Track 1 - Business Development

Business development is an ever increasingly important mechanism not only for growth but to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. Participants that attend these sessions will learn that establishing strong core business development practices can help them grow their small business and reach their business goals. These sessions will provide insight from leading business developers and focusing on the development: sales and marketing strategies and developing strategic partnerships.

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Insiders Perspectives on Pursuing and Winning IT Business at VA
This presentation provides attendees with some unique perspectives, from both former VA insiders and successful industry representatives, on marketing and selling their products and services to VA, with an emphasis on the Office of Information and Technology (OIT). Attendees will gain an appreciation for how VA buys, who does the buying, the VA budget and acquisition cycle, how to best market into the Department, how best to engage VA "customers" and what they are expecting from their industry partners, what small businesses should consider when preparing to market to VA, and other key tenets for success.

Networking: The Skill You Must Have to Win Contracts
Networking is a Skill. In this interactive and exciting session, we will examine the strategies and techniques that can be used to effectively build a "network" of key points of contact in organizations you are pursuing as a small business. In a sometimes humorous manner, we will explore what works and what does not work when building your network. From a government perspective, we will look at ways you can effectively determine whether this small business is a good fit for future requirements by presenting some key points of observation when having a conversation with a small business.

Advanced Teaming Strategies to Accelerate Small Business Government Revenue
This session was delivered as a keynote for the State of Utah’s annual government symposium in Salt Lake City and was rated the most valuable training event at the National APTAC training conference out of more than 500 training sessions. This session is designed for the entrepreneur, novice, and experienced business professionals who operate or plan to operate in the federal space. Unlike most sessions, this is more than a general or abstract discussion. Accelerate your teaming strategies by three to five years, providing basic to advanced real-world techniques to differentiate and build competitive advantage with small and large businesses. A strong teaming strategy differentiates the capabilities of your company and helps you integrate them into two or more of another company's markets or territories. This facilitates qualified opportunities, both tactical and strategic. Focusing on techniques proven to strengthen your company's position, we discuss the most common teaming mistakes small businesses make with larger companies: being on a winning team and receiving no work; first versus second-tier subcontracting; a detailed discussion of the five functional areas larger companies use to evaluate and select small business, and the techniques and strategies you can use to differentiate from your competition (not price or features). Every attendee will receive business templates outlined in the session inclusive of marketing collateral for effectively positioning and differentiating with partners, and a copy of the slides presented during the session.

Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures–Making 1+1=3 in Government Contracting
To succeed in the government contracting market, a small business has to have an edge over its competitors. To get that edge often requires leveraging the resources, skills, and abilities of strategic partners. Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures are three (3) methods that small businesses can use to form those crucial strategic partnerships that will lead to subcontracts and to the award of prime government contracts. By forming and using these strategic partnerships properly, small business government contractors can win, keep, and profit from government contracts they would be unable to qualify for by themselves. This session will ensure that you know how to structure these arrangements while maintaining actual ownership and control of your small business and compliance with governing laws and regulations. Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures are easy to get wrong. If you pick the wrong partner, use the wrong agreement, operate or manage your Teaming Agreement or Joint Venture haphazardly. Any of those errors can cost you a contract, your company's valuable preferential status, money, time and lost opportunities. This session will keep you from making those kinds of mistakes in your Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures.

Navigating Federal Background Investigation Requirements in Veterans Affairs
This session will provide Contractors /Vendors with the process, definitions, and points of contact to expedite completion of the Federal Background Investigation Requirements immediately after a contract is awarded with the Department of Veterans Affairs. This presentation will present an overview of the Office of Operations, Security, Preparedness, Hspd-12 and the PIV Badge; Security Vs. Suitability and other topics useful in understanding the issues of successfully obtaining eligibility to work within the federal government as a contractor or employee.

Federal Government Resources to Help You Pursue and Win International Contracts
Join the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the Department of Commerce's Vets Go Global team to learn how to finance exports and grow your business internationally. During this session, we will discuss how your business can: find foreign buyers and international partners, access capital to finance your export sales, and reduce risk with export credit insurance.

