For the Love of GovCon

It’s the season of love, or so we’ve been programmed to believe by the corporate folks over at Hallmark.  But we embrace the season…because having Feb be only about Groundhog Day just isn’t doing it for us.

As we reflect on love, the question is what do we love about GovCon?

There are a million reasons to hate GovCon or despise it.  But rarely do we speak about how the industry is much like a finicky lover, with many contradictions, and many quirks, but dang, we just can’t quit them.

It’s a study of opposites. GovCon has many contradictions where two opposite things are true at the same time.  It’s a hard lover to put up with, but the rewards are great.

  1. Frenemies. 

    Very few can go it alone here in the federal contracting world.  So, they partner with their competition for the greater good (i.e. winning).  Some companies go through teaming partners faster than they go through clean underwear.  Others have marriages of convenience with several select partners that they stay true to.  Whatever the strategy, it’s inevitable that you will eventually partner with a company on one bid and go against them as competition on another.  We are an incestuous industry, and we don’t care who judges us for it.

  1. Documentation. 

    Rarely has an industry had all its dirty business published for the world to see…by law!  RFPs are available for the public to review, POCs are available, spend plans for the next 5 years for an agency, and priorities are briefed in overly reviewed, watered-down PowerPoint briefs.  GSA schedules yield competition rates (never to be trusted, but it’s a starting point).  Contractors report their 5-year revenue averages, their headcount, their past performance, and their capabilities (usually a nice 1-page summary…i.e. the infamous cap statement or dating profile).  There is data on top of data on top of data, all for the ready.But alas, the other side of the coin.  You must shift through all the data and read between the lines.  What isn’t published, what isn’t obvious.  The pros can shred a proposal in hours and determine if they should go after it.  The pricing folks can do rate buildups on the competition.  The capture managers can find money to pursue in 3 years.  It’s a science and an art and no one nails it 100% of the time.  But the good ones come close.  They read the dating website and find the cray-cray with anger issues.  They find the lovable folks and can decipher between the two.  Companies that excel know not to play with those customers who are high on the hot-crazy scale, no matter what the funding.

  1. Newbies 

    One area the US Government does a decent job of is providing resources and help to the newly established companies.  The govt wants new blood in our industry. They offer excellent free resources and how-to’s with their Apex programs, the SBA website, etc.  There are accelerators to join, free webinars to attend, and conferences designed for newbies.  They publish their needs for all the world to see.  They invite you to respond.  They even tell you how to respond and what will make them happy, what makes them purr.Yet every company has the age-old problem of needing past performance to obtain new contracts.  And how does one get past performance when they are newly established?  Whelp, welcome newbie, as here is the harshest contradiction of them all.  We want to support you, but not until you’ve been in business a few years, had some success, and proven that you aren’t just a guy/gal in their basement making stuff up.  It’s the easiest industry to get into, yet one of the hardest to earn revenue from.  18+ month sales cycles, good old boy/gal network, lack of exposure to govies with money, much less money and contracting opportunities.  There are a million reasons why the defense industrial base is shrinking.  Much like Tinder, the government makes it easy to swipe, but so hard to find anything of substance.

  1. Sweet Marriage. 

    The US government spends more money than any other consumer in the world.  The contracts can be long (5, 10, even 10+ years).  The government wants a long-term relationship.  It wants to be married. It wants stability.  It wants the industry to stay monogamous, play by the rules (FAR), and get to know it intimately.  In exchange for this commitment, the govt is willing to let large contracts, worth billions of dollars.But know your place in the relationship.  The minute you get crazy, the minute you start playing loose and fast with the rules, the performance, the timesheets, the profit margins, your marriage can come crashing down.  It starts with earlier-than-expected than expected recompetes, negative CPARs, and the cold shoulder from the govt PM.  Divorce papers are often issued in the form of a T for C.  You get too crazy, and the restraining order comes as a debarment.  This relationship is dead.  You are past marriage counseling, past the point of no return.

GovCon is the cruelest mistress of them all, but we all know, we can’t quit them.

