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  • 07 Jun 2017 09:20 | Valerie Ormond

    President of Skyway Acquisition Solutions, Kevin Jans, U.S. Air Force Veteran and former Contracting Officer, took his valuable time to share his Government contracting knowledge with the Opps4Vets community. Kevin is also co-host of Contracting Officer Podcast, a library of more than 130 podcasts episodes. Kevin and his co-host, Paul Schauer, discovered that the podcast venue was compatible with their audience’s needs since listeners can listen on demand at their convenience, for instance, during a commute. So on to the interview and Kevin's tips.

    Q (Val/Opps4Vets): As a Veteran and former Contracting Officer (CO), what is the number one piece of advice you have for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) seeking to do work with the Government?

    A (Kevin/Skyway Acquisition Solutions): I recommend people start by listening to our first podcast Episode 1, Why We Created the CO Podcast to understand why we created the show and how much there is to learn about the Government market.

    But here is a boxing analogy I like to use: subtract and multiply in your weight class. My definition for your weight class is the right size of an opportunity you can afford to win or lose without derailing your company. Don’t think about what the opportunity will get you, think about what it may cost you.

    Start small and niched, and when you get the work, then add and multiply. Episode 102 – Targeting 301 describes this theory in greater detail.

    Also, remember the Government is like the stock market, and you have to know what market you are in. Is your part up or down? If someone generally says the Government market is down, it may be down, but it may not be down in your industry.

    Q: How do Government Contracting Officers view civilian contract Past Performance?

    A: It depends on the evaluation criteria. For example, cyber security for a Fortune 500 company may be similar to performing cyber security for DoD, but not same. However, civilian ground security services could be the same, and if you make a vehicle, it’s the same.

    Consider how well your customer understands how close that commercial experience is to what they are buying.

    Remember that the Government is requirements-driven. When thinking about potential business, ask yourself: “Is there a requirement out there that is similar to what I do?” And then try to influence your target market of what you can do. I recommend Episode 16 – The Importance of Targeting, because targeting is so key to finding the right Government work for your business rather than wasting your time.

    Q: What are some “don’t do” tips?

    A: 1. Do not email the CO who does not buy what you sell. If you do, you are now spamming him or her and have shown zero interest in becoming a lead.

    2. Don’t use mass emails as a tool. On the unlikely event you get through, a personalized email is much better saying: “I think I sell what you buy.”

    3. Don’t assume Government contracting personnel don’t know what they are doing. It comes across in your tone. They may be young or new, for instance, 40% of our listeners are Government employees. They may never had needed to know what you are asking. For example, some agencies only use GSA contracts, and some never use GSA contracts. For additional insight into knowing your customer, I recommend you listen to Episode 7 – What is a Contracting Officer?

    4. Make sure you want to do this. I remember one business that did not like dealing with the Government, so my question was: "Then why do it?"

    A former CO once said, “Government contractors don’t treat us like we are a company.” Remember, Government workers are still people.

    Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

    A: 1. Listen to the podcasts, if you learn something you didn’t know, then we have done our job. We want to help you win stuff. The CO’s perspective matters, and if you want to win more contracts, contact me.

    2. I know it’s a lofty goal, but when I started my business, I wanted to try and make Government contracting better, one contract at a time. I want to help people make fewer mistakes, target the right opportunities, and not chase the wrong markets.

    3. Figure out what is working exceptionally well for you. If you become a subcontractor, you get in front of users; they see what you can do. And it builds your clientele.

    4. Understand your risks, and your weight class.

    5. Look us up on LinkedIn and schedule time to talk to us.

    Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your time and thoughts with Opps4Vets!

    About Skyway Acquisition Solutions:

    Skyway Acquisition Solutions helps companies focus their efforts in the federal market. Their former contracting officers help people find, compete for, and win federal contracts.

    (877)884-5280

    P.O. Box 49294, St. Petersburg, FL 33743

    connect@skywayacquisition.com

    www://skywayacq.com/

    By Valerie Ormond

    Veteran Writing Services, LLC

     


  • 01 Jun 2017 18:44 | Valerie Ormond

    As a follow up to the May 4th blog post regarding a new Veterans hotline, the hotline launched today, per this Military Times article. Although health care issues were likely the impetus, Veterans business issues could be heard as well.