Strategies and the Best way to Work with a Large Business
This session is a discussion and presentation on how to effectively work with a large business, learning to leverage your contracts and relationships to help grow your portfolio of skills and capabilities.

How to Build a Capability Statement that Showcases Your Ability
A capability statement is your roadmap and resume of what your business is capable of doing along with your experience. It is important to have a strong capability statement that reflects you without your resume.

Networking
Most Procurement Technical Assistance Counselors sponsor regular “matchmaking” events, providing critical opportunities to connect with agency buying officers, prime contractors and other businesses that may offer teaming or subcontracting opportunities.

International Expansion Blueprint – A Strategy for International Business Success
This learning session is affiliated with two other sessions entitled Practical Advice and Strategies on International Business Growth, and Federal Resources to Grow Your Business Globally. Participants are encouraged to attend these related learning sessions. With 95% of global consumers holding 75% of global purchasing power, it makes smart business sense to proactively grow your business in international markets. This discussion explains how to create a roadmap and strategic plan for your business taking into account website globalization and marketing, compliance programs, international finance options, developing international sales kits, strategic analysis of trade shows, how to find and evaluate partners, and enhancing your brand to drive new avenues of revenue and growth. You will walk away with an outline and strong next steps that enable you to create actionable international expansion plans and experience international business growth.

Practical Advice and Strategies on International Business Growth
This learning session is affiliated with two other sessions entitled International Expansion Blueprint – A Strategy for International Business Success, and Federal Resources to Grow Your Business Globally. Participants are encouraged to attend these related learning sessions. With 95% of global consumers holding 75% of global purchasing power, it makes smart business sense to proactively grow your business in international markets. In this session you will hear from international trade and export finance experts, in addition to successful exporters, about how to grow a global business. Gain practical advice on how to grow a prosperous global business that increases revenues aligned to your strategic objectives. Realize the full potential of your business by doing quality market research, internationalizing your website, leveraging export and finance resources and securing a competitive advantage in global markets! Use these practical tips to increase export sales, expand your business, and enhance your ability to sell in markets like Canada and Mexico.

Federal Resources to Grow Your Business Globally
This learning session is affiliated with two other sessions entitled Practical Advice and Strategies on International Business Growth, and International Expansion Blueprint – A Strategy for International Business Success. Participants are encouraged to attend these related learning sessions. With 95% of global consumers holding 75% of global purchasing power, it makes smart business sense to proactively grow your business in international markets. This session will show you how to create a roadmap and strategic plan for your business that takes into account website globalization and marketing, compliance programs, international finance options, developing international sales kits, understanding how to strategically analyze trade shows, how to find and evaluate partners, and how to enhance your brand to drive new avenues of revenue and growth. At the end of this session you will have a clear outline and strong next steps to create an international expansion plan that will grow your international business.


Business Insurance 101
Veterans are often exceptionally talented entrepreneurs and business owners. Today, more and more Veterans are employing their entrepreneurial spirit to provide products and services that serve our Nation. Yet, owning a business is not without risk. In this engaging presentation, Lori Simmons, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Armed Forces Insurance, will take you step-by-step through various business insurance policies to help you determine the coverage your business needs. Learn how to protect your business and your peace of mind.


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Track 2 - Doing Business with the Federal Government or a Commercial Company

Doing business with the Federal Government or a Large Business can be a difficult process to navigate. By attending one of the Doing Business with the Federal Government sessions you will learn the best sources for conducting targeted searches for procurement opportunities, understanding the unique needs of federal agencies and garnering a better understanding of the complex acquisition process. You will also learn about the advantage of teaming with VA verified firms and preparing responses using language that expertly address the requirements in government prepared Performance Work Statements.

Presenters representing a number of Large Businesses will provide an in-depth look at the process of becoming a supplier, teaming partner or subcontractor which can foster growth for your small business.

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The Non-Manufacturer Rule
To sell products to the government, SDVOSB and VOSB resellers must comply with SBA’s manufacturer rule. This presentation provides a detailed overview including VA’s recent class deviation on non-manufacturer rule waivers, implementation of last year’s major SBA rule changes, and more.

Researching Government Markets Using Federal Information Systems
This session will discusss the various federal data systems in combination to identify, quantify and target business development opportunities. Developed by a Procurement Technical Assistance Counselor through working with small businesses for nearly ten years. This session employs features of agency acquisition forecasts, FEDBIZOPPS.gov, various Agency/Department electronic notice sites, and use of FPDS and USA Spending to aid in the development of realistic, targeted business development strategies.

Why Vendors Should Attend Pre-Proposal Conferences
When the pre-proposal conference is planned, the Government should allow adequate time to address any issues it considers relevant to the procurement or any concerns industry has forwarded for discussion. Contractors should also be given the opportunity to question the government on each topic on the agenda after each topic is concluded or at the end of the conference on any topic.

Tips From a Former Small Business Owner
This session focuses on how to maximize your chances of successfully doing business with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Doing Business with the Missile Defense Agency
This session will be on how to do business with the Missle Defense Agency as well as what opportunities we have in our agency.

SDB, 8(a), HUBZone and other Certifications
Certain small businesses are eligible for preferred status in some government solicitations. A Procurement Technical Assistance Counselor can help you determine if your company is eligible for any of these certifications and guide you through the steps necessary to secure them.

How to do Business with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA wants to help Veteran-Owned Small Businesses access the information they need to be successful as they seek opportunities to partner with our agency. This session will focus on Veteran-Owned Small Businesses doing business with the EPA.

How to Request and Update DUNS Business Information
Join Dun & Bradstreet for a session on determining if your business has a DUNS number, and if so, how to access that information. This session will also include information regarding modification requests for existing DUNS numbers and how to manage existing DUNS profiles. The discussion will also touch on how this process relates to the System for Award Management (SAM) and how this relates to doing business with the federal government.

US Business Leadership Network (USBLN)
An essential requirement for Veterans and service-disabled Veterans is their ability to connect with key government and corporate decision-makers, be considered for business contracts, and sustain and grow their businesses. The federal government requires verification of Veteran-owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, while corporations require certification (through approved third-party agencies) to ensure diverse business owners qualify for supplier diversity programs and have access to business tools and supply chain decision-makers. The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) certifies service-disabled Veterans (SDVs) and is working closely with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure SDVs and other disability suppliers have the vital tools, information and building blocks for business development. The USBLN also connects certified suppliers to procurement decision-makers and supplier diversity leaders of over eighty Fortune 500/1000 corporations. We invite supplier and corporate attendees to take part in this session and hear more about positioning your business for success.

Doing Business with Fannie Mae
During this session, participants are provided over-arching information about Fannie Mae procurement opportunities wherein a small business can potentially add value as a supplier. Fannie Mae works with diverse suppliers to deliver products, services, and expertise that can be counted on in all markets, at all times. Fannie Mae strives to be America’s most valued housing partner. Through our 80-year history, we’ve supported renters and homeowners in communities throughout the nation, in good times and bad. We welcome suppliers that share our goals of quality, consistency, and professionalism and share in our mission to help house America.

CVE Verification Town Hall
This Town Hall question and answer session provides updates to the Veteran community about the improvements in the verification process and the new application database (VEMS).

How to Write a Winning Proposal Using Proven Industry-Best Practices
This presentation provides proven approaches to ensure proposals are compliant with Government requirements and responsive to meeting customers' underlying needs and expectations. Topics addressed in this session include satisfying the Government’s mandatory proposal structure requirements; Statements of Work (SOW); measures of merit; terms and conditions. Also discussed in this sessions are value-added approaches to improve proposal quality with active voice writing; effective graphics; features, benefits, and proof; ghosting; etc. After attending this session, participants will be better prepared to respond confidently to Government solicitations.

Panel Discussion: Doing Business With US Government Large Business Prime Contractors During this session, participants are provided over-arching information about Fannie Mae procurement opportunities wherein a small business can potentially add value as a supplier. Fannie Mae works with diverse suppliers to deliver products, services, and expertise that can be counted on in all markets, at all times. Fannie Mae strives to be America’s most valued housing partner. Through our 80-year history, we’ve supported renters and homeowners in communities throughout the Nation, in good times and bad. We welcome suppliers that share our goals of quality, consistency, and professionalism and share in our mission to help house America.