BARDA OTA Programs to Lead Development of Future National Health Security Countermeasures

As we emerge from a global pandemic, it is imperative to ensure we are well-equipped for the next one. With a renewed prioritization on preparedness and response, the last few years of medical advancement have demonstrated the need for existing, established partnerships to rapidly scale and execute when a public health emergency transpires.

As COVID-19 progressed, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) leveraged existing acquisition authorities – most notably Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – that enabled government and industry to collaborate and respond quickly to a global health crisis.   Through JPEO-CBRND’s Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (CWMD), the government was able to rapidly contract with industry for the development of vaccines, personal protective equipment, therapeutics and more.

Over the last few months, BARDA has launched two separate programs designed specifically to aid in the development of medical countermeasures with an emphasis on national health security, and the establishment of a manufacturing and industrial base for medical countermeasures. Both programs take the form of a government-sponsored OTA Consortium, a collaborative model where industry, academia and non-profit partners across the supply chain are able to join purpose-built ecosystems and bid on opportunities that are competed through these vehicles.

The Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle (RRPV) focuses on the “acceleration of products and technology development, regulatory approval, commercialization, and sustainment” and has already its first solicitation for the implementation of novel solutions to cGMP manufacturing hurdles and enablement of clinical trials for the next generation of COVID vaccines.

The Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Preparedness Consortium (BioMaP) features a 10-year agreement to expand the drug and vaccine manufacturing base in support of public health crises.  This includes manufacturers and suppliers of materials, drug substance manufacturing suppliers and fill finish services, and innovative manufacturing firms.  The first of many requirements has been released for the production of biologically derived small molecule regulatory starting materials.

Both RRPV and BioMaP consortia are managed by Advanced Technology International (ATI), a non-profit organization with the most experience as a consortium management firm in supporting US government-sponsored OTA consortia.  For more information about these consortia and how to get involved, please visit rrpv.org and biomap-consortium.org.

*Information and solicitations referenced were current at the time this article was written (01/2024)

The R&D Capital Conversation – 2023

Capital is the conduit by which small businesses survive.  The small business lending market in the US is estimated at $1.4 trillion with thousands of organizations relying upon outside capital for funding operations.  However, for many innovators in our ecosystem, their time is spent building and developing mission critical technologies, not financial models.

As the nation’s leader in R&D collaboration management, Advanced Technology International (ATI) has partnered with govmates to facilitate a series of discussions featuring financial institutions, investors, and advisors on the role of capital and financial tools for the emerging R&D community.

At the annual Defense TechConnect Conference, we hosted a series of educational sessions providing a foundational overview of capital structure and financial products that are most useful to small businesses in the R&D community.

The first presentation, delivered by Sharon Heaton of SBLiftOff, provided an overview of capital structure along with financial products across the debt and equity spectrum, including SBA products, conventional banking products (lines of credit), asset-based lending, receivables financing, mezzanine loans, and equity financing (venture, private and angel).

The second session featured a panel discussion with experts from the financial services industry covering capital solutions for every stage of a business’ lifecycle.  From the start-up phase to growth and mobilization, to eventual maturation, we spoke with Mustafa Nasseh of JP Morgan Chase, Matt Stavish of Republic Capital Access, and Glenn Noble of Prudent Capital on financial products that apply in every scenario.

The final session featured industry experts for a discussion on preparing a small business for the capital raising process.  Topics covered included key items for preparation, market timing, financial management, audits, success stories, and past examples of mistakes (no attribution, of course!).  Experts included Barry Rieger of Aprio, Ricky White of Cherry Bekaert, and Sharon Heaton of SBLiftOff.

Need more capital content? Reach out to Katie Bilek at katie@govmates.com for more information and 2024 programming.

The govmates Holiday Bash

Picture this… It is the end of November and December is literally knocking at your door. You’ve just returned from a long holiday weekend and a month of business-focused events stares you in the face. Your first assignment is a 5PM call at a local law firm. Great, law firms. “This is going to be typical.” you think. But as you arrive at the 15th floor of the building you walk into a gorgeous space hosted by Womble Bond Dickinson and discover that this networking event is anything but typical. You’re at a govmates event.  

