The sour economy is affecting all of us. The stock market has been in a funk for a year, inflation is rampant, and the COVID-19 pandemic has left the supply chain in sputtering disarray. Then consider China’s pandemic lockdown, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Federal Reserve’s plan to tightening the proverbial money belt and … well, things are not good.
So, what to do?
Innovate. While the normal go-to of operating lean and mean and reducing costs sounds appealing on the surface, many companies are already leaner than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the usual route of layoffs ― especially with such a dearth of available labor/talent available in the market ― and/or other cutbacks is not the answer to current business woes.
All recessions are not created equal. In this case, business owners and management need to understand that, whether the economy officially falls into recession or not, it will eventually stabilize; thus, a vision of rebuilding, starting now, is the course to navigate starting today.
Organizations that take an in-depth look at their operations, identify strengths, address weaknesses, assess maturity and determine effectiveness will quickly identify where to invest resources. For instance, adding data tools like a customer relationship management system (CRM), artificial intelligence or automation into the business operations mix and using the analytics to make better decisions are solid options to move forward.
In any organization, no matter what shiny new technology is the choice of the day, know that the staff is always the number one asset. Who and what will get your company through the inevitable challenges and to the upside after an economic downturn or a pandemic are the basis of future successes.
The questions today are as follows: Are owners and top executives satisfying the demands of staff as they reevaluate workspaces with appealing virtual and in-office work options? Is the benefit package appealing? Are training programs satisfying?
And, simply put, do people, on staff or possible additions, want to work for your company?
New from the SBA
The U.S. Small Business Administration recently implemented a final rule that is intended to give certain companies an advantage in the race to obtain prime federal contracts. The rule now provides two new methods by which small businesses can obtain past performance credit on their route and hopefully come up in the winner’s circle.
Initially, the rule allows certain small business the opportunity to rely on the past performance of joint ventures in which they participated. In addition, it allows them to request, obtain and rely upon past performance when having served as a first-tier subcontractor.
This change has inspired many more smiles on faces in the subcontracting market, as this rule markedly expands the means of small businesses to establish a record of strong, pertinent past performance. The key takeaways of this change are as follows:
● Knowing if the service offeror had a sufficient role in the joint venture has not always been clear. That gives contractors a reason to be raise an eyebrow or two when evaluating past performance. But not anymore.
● Now, some first-tier small business subcontractors can request past performance ratings from their primes, under prime contracts with subcontracting plans, which is defined as any contract to a large business valued at $750,000 or $1.5 million for construction.
● Remember, the rule only applies to small business first tier-subs under prime contracts with subcontracting plans; therefore, it does not benefit other subcontractors.
Gloria Larkin is President and CEO of TargetGov, and a national expert in business development in the government markets. Email glorialarkinTG@targetgov.com, visit www.targetgov.com or call toll-free 1-866-579-1346 x 325 for more information.