Preparing for the Next Storm“Yesterday, I was able to do something that I hadn’t been able to do over the last few weeks: reach someone at the agency where I had been calling. After the first couple of rings, I expected to receive another prompt to leave a voicemail, but instead, I received a moment of pause…”

In today’s article, Director of Services at OST Global Solutions, Alex Brown, discusses how to recover from the Government shutdown and to prepare for possible future outcomes.

Today’s Article By Alex Brown
on behalf of OST Global Solutions, Inc.

Preparing for the Next Storm

The woman seemed surprised that her phone had rung. The conversation was brief, and no important revelations occurred, but it made me think about situations with a similar tone.

As we look at the headlines (“Government reopens,” “Ok. Back to Work,” “Striking a D.C. Deal,” “Backing away from the brink,” etc.), we see a general sense of apathy in the writing and with those working in the Government sector. Is it because everyone that has been in the federal contracting business believes that this was just another bump in the road? Or, is it because we realize we have likely only bought ourselves a short interval of peace? In either case, many see today as a return to heavy traffic, and back to the attempt of business as usual.

Words like disaster, doom, and destroy were thrown around as tag lines to what was going on. This got me thinking about the age-old question: “What now?” Is it really business as usual or should we approach this new dawn with a different game plan? We know that this is not akin to a natural disaster, but with our economy losing an estimated $24 billion in a two-week period, this is also not just another storm. I asked a colleague well versed in disaster relief what key things need to be done as you recover. Restore infrastructure, restore communications, and find survivors, he answered. I believe this also rings true for us as business developers:

  1. Restore infrastructure—we are not going to reopen hospitals and clear roads, but we are going to reestablish where contracts are in the procurement cycle and how we as a company reallocate resources. We are going to work our internal infrastructure so that we are looking at a current, effective pipeline.
  2. Restore communications—it is time to get on the phone or meet up with our agency counterparts. This is a huge opportunity for us to solidify relationships and prove we are not just a vendor, but a trusted advisor.
  3. Find survivors—as we receive start orders bringing business back online, we have to see who is still there, who is not, and what positions have been left vacant due to staff reductions and furloughs.

We have all had to recover from some sort of calamity, but this time around, one of our main goals should be to make sure we are prepared for the next disaster. Preparing “safety nets” and training your team is a good way to make sure you are able to weather the next storm, and even possibly find your company in a safer  position when it all clears.

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