If you’ve never attended a govmates event they stand apart for a variety of reasons. At this, our inaugural Holiday Bash in Tysons Corner, we hosted almost 200 government-contract focused individuals from a variety of verticals across the industry. That’s right, other than our event sponsors, the only attendees in the room are government contractors. We love our service provider friends, but they go to enough events, we want to make sure our attendees are connecting with potential teaming partners. That means other govcons. We had delicious food from La Casa in Alexandria (if swimming in tzatziki were allowed we’d encourage it), an open bar, and a holiday-themed featured drink. This year it was warm (optionally spiked) apple cider.  

The room was packed, and we mean packed, from 5pm until we had to gently remind everyone that “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” We even heard that there was an impromptu after party to continue many of the conversations started at the event. Though we had to close the bar, our event went well beyond the 5-7:30 timeframe in that we continued to make needle-moving connections throughout the days following the event. We received several requests for 8a and SDVOSB companies with specific capabilities, technology solutions/IT providers, and more.  

In short, it pays to join govmates, for free. You get access to matchmaking events, inclusion in teaming searches from agencies and primes, and first dibs on tickets to our networking events. In fact, if you missed out on this event, our next event “For the Love of GovCon” is February 8th in Tysons Corner and you can find tickets here.

 

A final big THANK YOU to our event sponsors who helped this event to be an absolute success, Womble Bond Dickinson (your space is amazing), The asbc, BOOST, Fulton Bank, and GovConPay. 

 

Happy Holidays from govmates, and we’ll see you in February!  

National Technology Alliance: Bridging Innovation

By Hannah Altman

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, collaboration is key to driving innovation and progress. The new National Technology Alliance (NTA) may well be a vital player in this landscape, fostering connections and offering a wealth of opportunities for those passionate about technology. The Alliance serves as a nexus for tech enthusiasts, professionals, and organizations, providing a plethora of resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy channels to propel the tech industry forward.  

Use Cases for NTA 

Technology Transfer and Commercialization: Research institutions and universities can collaborate with industry partners through NTA to bring cutting-edge technologies to market, creating a win-win scenario for innovators and businesses. 

Start-up Incubation: NTA’s support for start-ups is invaluable. By offering mentorship, access to funding opportunities, and a network of experienced entrepreneurs and investors, NTA can help nurture and grow the next generation of tech innovators. 

Policy Advocacy: NTA’s commitment to advocating for technology-friendly policies can have a significant impact. It can work with government agencies and policymakers to shape regulations that support tech advancement, promote innovation, and protect intellectual property rights. 

Collaborative Research: Through NTA’s collaborative projects and partnerships, research institutions can work alongside industry leaders on projects with real-world applications. This accelerates the development of groundbreaking technologies and fosters innovation. 

Education and Workforce Development: NTA can play a crucial role in bridging the gap between educational institutions and the tech industry. It can provide resources and support to educational programs that align with industry needs, ensuring a well-prepared workforce for the future. 

Global Networking: With TechConnect’s global reach, NTA opens doors for international collaboration. Tech innovators from different parts of the world can come together through NTA to share ideas, collaborate on research, and explore market opportunities on a global scale. 

Conclusion 

The National Technology Alliance, in partnership with ATI and TechConnect, represents a powerhouse of innovation, collaboration, and progress in the tech industry. As the digital age continues to reshape our world, organizations like NTA are pivotal in driving positive change. Learn more and join for free at nta.org 

Using and Protecting Your Intellectual Property

On September 27th, govmates facilitated a webinar with ATI presented by Cy Alba of PilieroMazza PLLC. (The full webinar replay can be found here.) The result was an hour of content packed with relevant and helpful information about Intellectual Property rights including:  

  1. The difference between rights and ownership; 
  2. The types of rights the government can hold and when they apply; 
  3. When and how you can limit the government’s rights in your IP; and 
  4. The biggest mistakes federal contractors make when developing IP. 

