When the economy is in a down turn often contractors and other businesses think working for the Federal Government is an appealing adventure. However, not knowing the pitfalls can lead to a huge risk and major loses and even possible business closure. Securing a good consultant to navigate the path can be a very wise investment.
- Learning Curve. Working for the Federal Government as a contractor can be very challenging. The amount of information that a contractor must learn to be able to be successful is massive. Federal Government has published rules, policies, jargon, and acronyms for everything. All of these have to be followed to the utmost detail and an inexperienced contractor could lose large amounts of time and money trying to come up to speed. A good consultant should be an expert in the field that you would hire for. Start working with a consultant prior to attempting to secure a contract. Have the consultant visit your business and assess what your operation does. The consultant should be able to tweak things and explain what your contracting experience will be prior to engaging in the contract side of things.
- Relationship. A great majority of Federal Government employees are ex-military. These ex-military personnel are used to the structured environment and most like all the policies and rules because everything is black or white. By utilizing a consultant that already knows these employees or how that particular government agency or department works will save you the headache that you will ultimately have without them. A consultant can tell you what to do and not do and keep you from completely getting your contract pulled. If possible find a consultant that retired from the department or agency you are targeting. These consultants will bring you some of the biggest bang for the buck.
- Cost of Mistakes. Many consultants will tell contractors they will break even or even lose money on the first few contracts they perform on. The contractor will ultimately make many procedure errors that will require things to be done over many times. The time it takes for approval or acceptance by the government agency is twice as long as expected as well. These are common mistakes the vast majority will make. Utilizing a consultant can reduce the chance of these mistakes because they already know of the mistakes and quote on quote already paid the cost of learning them. So having the consultant around will allow this to be limited. Also, a consultant can observe the contractors progression and when mistakes are made catch them early to limit the overall damage caused by them.
- Support. The last but not least reason to hire a consultant is for flat out support. As the contractor embraces this new path, at times the overall frustration and lack of reasoning can be quite the challenge. By the luxury of the consultant’s support, the contractor can just plain and simple have somebody to talk to about what is going on and what to do next. It can be similar to having a guide out in the open wilderness because who knows what is next.