3 Habits on Strategic Productivity for Government Contractors

big direction arrowIf you work in the Government Contracting industry, I bet you’re busy as hell. You have products to deliver, people to manage, and clients to satisfy. On top of that pile, you have to make sure you win the next contract or grow your business – or else you are out of a job. Oh, and all those people that work for you are out of jobs, too. But no pressure.

There’s tons of stuff on the internet on how to be more productive in your job. Seriously, articles like this, this, and this are AWESOME.

When I first started writing proposals, I was super productive on each individual project but hated taking the time away from the project to sell future work. I thought of it as a time waster. After all, shouldn’t I be focused on delivering the best service ever and not selling things?!

I mentioned this to my mentor, Jeff, and he gave me a wise perspective: if we don’t set up work for the future, you’ll be out of a job when this project is over. After this conversation, I started to set aside time to talk to my clients regularly to find out what else they needed help with. And I was shocked at how often they were eager for more of my help. My tactical sales shot through the roof. But it was really easy to fall back into my old habits of just executing. Focusing only on productivity on my current project kept getting in the way of making more sales.

As we added more employees, I didn’t have a choice anymore. I needed to generate a lot more work for them to do. So I began to focus on Strategic Productivity and came across my 3 most effective Strategic Productivity Habits.

1. Schedule time on your calendar for Strategic activities

The most successful performers in government contracting schedule time every week to focus on Strategic thinking and activites. Consider putting a 30 minute recurring meeting at the beginning of each week to focus on the strategy of your company. Some things to think about or do during Strategy time:

Think about/research:

  • What contracts are you pursuing. Have there been any updates?
  • Who do you need to meet with to improve you pWin on each one
  • What deliverables do you need to focus on for maximum impact
  • Who do you need to hire
  • What do you need to learn (about the client and for yourself)
  • What teams can you build or join
  • What information can you collect from within your company before the RFP comes out


  • Schedule a client meeting to catch up on current performance
  • Talk to someone in your network who could introduce you to the client
  • Meet with a client
  • Talk to a contracting officer
  • Talk to POCs from a company you are interested in teaming with
  • Attend a networking event

If you’re looking for templates to guide your strategic thinking, download the Government Contractor Goals Planner with 5 Opportunity and Call Plan Templates.

2. Train your employees to be strategically productive, too

You can’t do it all yourself. You have a team that you trust enough to deliver on your current contracts; you need to enable them to help grow your business. They probably want to keep their jobs, so this is in their best interest, too. Start by training them on how to make tactical sales and how to talk to clients to find out what they really need and how they view your company’s performance. Then, hold periodic sessions with them individually or in small groups to brainstorm strategic conversations and offers they could be making. Growing a Government Contracting business does not have to happen in large proposal bursts. Consistent tactical sales can pay very large dividends over time.

3. Talk to the client

Getting busy is not a good excuse for not walking down the hall or setting a meeting to say hi to your clients. Conversations are the gateway to winning business. Having lots of them is not a guarantee of success, but not having them is a guarantee for failure.

Looking to simplify your proposal process or improve it? Download our free eBook: FASTPROP System: How to Write Winning Proposals without Wasting Time or Money.

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Kathy Borkoski
Founder at Government Contracting Made Simple
proposal ninja and tech editor. Kathy believes in growing government contracting businesses strategically through good capture and a simplified proposal process. She hates wasting lots of time and rewriting for no good reason.

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