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Avoid These Common Challenges During Government Q4 Blog Feature
Stephanie Hagan

By: Stephanie Hagan on June 26th, 2024

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Avoid These Common Challenges During Government Q4

Government Business Development | 5 Min Read

Q4 of the federal government Fiscal Year is like Christmas Eve at a mall—a spending spree full of opportunities for your company. Government agencies are rushing to spend the remainder of their budget and releasing scores of solicitations. While this is the most important time of year for taking advantage of government business, it can come with its own set of challenges. Is your company prepared for this kind of chaos?

During Q4, contractors often face increased competition, tight deadlines, lack of resources, and stringent compliance requirements. Understanding these challenges and knowing how to navigate them can be the difference between winning and losing contracts. Q4 starts on July 1, 2024 so it's time to start preparing. Let’s discuss how you can avoid these challenges and reap the benefits of Q4.

Increased Competition During Q4

As we discussed above, agencies are eager to allocate their remaining budget in Q4, leading to a significant increase in solicitations. However, this also means a significant increase in competition as several businesses compete for the same contracts. How do you stand out among your competitors? Here are some tips:

Do Your Homework

A mistake many contractors make is not understanding what the customer really needs and what their pain points are. Take some time to research the agency, and paying very close attention to the requirements listed in the solicitation. Whether it’s market research like a Request for Information (RFI), or a full-blown Request for Proposal (RFP), make sure you response addresses their needs directly. Don’t waste time elaborating on all the things your solutions can do beyond the scope of the response. Tell them what they need to hear.

Differentiate Your Offerings

Clearly articulate what sets your products or services apart from the competition. Highlight unique features, superior quality, or exceptional customer service for example. Where do your competitors have gaps that you can fill?

Leverage Your Online Presence

A government customer may do some research on your company while reviewing your proposal or looking for contractors who can fulfill their needs. Ways you can boost your government marketing and online presence include:

Leverage Past Performance

Past performance is often required in proposals, but it’s important you use the right examples. You should demonstrate your track record of success in similar projects related to the proposal and focus on government past performance if you can. Some contractors will include past performance just because it seems fancy or impressive, but you really should only include projects that are relevant to the product or service you intend to deliver. We also suggest you include testimonials, case studies, and performance metrics in your proposal if possible.

Tight Deadlines

As the fiscal year comes to a close, government agencies are under pressure to finalize contracts quickly. As a result, agencies might release a solicitation on a Monday and expect a response on Friday, if not sooner. The deadlines are often rushed during this time period, and it can really strain some companies causing them to miss out on opportunities. Here are some ideas to mitigate this challenge:

Know Where to Find Upcoming Opportunities

Some contractors miss an opportunity when it’s released and lose valuable time to respond by the time it comes across their desk. Make sure you have all the tools at your fingertips to avoid this. You should be frequently checking GSA eBuy, which filters opportunities by your Special Item Numbers (SINs),, and other paid subscription tools that release agency forecasts to identify potential opportunities early.

Streamline Proposal Processes

If you are starting from scratch each time, it can be nearly impossible to respond to a greater influx of opportunities. We suggest you develop a standardized proposal template that can be quickly customized for each solicitation. This approach saves time and ensures consistency across your proposals.

Build a Dedicated Team

If you haven’t already, you should assemble a proposal team with clear roles and responsibilities. If you are low on man power, you might have to pull in a few newer hires or people who can temporarily assist in this department. If you have a team with clear roles then you can set a response into motion quickly and won’t waste time figuring out how to complete it before the deadline. You can also consider hiring an outside proposal manager to help you fill any gaps temporarily and lend their expertise.

Compliance Requirements

Government contracts come with a myriad of compliance requirements. These can include regulations related to cybersecurity (such as NIST SP 800-171 or FedRAMP), labor laws, environmental standards, and more. It’s important you can handle these requirements and demonstrate your ability in your proposal. Here’s what you can do:

Stay Informed

When responding to the surge of solicitations, don’t let these requirements shock you. A lot of them are standard and included in several proposals depending on which agencies you are working with. To avoid this, you should regularly review updates to government regulations and compliance requirements. Subscribing to relevant newsletters, attending webinars, and participating in industry associations can help you stay updated.

Conduct Compliance Audits

Periodically audit your operations to ensure they meet government standards. Address any gaps promptly to avoid compliance issues. If you are having trouble meeting compliance standards, we suggest you look into hiring a consultant for contract maintenance. If you are a GSA Schedule holder, there’s a lot to keep up with and you don’t want to be held up completing routine maintenance while juggling a series of time sensitive solicitations.

Training and Education

This is something you’ll have to implement long term and not necessarily at the start of Q4 for the sake of time. It’s important you have training in place for your team to ensure they understand all the compliance requirements, and will be adhering to them throughout the entirety of your contracts. This will also help you have more eyes and ears on any maintenance gaps and issues so you can address them quickly before they become an issue.

Are You Ready for Q4?

Hopefully after reading this blog, you feel more prepared to tackle the chaos that is Q4 and take advantage of all the possible government business. If you want to learn more about preparing strong and effective proposal responses, check out our blogs:

If you need help with contract maintenance or are looking for contract business development support, contact Winvale. We can help lead you in the right direction so you can have a successful Q4.

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About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Training and Communications Manager for Winvale. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.