Where to Start?

I see this question a lot. People ask “where should they start” or “how do they get started”. That’s a hard question to put a direct answer to, but if I had too I’d say start with research.

There are two areas of research to that you need embark on. 1st,how does the government processes work. Apex is a good place to get the basics. Unfortunately, I have learned the Apex Accelerator program is not the same “quality” in every state. I have also learned that you can sign up for online classes even if you’re out of state. So if you don’t think your getting good information of your local Apex office try the Georgia office.

The 2nd area of research is what are you going to provide to the government. What are you going to provide to the government at a competitive price. People tell me all the time they want to be a supplier to the government buying and re-sailing Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) products. That’s fine, there is nothing wrong with that plan. So my question is “what suppliers do you have a relationship with”. That’s when their plan falls apart. You have to be able to provide your product at a lower cost than your competitor. How are you going to do that? Let use an example:

If the Government wants to purchase 100 torque wrenches. 1st question is where are you going to get 100 torque wrenches? Lowes and Home Depot probably don’t have that many in stock. 2nd question is how will you price them? If you pay full price, say $100 each. You need to add your margin (profit), Overhead (OH), General & Admin (G&A), shipping & handling. So you unit cost ends up being $150.

Your competitor talked directly to a torque wrench manufacturer and got the same wrenches 20% cheaper than you can. So his price is automatically lower than yours. You lost before you started. So we’re back to the original question. “What are you going to provide to the government at a competitive price?” Remember, there are 1000’s of others out there trying to do the same thing you’re trying to do. How do you beat them?

Phil Davidson
Author: Phil Davidson

I have worked in the Defense Industry as a contractor for over 20 years. I do Business Development for a small aviation company right now, but I have worked as a full-time and part-time consultant over the years. I decided to redesign my website as a place where I can share information about my experience and help companies come together for working together and teaming.

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