Companies make success a habit

Steve LeSueur

Sure, the federal market is hot, but that doesn't mean life has gotten easier for small and mid-size companies.

Unlike Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and other household names, small businesses still must fight for face time with potential government customers. After all, why would a project manager put his or her credibility on the line for an unknown business?

At the same time, agencies are bundling their information technology requirements into larger contracts, making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to bid as primes.

Mid-size companies, say in the $200 million to $500 million range, often find themselves stuck in a no man's land of government contracting: not large enough to prime the big contracts, too large to qualify for small-business set asides.

Despite these obstacles, many small and mid-size companies are doing quite well. Staff Writer Gail Emery talked to their executives to uncover their secrets for success. What's interesting is that many of these companies pursue different, even opposite, strategies. The key is that whatever path chosen, it works for that company.

Gail's front-page story could be characterized as "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Small and Mid-Size Businesses." I'm doing a copyright search on that title right now.

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