Here we’ll highlight a few of the key takeaways from yesterday’s discussion.  

Copyrights vs. Patents 

As a general rule, the Government can not own a copyright outright, but they CAN own it through assignment. Copyrights do apply to original works of authorship. While a really awesome bit of contract prose might not qualify for copyright, an original webinar could.  Clear as mud, right? This goes to say that there are circumstances and loopholes all around the landscape for IP and Data Rights so it makes the case for having a lawyer who knows the ins and outs.  

When it comes to Patents, there are a few things to remember. Federal agencies CAN hold patents. There are certain clauses that are typically included in contracts that involve R&D. These generally will include one or more of the following clauses: 

  • FAR 52.227-11, Patent Rights – Ownership by the Contractor 
  • FAR 52.227-13, Patent Rights – Ownership by the Government 
  • DFARS 252.227-7038, Patent Rights – Ownership by the Contractor (Large Business) 
  • DFARS 252.227-7039, Patents – Reporting of Subject Inventions 

Baked into these clauses is the understanding that the Government does get license rights if the invention was created during the time of the contract. At the onset of an invention/creation, you must declare and follow through on your decision to retain the title and ownership of a patentable product/service/etc. If you do not follow through within the established guidelines for ownership, you could inadvertently transfer the absolute ownership of your product/service to the government without a successful recourse for gaining it back. Something to note here is that if you are creating new things under an SBIR project, the SBIR does have certain protections for your work BUT if you choose to patent that work, you may lose SBIR protections as you have now made the information available to the public, thus negating the clauses within the SBIR agreements as they pertain to protection. This is the true meaning of a double-edged sword, so you will need to tread lightly.  

Data Rights 

Data rights have many caveats to ownership. The determination of ownership when it comes to technical data or computer software depend the following:  

  • When the item/product was developed – that timing typically depends on when it was make to work or created in a way that pushed the product from a work-in-progress to something that was fully able to be utilized 
  • The source of funding – was it privately funded? Did the creator receive government funds to push the project toward viability? Is there a mix of the two options listed previously? 

Legends 

We talked at length about utilizing legends in your noncommercial work to identify protected IP. When identifying pieces of protected intellectual property, it would seem that more is more when it comes to selecting the portions that need to be kept protected. In the FAR or DFARs, if a section ends with .227 you can bet it probably has something to do with Intellectual Property Protection. This is also where you will find the required legends to include in your documentation based upon the type of product or service you’re providing to your customer. Cy suggested creating a box of legends within your deliverables to specifically and clearly identify your protected IP. For example, if you are writing protected code, place your legend above the specific code and then again after it to create a “legend box” (non-technical term) that will clearly identify the pieces that can not be used outside of the contract license rights.  

Protection Strategies 

While it may seem that everyone is out to get a piece of your uniquely created pie, there are ways that you can protect your creations. The very first and least expensive way is to keep careful track of your data (what was created, when it was created, how it was funded, etc.). The second is to negotiate your license rights before bidding and award as trying to fix them later is often difficult and sometimes unsuccessful. Try to utilize a “work made for hire” provision to help clear the waters for potential license and ownership discrepancies down the line. Finally, know that if you are the limited/restricted license rights holder, you are not beholden to the Prime. You CAN go directly to the government, but that may be at the risk to your Prime-Subcontractor relationship. You’ll want to discuss all of these pieces with your Prime as early as possible to retain good standing of your relationship and protect your interests.  

Conclusion 

This webinar was, as mentioned, jam-packed with information regarding the highlights we shared above. We highly recommend throwing it on in the background or while on a walk to glean all of the truly important nuggets of information shared by Cy and the PilieroMazza team. When in doubt, get in touch with your law partners to demystify your IP opportunities. If you have questions regarding Intellectual Property rights in the Federal space, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  

Are You Listening? – govmates Next Gen

We’re quickly approaching the fiscal year end which also means we’re approaching the start of a brand NEW fiscal year. That typically has those of us in the GovCon space pressed for time. Luckily, you don’t have to forgo your love of learning, listening, and interacting with your govmates team.

We are pleased to announce the kickoff of Season Three of the govmates podcast, Next Gen!

This season kicks off with a discussion on readiness ahead of the new fiscal year. We then roll directly into episode two: Tales from a Contracting Officer with TSA CO Aubrey G (releasing Monday, September 25th) who gives us a unique perspective combining knowledge of industry and government opinions. Join us for the start of season three AND catch up on the past two seasons on your favorite podcast player including Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts.

If you have episode guest suggestions or discussion topics you’d like us to cover, email meg@govmates.com.

We’ll see you in the land of audio!

Key Employment Issues for the C-Suite, What Really Affects Your Bottom Line?

On July 19th govmates and ATI co-hosted a webinar presented by PilieroMazza PLLC on the topic of Key Employment Issues for the C-Suite and taking a good hard look at the things that really affect your budget as business owners. Here are a few of the golden nuggets we mined from the discussion. (You can find the full webinar replay here.)

Classifications 

One of the biggest and most costly mistakes that companies make is classifying employees incorrectly. An important thing to note is that classifications are no easy feat and there’s a bit of risk involved. There are well defined boundaries, sure, but the gray area is vast.  When we mean “classify” we’re talking about exempt and non-exempt employees. To break it down in the most simple terms, salaried employees are typically exempt, and hourly employees are typically non-exempt (but of course this isn’t always the case, and that’s why we have good employment lawyer friends). The zinger here is that if you get it wrong, you may have to pay overtime, benefits, other H&W costs, as well as the pieces that go into the correct wage determinations. Oof, sounds like a lot. Luckily, this is where your team comes into play. If you include your HR team, your managers on the ground (their assignment of duties can change exempt/non-exempt status) as well as your pricing team, you’ll have a better chance of getting it right AND having the documentation to back up your determination should you be subjected to an audit. The DOL has well-defined determinations when it comes to W2s vs 1099s as well, and to make your life easier – know that your employees don’t get to decide their status. Just because they “want” to be non-exempt doesn’t mean that they “are” non-exempt. If you follow the letter of the regulations, that should help you avoid the “but my employee asked to be…” conversations. That’s a risk you do NOT need to take.  

While we were talking about 1099s a bit, our first theme of the discussion emerged; differences by state. While GovCons need to follow Federal Regulations when it comes to employment, they also need to comply with specific and often differing state regulations. To spin your head just a little more, cities within some states (say NYC and NY State) there are even MORE differences. So, you’ll need to know exactly where your employees work and the regulations to which you’ll be subjected. As an example, in Maryland to be considered a 1099 the individual must have incorporated business of some sort, a working website, be actively advertising, have a business card, the ability to engage other clients, and more, just to name a few things. If those stipulations are not met, you may well have a full-blown employee on your hands… surprise!

Also, do you have Unionized Workforce Questions? Great! That’s a definite “phone a friend” situation and if you need that type of friend – given the experience from this webinar, we’d definitely recommend the team at PilieroMazza 

Employee Agreements 

Employee agreements are not a “one size fits all” type of document. They will change based upon the type of employee, their duties, as well as where the work is being done (oh hey, theme, welcome back!). Currently, all states apart from Montana, are at-will states. (This differs from “right to work” regulations and should be noted that way.) You CAN have an employment agreement for an executive and probably should. These can include incentive/bonus plans, IP protections, and any post-employment restrictions (such as non-competes or non-solicits). A big nugget here was on the topic of offer letters versus employment agreements. Do not, and we repeat, do not make your cover letter read like a contract. That can come back to bite you in the rear, in a big way. While the employment agreement should be tailored to your employee, the cover letter should be more standard. This is one place you can and probably should have more of a plug and play situation. It should also include contingencies, just in case they end up being a train wreck on day two. If you need something that reads like a contract, create one, don’t try to knock out two birds with an ill placed stone. 