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Track 3 - Advanced Procurement Strategies

In today’s market, the most common barriers for unsuccessful bids are the lack of in-depth knowledge and understanding of the federal procurement process; access to a developed network of strong teaming and sub-contracting partners; inadequate financial and physical resources to meet growth; and an absence of previous federal contracting experience.

Attendees will hear from industry and government staff offering real world insights on how to be selective about the agencies you market your goods and services to; scrutinizing and learning from your previous unsuccessful bids; how to find and build a strong network of teaming partners and subcontractors as well as taking a hard look at your businesses capabilities and retooling them for maximum effect.

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Getting the Most out of Your Mentor-Protégé Relationship: A Mentor's Perspective
Veteran Owned Small Businesses will learn how to effectively leverage the various federal mentor-protégé programs to better position themselves for success. Discussion topics include how to identify and approach a potential mentor and how to make the most of an agreement. With many federal agencies having programs available and the SBA recently creating a new program open to all small businesses, mentor-protégé participation can be a valuable tool for small businesses. This is especially the case with Veteran-owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses to help grow their businesses. Large firms participate in these programs to build strategic relationships with small business so it is important for a small business that is interested in participating in these programs to understand what a large business is looking for in a potential protégé. It is also important to understand the benefits and requirements of each of the programs. This session will provide the information to explain these requirements. The target audience for this session is any small business owner interested in participating as a mentor/protégé or someone that wants to better understand the various programs. The session is geared for both the novice and the advanced participant.

WIRED! To Bid or Not to Bid?
Is that great opportunity you just saw actually headed for your competitor? Join us for a practical look at the Bid-NoBid decision, including real case studies. Find out what questions you need to ask, how to make a confident bid decision, and what to do next, both when you bid...and when you don't.

Determining Suitability for Contracting
The government marketplace poses unique challenges that can overwhelm or even ruin a company that does not have the maturity or resources to meet them. This session will show you how a Procurement Technical Assistance Counselor can help you determine if your company is ready for government opportunities and how to best position yourself to succeed.

Proposal Preparation
A procurement specialist can help you navigate even the most difficult solicitation package, including securing necessary specifications and drawings and understanding pricing considerations. You will never need to pass up a great contract opportunity just because the solicitation is too complicated.

Keys to a Successful Post Award Conference
The successful monitoring of a contract begins with the post-award conference. The post-award conference is useful for ensuring the contractor understands contract requirements and for clarifying the roles of government personnel to include agency procedures that must be followed in administering the contract. It is important that both the government and the contractor arrive at a clear and mutual understanding of all contract requirements and identify and resolve potential problems.

Getting Ahead of Requests for Proposals
By the time opportunities hit FBO it is too late. This session provides a proactive approach that businesses can use to identify WINNABLE opportunities. How can you identify opportunities before they hit the street? How can you disrupt the current trend of incumbents re-winning contracts? What can you do today to get your company shortlisted as a "VA insider?" In this session, we will talk about how you can be proactive in getting to decision makers BEFORE it becomes a requirement and what you can do to provide value to the scope development process.

Advanced Tactics: Making the Leap from Subcontracting to Prime
Making the leap from being a subcontractor to a prime contractor is challenging. This session focuses on the Business Development and marketing strategies required to position a company as a prime well before the RFP is released. Attendees of this session will learn how to keep the relationship with the current prime strong while pursuing and winning business as a new prime contractor. Advanced tactics discussed include: targeting appropriate opportunities where one has a higher probability of winning, tips on calculating that PWIN, differentiators that matter in the eyes of decision-makers and actionable steps to mitigate risk in the eyes of the decision-makers.

Why Vendors Should Attend Industry Days
The purpose of an Industry Day is to provide industry an opportunity to have a better understanding of the forthcoming procurement, give industry an opportunity to build teaming arrangements, give the government an early opportunity to introduce key players and preliminary aspects of the procurement to industry, and give the Government another means to collect market research data.

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