Federal News Network: Federal contractors moving ahead after a bizarre 2022 fiscal year

For the federal government, thanks to Congress, the fiscal year rarely starts on time. But it always ends on time. And now this first week in July, contractors are making the start of the fiscal quarter in which the government spends the biggest portion of available dollars. For our yearly year-end prep talk, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen…

Larry Allen: Tom, the FY 22 year for government contractors and their customers has been weird indeed. You referenced Congress – delays in congressional appropriations effectively cut the 2022 fiscal year in half. But here we are back in our old familiar part of the year, the fourth quarter, also known as federal busy season, this is the time of year when most of the business gets done. And increasingly, Tom, that work is shifted to the very end of this quarter, even for projects that used not to be done. At the very end, things like complex service buys or large IT acquisitions. We see a lot of those being pushed back until the last two weeks of September even. So I’m talking to contractors right now about three things that they need to work on for the fourth quarter. And this is one of them, which is don’t assume that it’s over until it’s over, you have to make sure that you’re tracking your leads, you’re following your pipeline, you’re staying in contact with your business partners and your would-be customers until the very, very end of the fiscal year, precisely because so much gets done at that very end of the year. And I think with the very late start to this fiscal year, Tom, that’s even going to be more exaggerated. So no contractor vacations until the 2nd of October…

Tom Temin: And by the way, it’s probably also important to point out that you need to be selective in the vehicles you offer, because some of them are faster and more flexible than others.

Larry Allen: And this is something that I always counseled companies on. And that is make sure that your customers know how to get to you. You may have done an excellent job of telling them what solutions they can get from you and the functionality of those solutions. But you need to follow it up with answering the “how” question, and the “how” question is making it easy and fast to buy from you. And while I don’t think that it’s a good idea to give your federal buyers 15 different options. I do think that you want to give them two or three so that they understand, hey, I can get you on GSA’s schedule. I can get you on NASA SEWP or maybe I can do a small business set aside with you if the company qualifies as a small business concern? Don’t assume that your federal buyer has all the information on quick and effective acquisition methods. Make sure you’re providing them with a couple of good options…

Read the full interview here.

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