Asher Government Business Development Consultants – 4 Tips for Winning Bigger Contracts

In our work as business development consultants for government contractors and organizations , we know that competition for government contracts can be fierce.  It’s not just enough to get a piece of the pie – you want as much of it as you can possibly handle, or even more so you can start subcontracting out to take a profit off their work too.

Asher Government can help make that happen. Based on decades of real-world experience selling to the government, we can prepare you and your team to navigate contract bidding in a way that’s smarter, more efficient, and more likely to land you the prime contracts you want.

If you’re looking for some quick tips, this should help pique your interest.

Four Ways to Land Bigger Government Contracts

  1. Mergers & Acquisitions

If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.  M&A can easily be a route towards much bigger and better government contracts.  You don’t merely get the contracts currently on the table, you also get all of the contacts, network, and subcontractors that go along with your acquisition.

With enough cash-on-hand, this could land you that coveted contract critical to your long term growth.

  1. Focus Your Efforts

The shotgun approach is never a good idea for government contract bidding.  Take your time, study your options, and focus on those agencies or sectors which most align with your own competencies.  Invest heavily, but wisely, in those targeted areas, and leave everything else to other companies.

  1. Keep Looking Ahead

Chasing after jobs which are getting posted on the government websites is for smaller businesses who are happy picking up the scraps.  Smart government contracting means looking 3-5 years down the line, predicting needs which will arise, and positioning yourself to be in the right place at the right time.  Forecasting is crucial if you want to land more major contracts and maximize your profitability.

  1. Hire for Contracting Experience

It will always be easier to hire someone with strong contract bidding experience than to train a newcomer.  If you aren’t looking hard at the proposal win rate background of your potential hires, you’re potentially passing up huge opportunities.  In particular, those with experience creating fast-turnaround bids in response to unexpected opportunities can bring you short term income and quick wins.

Learn From Highly Experienced Business Development Consultants

Asher Government is one of the nation’s leading business development consulting firms, with classes and seminars to suit businesses of any size.  If you’re ready to win big in government bidding, contact us today.

Glossary of Vital Federal Business Terminology

Asher Strategies is a resource to help businesses of all sizes become better at government marketing, contract bidding, and development training.  To this end, we have put together a short glossary of some of the most important terms involved in government sales.  If your organization is new to government contract bidding, be certain to familiarize yourself with all the terminology on this list.

A Glossary of Vital Federal Business Terminology

Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)

Allows an agency to establish an ongoing relationship with a contractor to continually provide a product or service as needed.

 Business Development Consultant

A consultancy firm or individual dedicated to advising businesses on making new contacts within the government and improving their bidding procedures.  Business development consultants are generally ex-government and their own personal list of contacts is a major selling point.

 Business Development Strategies

A business development strategy is a standardized approach for cultivating new business opportunities either from existing accounts or by targeting new accounts.  Strong development strategies are a must for businesses looking to grow in government contracting.

Business Development Training

Training focused on business development processes, particularly those for B2B or B2G sales.  A strong business development training seminar can significantly improve a business’s chances of landing new government contracts.

Contractor Assistance Visits (CAV)

Periodic evaluation visits from GSA officials to contracted companies, overseeing, and reporting on their management of contracts.  These visits can touch on almost any area of contracting and business being done.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

A unique nine-digit business ID number provided by Dun & Bradstreet, required for identification throughout the government contracting system.  One is necessary for each physical location of a contracting business, and they can be quickly obtained for free online.


One of the primary central Request for Quotation tools, facilitating contract requests and bids for most government agencies.

FedBizOps (FBO)

The official point-of-entry for high value procurement opportunities and contracts with a minimum value of at least $25,000.

 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The standardized set of laws and procedures for all government agencies seeking contracted businesses partners.  FAR covers acquisition planning, as well as contract development, bidding, and oversight.  Only a handful of agencies are exempt from FAR, notably the FAA and the US Mint.

Government Marketing

Marketing tactics specifically targeting the Federal government and its various agencies.  Government marketing is heavily focused on personal outreach aimed at individuals within those agencies, similar to Account-Based Marketing tactics in B2B fields.  Targets include procurers, decision makers, and end-users.

Government Sales Training

Training courses and seminars which teach the intricacies of finding and targeting the right individuals within government agencies, as well as how to phrase communications to achieve the best results.

 Government Contracting Companies

Any company which has successfully registered with the Federal Government as a certified contractor and has begun competing for and completing contract jobs.  This includes obtaining a DUNS number and registering in the System of Award Management (SAM).

Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts

A lucrative form of government contract that allows for unlimited product/service purchases within a given contracted timeframe.  IDIQ contracts are often used for on-demand services, and are often streamlined in that once one is in place, relatively little additional negotiation is needed for orders within the scope of the IDIQ contract.

Multiple Award Schedules

Schedules (contracts) which are awarded to multiple contractors at once for use by many government agencies at the same time, to facilitate purchasing when no one vendor could handle the entire demand.  Many IDIQ contracts are also MAS.


Contracts which are government-wide, providing products and services to multiple agencies at once.  Schedules are generally long-term and based around offering bulk discounts for huge orders.

 Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB)

A small business which is controlled, owned, and\or operated by one or more US service veterans who have been wounded and disabled in the line of duty. SDVOSBs may receive preferential treatment or have contracts set aside specifically for them.

System of Award Management (SAM)

The official US Government registration system for all businesses seeking to handle governmental contracts.  Registration is free, and necessary for making bids through any online or offline contract portals.