Handbooks 

Let’s get a little into the weeds on handbooks. HRs love them and our presenters were big fans of the 30-50 page handbook instead of a handbook with hundreds of pages that people definitely won’t read. Talk about overkill. Handbooks get a bad rap but they’re actually a great tool when used correctly. If you haven’t revisited yours in the last 15 years, it may be time. Again, our theme emerges here: you may need to include different statues and requirements based on the states in which your employees reside. Things to include are your sick leave and vacation requirements, EEO policies and procedures, required trainings and certifications, drug testing requirements, etc. To get around having a different handbook for each state, our presenters recommended adding addendums to the end of the handbook for the states necessary.   

The Incumbent Rinse and Repeat Risk 

Let’s say you’ve recently won new work that had a previous prime/incumbent. Congratulations! It should be a breeze just to continue what they were doing to remain in compliance, right? W-R-O-N-G. You can’t assume that the incumbent was following everything appropriately nor that their requirements match your new contract. You’ll need to identify working conditions, contract terms, classifications, responsibilities, even going so far as to E-Verify citizenship. It may be a bit of a lift, but it is one that can save you time and penalty money later. Own your contract and your employee management to help ensure compliance and that you followed policy should you be subjected to an audit in later months/years.  

 

We’re lucky to know some really smart people in the GovCon space. Thank you again to Sarah and Nichole for sharing their time and expertise with us. If you have additional questions for the govmates team or our presenters, please email matchmaker@govmates.com. 

Office of Strategic Capital: Funding Critical Technologies

-As shared by Katie Bilek

At the recent R&D Capital Summit during TechConnect World, I had the pleasure of hosting a discussion with Jared Evans, Director of the Transition Acceleration Program (TAP) at DoD’s Office of Strategic Capital (OSC).   As a cofounder and former partner at AFVentures, Jared brings an incredible perspective of scaling technology ventures to support the federal mission.

Most important to our conversation was the “why” behind the Office of Strategic Capital.  The office was established in December 2022 with the mission “to develop, integrate, and implement proven partnered capital strategies to shape and scale investment in critical technologies.”   The growing dichotomy between the Defense and commercial R&D markets over the last few decades comes as no surprise – and part of OSC’s driving force is to foster private capital investment like we saw in the era just succeeding WWII.

OSC is taking a methodical approach to sourcing and funding these mission-critical technologies.

First, they work internally with the various military services, combatant commands, stakeholders, program offices and end-users to identify critical technologies in need of investment. 14 critical technology areas have been designated via OUSD R&D under Heidi Shyu’s directive in verticals including advanced materials, microelectronics, directed energy, hypersonics, quantum science, integrated sensing and more. You can read more about the critical technology areas here.

Next, they fund. The primary vehicle they will leverage is the SBIC model – one currently in place at SBA, being replicated and modified for DoD’s deployment in the SBIC Critical Technologies (SBICCT) Initiative. (At the time of this discussion, we’re still awaiting expansion of the existing SBIC program with new proposed SBA regulations. Until that happens, existing SBIC funds may be deployed for these initiatives that qualify in support of national security).

Launched at SXSW in Austin earlier this year, SBICCT Initiative will utilize a new financial product, the Accrual Debenture. Designed to span a longer duration, interest will accumulate and come due once the loan reaches its term. This will address the “patient capital” gaps seen in sectors that require significant up-front investment.

One of the great case studies for SBICs dates back to 1975 in Cray Research – an organization that received private sector funding to develop a technology – the first supercomputer – that the Department of Defense utilized during the Cold War.  On the verge of bankruptcy, Cray’s SBIC investment served as the bridge across the Valley of Death to sustain their development of a mission-critical technology.

As OSC prepares to deploy capital, I applaud their willingness to embrace debt as a source of liquidity. So often in the innovation ecosystem, when we talk about capital, the term “equity” is thrown around loosely as a seemingly all-encompassing solution to financial problems.  While equity capital is an option, it’s not the only one.  Equity can be expensive, dilutive and often introduces a new ownership dynamic to a business that can exhaust the human element. Debt, with the right financial partner, can be more affordable, non-dilutive and patient.

