Mark Amtower


What's your 2012 New Year's resolution?

It’s easy to be average. You just have to go with the flow, do things as you’ve done them before, and things will be just fine, right?

But 2012 promises to be a year like no other for contractors. We may be facing a 10 percent across-the-board cut in federal spending thanks to a “no compromise” Congress.

There also is an administration push to ferret out fraud, waste and abuse, where even the perception of wrongdoing can hurt your company. We also may be facing more fixed-price contracting. And we can pretty much count on more continuing resolutions, again, due to the inability of Congress to fulfill its constitutionally mandated job of passing a budget each year.

Moreover, competition will be tougher than ever.

So what will your competitors be doing to undercut your market share and outbid you on the contracts that are coming out?

And what will you and your company do to remain competitive, to stand out in a very crowded field, to retain and gain market share in this more contentious environment? To maintain the status quo is akin to ceding market share. In other words, what are you willing to do?

Will you…

  • Join and participate in the association(s) that puts you in front of peers, partners and prospects?
  • Attend more agency briefings?
  • Find or create venues where you can meet more influencers in your niche?
  • Read the trade publications and the accompanying websites more frequently to stay up on what is happening?
  • Attend seminars that will help you remain current on the sales, marketing and business development trends, and the accompanying government regulations?
  • Make certain your bid and proposal staff is proficient?
  • Have your staff get certifications or CPEs in areas that will help them do a better job, and that might be required on upcoming contracts?
  • Develop deeper relationships with current and potential partners in the contractor community?
  • Develop deeper relationships with agencies where you currently work?
  • Review and enhance your use of web 2.0 tools such as webinars, blogging and social networking?
  • Look to maximize sales through your GSA Schedules and other current contracts?
  • Review your marketing program to make certain it is paying the high dividends you need in tough times?
  • Look to develop new or deeper relationships with editors, reporters, talk show hosts and producers to get some PR?
  • Product vendors also have to be aware of and prepare for the next stage of Selective Sourcing Initiatives on the GSA Schedules.

Many of the top performers in the government contracting community already do most of the things on the list above. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reviewing each activity to ensure it is paying maximum dividends.

Remember, 2012 promises to be a unique year for contractors. Those seeking the status quo, business as usual, will be left behind. Average simply won’t cut it anymore. For 2012, resolve to excel.

About the Author

Mark Amtower advises government contractors on all facets of business-to-government (B2G) marketing and leveraging LinkedIn. Find Mark on LinkedIn at

Reader Comments

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 gustroh Washington, DC

Survive another year.

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