US General Services Administration (GSA)

The independent government agency tasked with providing support services to the rest of the Federal government, such as procurement and transportation.  The GSA centralizes most government purchasing and oversees government contractors.

Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

WOSBs are at least 51% owned by one or more women, as well as being primarily run by women in terms of both day-to-day operations and long-term planning.  Like SDVOSBs, WOSBs may receive preferential or exclusive contracts.

Take Your Government Marketing to The Next Level

Training courses and seminars through Asher Strategies can give any business the tools they need to succeed in government marketing and contracting.  Our highly-experienced experts understand the ins and outs of the system, and can provide you with key insights into how to make the most of the contracting system.

Contact Asher Strategies today to learn more.


Electronic Resources for Finding and Pursuing Small Business Government Contracts

There is a misconception we try to dispel in our government marketing seminars, and that is the idea that small business government contracts never happen.  Many perceive government contracting to be so much of an “insider’s game” that smaller organizations simply have no chance to succeed.

This is not true.  In fact, the Federal government offers several resources, programs, and opportunities aimed specifically at smaller organizations.  While there are still challenges to be overcome, it is entirely possible for small groups to find levels of success while growing their own ability to steadily obtain more robust small business government contracts over time.

So, for those who are new to government contracting, or investigating the possibility, we offer a quick guide to some of the ways small business government contracts can happen, as well as some online resources to explore.

Finding Your First Government Contracts – A Quick Guide

  1.  Partnerships

One of the single most common ways that smaller operations get their foot in the door is through partnerships with larger contractors.  It is extremely common for large contractors to take on contracts which are beyond their internal capacity, and sub-contract out portions of the work to smaller groups.

These partnerships generally come in three flavors:

  • Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs) are a straightforward sub-contracting scenario, with two or more contractors working together to fulfill a bid.
  • Joint Ventures, in which a new legal entity is created out of two or more contractors who are pooling resources.  In the right circumstances, these joint ventures can be extremely profitable and potentially long-lasting.
  • Mentor-Protege, a special program in which willing larger contractors take smaller groups under their wing, so to speak, to improve their ability to perform in the future.
  1. Direct Competition

The other alternative, of course, is to simply wade into the fray and start looking to directly compete.  Government orders come in all sizes, and often small orders from equally-small branch agencies will go overlooked by larger concerns looking for bigger contracts.  This opens opportunities for small businesses to start making inroads at agencies.  These small jobs also have the benefit of frequently being less political or focused on who-do-you-know networking.

The obvious first stop is FedBizOps, or, which is the central repository of all open opportunities in the system.  There will generally be tens of thousands of contracts open at any given time, and a large number of them small.  Find one that fits your niche, and you’re set.

For the forward-looking, there is also the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tool which allows advanced users to peek into the contracting system and see contracts which are not yet “live” but likely to become so soon.  This can be invaluable for planning future strategies.

Asher Can Take Your Government Marketing to The Next Level

Asher Government Strategies offers training and seminars to help operations of all sizes succeed in their bids for Federal contracts.  Contact us today to learn more about our highly successful training programs.


Domestic Preferences in Federal Contracts and What It Can Mean for Your IDIQ Contract Opportunities

Big changes are coming to the world of IDIQ contract bids, thanks to the Trump Administration.  On April 18, President Trump signed an executive order which will bring significant changes to how Federal contracts are given out, with a specific emphasis on “Buy American” initiatives.

Anyone who is involved in IDIQ contract bids or business development training should keep themselves informed on how this will likely impact contractors in the years to come.

Key Points to Take Away From “The Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American”

The executive order calls for sweeping changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 25, which will eliminate a lot of loopholes in how contractors adhere to the Buy American Act (BAA).

Some of the main points covered in the EO include:

  • All government agencies are ordered to reassess their implementation and compliance with Buy American laws and implement policies intended to maximize the use of domestic materials and labor.
  • Requiring any waivers to Buy American laws based on cost-cutting to factor in foreign protectionist efforts such as product-dumping or injurious subsidies to their own companies.
  • Ordering the Secretary of Commerce to create a full report recommending ways to strengthen Buy American laws, including new policies or procedures for encouraging domestic procurement.
  • Ordering all agencies to submit yearly reports to the Secretary of Commerce detailing their own efforts to incorporate domestic-focused procurement policies.

It’s important to keep in mind that Executive Orders cannot create law, but they can issue guidance to all relevant executive-branch agencies as well as to the Justice Department.

While some aspects of April 18 Executive Order could theoretically require Congressional action, it would be unwise to assume it will go unheeded.  To the contrary, it’s likely that the Trump Administration will be tenacious in pursuing these Buy American goals, which still seem achievable.

 Possible Outcomes from This New EO

Nothing will change immediately, and it’s likely that some time, at least a year, will pass before major changes begin to occur.  None the less, now is the time for those seeking IDIQ contract opportunities to start making strategic shifts to begin to qualify.

Obviously, those contractors using primarily domestic sources will benefit greatly here.  Those who are already comfortable in their domestic focus may want to start reaching out to their government contacts and making this known.

However, be prepared for extra scrutiny.  It is extremely likely that these orders will be taken as a reason to pry into your procurement procedures, supply lines, and other aspects of your business.  It is also likely that agencies will err in favor of strict interpretation of Buy American laws, even in gray areas where some leeway was previously allowed.  When in doubt, attempt to reach out to your contacts for guidance or more information on how they interpret the Trump EO.

For more advice, contact contact Asher Government Strategies for workshop and training information.