The coupling of private investment with federal funding is needed to fully realize a robust R&D development pipeline that is vital to our nation’s security.  The Office of Strategic Capital is building out the financial toolset that so many innovators need – I’m looking forward to the continued collaboration between the federal and financial communities, and the ultimate success of the program.

Out-of-Office, GovCon Style

As shared by Meg O’Hara.

Managing your small business while still finding time for summer activities with your family can be challenging. The summer season is often slower for many businesses, GovCon included. However, with careful planning and effective management strategies, you can maintain and even encourage growth during this period. Today, we will explore some essential tips to help you strike a balance between work and family, ensuring that you make the most of both.

  1. Plan Ahead and Set Clear Priorities:

Effective time management starts with planning. Before the summer season begins, assess your workload and identify any potential gaps or slowdowns. Use this time to plan strategically for the coming months and set clear priorities. Determine which projects or tasks require immediate attention and focus your energy on completing them efficiently. By having a well-structured plan, you can optimize your productivity while creating space for family activities.

  1. Delegate and Outsource:

One of the keys to managing your small business effectively is learning to delegate tasks that can be handled by others. Identify non-critical activities that can be outsourced to freelancers, virtual assistants, or subcontractors. Delegating such tasks not only frees up your time but also allows you to concentrate on core business activities that require your expertise. By sharing the workload, you can ensure that your business remains operational while you enjoy quality time with your family. If you need outsourcing recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask *matchmaker@govmates.com*, we know people.

  1. Embrace Technology:

Leveraging technology can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency as a government contractor. Invest in project management tools (we use HeyOrca for social planning), time-tracking software, and collaboration platforms that streamline your workflow. These digital solutions enable you to monitor project progress, communicate with your team, and manage tasks remotely. By embracing technology, you can remain connected to your business while enjoying the flexibility to participate in summer activities with your loved ones.

  1. Nurture Relationships with Existing Clients:

During slower periods, focus on nurturing your relationships with existing clients. Check in with them, provide updates on ongoing projects, and explore opportunities for future collaboration. By maintaining regular communication, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and foster loyalty. Additionally, satisfied clients are more likely to recommend your services to others, expanding your network and potential business opportunities. Additionally, we’d also recommend checking out local summer industry and networking events. Attending the ones you can will help to keep you top of mind with industry partners, as well as current, and potential clients. Shameless plug here: if you’re a government contractor we’d love to have you at our June 14th Prime Another Day Networking Event in Virginia. You can find the details to register here. 

  1. Diversify Your Services or Seek New Contracts:

Summer can present an opportunity to diversify your service offerings or explore new contracts. Analyze current market trends and identify areas where your expertise can be leveraged beyond your current projects. Research government agencies or sectors that are in high demand during the summer months and align your business accordingly. By expanding your services or exploring new contracts, you can minimize the impact of the slower season and stimulate growth.

  1. Invest in Professional Development:

Use the relatively slower period to invest in your professional development for you and your team. Attend industry conferences, workshops, or training programs that can enhance your skills and knowledge. By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field, you position yourself as an expert and open doors to new business opportunities. Additionally, ongoing learning can provide fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that contribute to the growth and success of your small business.

  1. Take Time for Yourself and Your Family:

Remember that a healthy work-life balance is crucial for your overall well-being and the success of your small business. Schedule regular time for yourself and your family to relax and recharge. Unplug (no really, mute teams and your email) from work and engage in activities that bring you joy and strengthen your personal relationships. By prioritizing quality time with your loved ones, you not only create cherished memories but also return to your business with renewed energy and focus.

 

Managing a small business as a government contractor while enjoying summer activities with your family requires effective planning, delegation, and embracing technology. By setting clear priorities, nurturing client relationships, diversifying services, and investing in professional development, you can maintain and encourage growth even during slower business seasons. Remember to find a healthy balance between work and family, as taking time for yourself and your loved ones is essential for long-term success and happiness.