More secrets of small business

2006 Small Business Report

Small-business programs offer hope, but companies still struggle to find the best contracts, navigate procurement rules and break down barriers.

In this Special Report

  • In small-business IT contracting, the challenge is distinguishing which agencies have the dollars and a willingness to assist

  • Fast 50 execs share how they've risen to the top.

  • Making the team: What you need

  • Buy Lines: Narrow policy matters trip up small-business program
  • 2006 Top 25 8(a) Contractors

  • 2006 Fast 50 Government Contractors

  • Online forum featuring small business expert Guy Timberlake
  • What feeds success?

    » Building corporate infrastructure

    » Delivering and exceeding expectations

    » Empowering managers

    » Flexibility

    » Luck

    » Lucrative incentives to keep good people

    » People

    » Processes to improve and assure quality

    » Right business models

    » Technical skills

    How do you manage rapid growth?

    » Corporate governance

    » Grow infrastructure to keep up with revenue

    » Internal communications

    » Know when is the right time to invest in your infrastructure

    » Learn how to move employees into new roles and responsibilities

    » Learn how to say "no" to customers

    » Maintain corporate culture

    » Recruit and keep good people

    » Standardize business processes

    What is the biggest challenge?

    » Building a business development structure

    » Capitalization and managing cash flow

    » Financial management

    » Getting the right people into the company and the right jobs, getting the wrong people out

    » Hiring good senior managers

    » Managing change

    » Overcoming small-business stereotypes

    » Preparing for full and open competition

    » Surviving the loss of a key employee

    » Teaching leadership skills as the company grows; different skills are needed at different levels

    » Transition from entrepreneur to CEO

    What are the biggest challenges you face today?

    » Creating a good work environment

    » Finding people, especially with security clearances

    » Finding teaming opportunities with larger contractors

    » Managing customers with tight budgets

    » More competition

    » Transition from small to midsize

    Where are the business opportunities?

    » Business intelligence

    » Business process outsourcing

    » Collaboration and integrated communications

    » Content management

    » Defense Department

    » Enterprise performance measurement

    » Enterprise systems management and help desk

    » Health care

    » Homeland Security Department

    » IT security

    » Knowledge management solutions

    » Logistics

    » Managing agencies infrastructure

    » National intelligence agencies

    » Procurement support

    » Project management support

    » Web-based applications

    Based on an e-mail survey of companies on the 2006 Fast 50 list.

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