Without orders, zero dollar contracts are just paper.
What do I mean by 'zero dollar contract?' That would be any variety of agency-specific or governmentwide multiple-award, indefinite delivery vehicle (MAIDV) that does not include a delivery order or task order with the initial award. In most cases, such as the GSA and VA Schedules, the initial entry by the Government includes a zero for the action obligation. For the folks who've been awarded a GWAC and received the obligatory dollars upon award, given how much you spent in time and money to get to that point, I still call that a zero.
Here's the problem. Too many companies getting these awards are not prepared to leverage them, yet they put more vigor into winning more of these zero dollar contracts than they do into winning work on these contracts. To me, that's like the hamster wheel of death. You keep running and running, but never get anywhere. That's not good.
The reason I bring zero dollar contracts up is that the topic of federal sector M&A has been placed in my lap, but not the M&A you may be thinking of. This is M&A at the small business level, something I was familiar with (I could spell M&A) but had never spent much time thinking about. I've been part of small companies who were divested of and acquired over the years, but that's it. Because the competitive bar has been raised so high today, small companies need to explore other means of meeting or exceeding that bar if they wish to survive, much less thrive. That's why I'm so excited to partner with some phenomenal people and organizations so we can cover the topic of beating and/or buying the competition next month in Philadelphia.
The first day features an invitation-only program that looks at current trends in small business M&A in government contracting to include novating contracts, the impact on clearances and more. Because zero dollar contracts are all the rage in hype but not yet in reality, as far as dollars are concerned, we're featuring a panel that will look at the top standalone and single-award contract opportunities for FY2019 and FY2020. After all, more dollars are obligated to those types of contracts and contract vehicles than to multiple-award contract vehicles, still.
What makes this even better is that I only have to say 'hello' on the first day! That's because Ed Delisle, Jackie Robinson-Burnette, Erin-Michael Gill, Brian Friel, Nicole Tripodi, Stephanie Zink, Traci Rowlands Shepps and Larry Shapiro all forgot to block my number! Here's the thing. When you hear what they all have to say, how well they say it and how impactful it is, you'll see why I don't need to say anything. Until the next day that is...
That's when we kickoff the first day of a 2-Day Bootcamp called Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors that is the blocking and tackling of finding information about government contracts. It's also a fundamental course-correction about things we thought we knew to be true for novices and industry veterans alike. Just ask someone about 'What You Don't Know About Codes and Contracts Can Hurt Your Business Development!' It's going to be rocking in Philly next month!
Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition