Current wisdom suggests that the government services industry is safer and more predictable than the commercial space. However, the word around Washington is that the transition to a new presidential administration means few new opportunities in the near future and a slower government business pace.
The pressure and uncertainty is increasing for small businesses in the government market.
Hiring retired senior military officers for business development positions is a common practice. However, the business development role is highly misunderstood.
The key to growing revenue is to focus on business development via three critical components: Planning, People and Process.
Small and midsize government services companies need to grow, be acquired or be gone. Building a business development organization is a significant challenge but a crucial component of success.
Much has been written about capture and proposal management. At most companies it is a well-defined, documented and integrated procedure. Likewise, most business development organizations are well acquainted with the Step, Stage or Gate Review processes.
One of the significant outcomes of a successful business development process is client intelligence. This information comes in two forms: research intelligence gathered on an opportunity, client or request for proposals and personnel intelligence about individuals who experience problems, allocate funds and make purchasing decisions.
A proactive business development organization revolves around vision, plans, leaders and teamwork. Senior executives must have a vision for the company: where they want to go, how they plan to get there and how long they have to accomplish it.
An organization's culture is the aggregate of each individual'sthinking. It includes individual attitudes, beliefs,values and feelings. Cultural components can be positiveor negative. For example, many organizationsdon't really understand and value business development and, assuch, they've taken it for granted.
My last column outlined six challenges that can hamper organic and strategic revenue growth in your organization. In this column, I have identified seven key concepts to facilitate the shift from an independent federation - or stovepipe - business development model to a strategic growth model.