I talked to a friend of mine the other day who has been building his small business doing something we did a lot of early on at TAPE. We call that phase of our company history “Rent-a-Bill,” where we did capture management and proposal management for other people.
Fast forward to today, and it was my friend who has filled that role for us, becoming the piece of the puzzle we needed for our own proposal development.
We were discussing his strategy for this capture and proposal work. Instead of hiring a bunch of experienced folks, such as retirees or long-time industry veterans who really understand the ins and outs of federal contracting, he’s been going another route.
For the same dollars it would cost to hire one experienced person, he explained, he can bring on two or even three recent college graduates. Instead of spending the dollars, he spends his time to train them. He knows they may make lots of mistakes and step on some toes, but in the meantime, some of what they build will stick – and they can get around to twice as many places.
It’s certainly an interesting concept. And while I’m sure all of us grey-bearded folks are shuddering, times are changing. While long-timers know lots of people and have good relationships in place, with modern technology, thought leadership platforms like blogs, and sites like LinkedIn, it’s possible to build relationships and trust with people without actually knowing them.
If you’re willing to take the time to train your newbies on all the ins and outs and details about how to be compliant, put together a capture plan, and the other pieces that lead to success in government contracting, you may be surprised and delighted. While it’s true that some of the actions they take will not fly, some may be innovative technological ideas that those of us with grey hair wouldn’t see.
My friend says he’s having a lot of success. It’s an interesting solution to the age-old problem of how to keep costs down, and still cover all the bases of where you want to go to get more work.
What do you think?