Let it be known, business development ain’t easy. It’s made more difficult when those responsible for doing it and those responsible for managing it don’t understand what it actually is and how it works. When you add in the nuances associated with pursuing agreements, contracts and orders with federal agencies, and subcontracts with other companies, well, that’s when it gets real interesting for many.
In his article ‘This bidding strategy can destroy your company before you realize it‘ my colleague Carl Dickson of CapturePlanning.com offered the following advice to the federal contracting community, “When you bid without an information advantage, you bid at a competitive disadvantage.” With this in mind, why do so many companies conduct business operating at a competitive disadvantage? Is it because they couldn’t get the information necessary to find or qualify an opportunity or because they didn’t make the effort to understand business development (the life cycle, not the spoke) so they knew what information was needed based on leveraging a proven processes that mitigate risk and cost?
Many companies struggle with business development because they don’t know where to start while others are stymied by lingo and still others buy into chatter on the street, some of which is legit and some isn’t. The common thread is not knowing:
- what questions to ask;
- where to obtain the information to answer questions;
- how to determine the value of the information, and;
- what to do with the information once they have it.
The number one issue at the root of what is effectively a money and time-sucking vortex is knowing what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Quite a few individuals and companies truly believe they understand what it takes to execute effective business development. For this and other reasons they don’t see gaps in their current processes despite what typically amounts to throwing stuff at the proverbial wall to see what sticks. Sometimes, unfortunately, these tactics prove successful and for this reason, this group is often resistant to
I wonder what would happen if more Business Development and Capture professionals had to foot the bill for C.A.B. Fare, you know, the Cost of Acquiring Business?
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”