topic Reference Guides.


1.       Strategy

  • How Government Buyers Fit Your Business Plan
  • Defining Core Competency
  • Setting Your Business Mix Goals
  • Capacity Forecasting
  • Critical Resources and Constraint Considerations
  • A Classic Strategy Assessment Framework for Government Markets:

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threast.

2.       Focus: Forecasting & Targeting

  • Avoiding the FedBizOpps Traps
  • Using Past Contract Data to Size Up The Market
  • Spotlighting Your Prospects
  • Creative Ways To Find Buyers’ Hot Spots
  • Reviewing Forecasts to Narrow The Field
  • Creating Your Priority List

3.       Process -- Keys For Business Development

NOTE: This module provides high-level introduction to key points that students may learn in depth on AFCEA Course 901

  • Following The Money: From Capitol Hill On Down
  • Steps In The Buying Process
  • Registrations and Certifications
  • The Federal Acquisition Regulations: Essential Section Review Pre-Solicitation Tactics:  Acquisition Planning and Vendor Positioning
  • How Government Buys
    • Large Complex Requirements
    • Urgent Requirements
    • Smaller Purchases
    • GSA Schedules: Debunking The Myths
    • Leveraging Preferences For Small Business
  • Proposal-Writing: Keys To Success
  • After The Win: Some Tips for Top Performance, Retention & Referrals


4.       Competition

  • Researching Your Competitors
  • Keys To Unseating Incumbents
  • Differentiating Your Company
  • Creating Your Unique Value Proposition
  • Drafting -- or Fine Tuning -- Your Capability Statement
  • Documenting Past Performance

5.       Teaming

  • What Primes Want
  • Top Teaming Traps -- What Not To Do
  • Identifying Top Teaming Prospects
  • Researching Your Primes
  • Discussion: Productive Outreach to Small Partners
  • Discussion: Fostering High-Potential Small Business
  • Mentor-Protégé Programs
  • Preparing For Teaming Meetings
  • Teaming Agreement Essentials: Preventing Bait-and-Switch
  • Protecting Your Interests

6.       Relationships

  • Government Buyers: The Five People You Need To Meet
  • Where The Primes Are: Front- and Back-Door Keys
  • How to Strengthen Your Government Business Network
  • Finding, Choosing, & Getting Value from Associations & Events
  • Contact Relationship Management: Gotta-Do's

7.       Marketing & Business Development

  • Foundation: Budget, Targets & Success Criteria
  • Where & When Lobbying Fits
  • Web Site Must-Do's
  • Avoiding Email Marketing Traps
  • Who Still Reads Direct Mail
  • Smart Tactics To Leverage Social Media: What's Working
  • Trade Press: Getting High-Credibility Coverage
  • Trade Shows: Do They Matter Any More?
  • The OSDBU Conference: A Special Case
  • Conferences: Opportunities On Both Sides Of The Platform


8.       Conclusion: The OODA Loop

  • Observe, Orient, Decide, Act
  • …and Repeat

Ms Judy Bradt
Course Coordinator and Lecturer

Ms Bradt is an award-winning and passionate educator, consultant and author on government contracts for corporate clients and their trusted advisers in industries including advanced technology, military systems, security solutions, professional services, and construction. She guided over 5,000 companies to win over $200 million in U.S. government contracts as top expert at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. She has hands-on experience with clients needing to find opportunities, develop business strategy, build teaming relationships, and resolve contract disputes. In addition to her consulting practice , Ms Bradt lectures for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at George Mason University and delivers courses for private and public sector clients. She holds a BA and an MBA.


This course is oriented to business owners and business development executives, small business liaison officials,
small business specialists, and those who manage mentor-protégé programs in both industry and government.
Course handouts will include the Government Contracts Strategy Workbook and specific topic reference guides.

This course covers the challenges small business teams and prime contractors are likely to encounter in winning
government business, using active discussion, case studies, and group exercises. Business strategy, targeting, and
relationship development are the foundation of this course, with an emphasis on free public sources of information.


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