    Valerie Ormond

    Veteran Writing Services, LLC


  • 23 May 2017 07:29 | Valerie Ormond

    Have you maximized your VetBiz Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) profile capabilities section yet?

    This section is viewable to the public, and including the right keywords assists your potential customers in finding you. It’s a free marketing tool for CVE businesses, and if you have a capabilities statement already prepared, it is easy to cut and paste your information into this section.

    If you want to see what others are doing, your Opps4Vets membership provides you easy access to other Opps4Vets member profiles and their CVE links. Here’s how:

    1. Select CVE Supplier from the menu bar

    2. Select Suppliers from the drop down menu

    3. In the Search box, fill out the keywords you want to search (ex. Information Technology)

    4. All member businesses with your selected keywords will be listed

    5. Scroll through businesses similar to yours and see what keywords and capabilities they may be using to describe their businesses.

    So, make sure your CVE business page capabilities section is current, keyword rich, and represents your business professionally. The only cost to you is your time and effort.

    If anyone has additional tips, or good examples they would like to include, please share in the blog comments.

    Valerie Ormond

    Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC


  • 11 May 2017 12:56 | Valerie Ormond

    Many of you may have seen Opps4Vets Founder Al Renteria's recent email and post, "America's #1 Choice Nationwide Campaign." This article dovetails on that theme: are you prepared to put your best foot forward with your business's Capability Statement?

    If you want to do business in the state, local, and Federal landscape, you need to have one. Although not as required in the commercial sector, in my personal experience, I've had positive reactions. Your Capability (or Capabilities) Statement should convey what you can do for a customer and why they should hire you above others. The layout, color scheme, design, and wording, vary greatly, and look around to see what models suit your business and your business personality. And even if you contract it out, make sure someone other than you proofreads it, because you can't see your own mistakes.

    I'm attaching a presentation from a webinar because I think Gloria Larkin speaks about the Capability Statement better than I can. The webinar is not live, so you don't need to follow the instructions in the beginning. But the content is very good, remembering that it is YOUR statement and YOUR business, and she is providing recommendations.

    And for our Opps4Vets members, I have two requests:

    1. Could you please share your Capability(ies) Statement in our Comments to help others?

    Here is an example from one of our Opps4Vets members, WoVo Identity Solutions, for starters.

    2. For our graphic designers out there, if you do this kind of work, can you please let our members know?

    Here is Gloria Larkin, TargetGov's, presentation: 2015-06-25_CapStmt_(Larkin).pdf

    Thank you, and I know we have amazing capabilities among our now 670 members!

    Valerie Ormond

    Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC


  • 04 May 2017 10:30 | Valerie Ormond

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has come under intense scrutiny from Congress, Veterans, and taxpayers in recent years in large part due to its patient wait time scandal. The first bills to pass the U.S. House of Representatives in the current 115th Congress included The Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act. The Congress.gov website has numerous current bills pending pertaining to VA accountability, and there was no shortage of proposed accountability legislation in the 114th Congress.

    Now the President has weighed in as well. On April 27, 2017, President Trump traveled across Lafayette Park from the White House to the VA Central Office to sign Executive Order (EO) 13793, “Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

    The intent of the EO is to improve accountability and whistleblower protection at VA. It directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and to appoint a special assistant to serve as the office’s Executive Director.

    This new office must be established within 45 days of the EO (therefore, by June 11, 2017), and VA must provide funding and administrative support “consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.”

    The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection shall advise and assist the Secretary in using, as appropriate, all available authorities to discipline or terminate a VA manager or employee who has violated the public’s trust and failed to carry out his or her duties on behalf Veterans and to recruit, reward, and retain high-performing employees.

    In addition, the office will identify statutory barriers to the Secretary’s authority to discipline or terminate any employee who has jeopardized the health, safety, or well-being of a Veteran, reporting such barriers to the Secretary for consideration as to the need for legislative changes.

    Finally, the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is charged with the responsibility to work closely with VA components to ensure swift and effective resolution of Veterans complaints of wrongdoing at VA, ensure adequate investigation and correction of wrongdoing at VA, and protect employees who lawfully disclose wrongdoing from retaliation.

    The EO does provide the Secretary with some flexibility in establishing the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. The Secretary may consider whether some or all of the functions are currently performed by an existing VA office, component, or program and to determine if certain administrative capabilities necessary to operate the office are redundant. Additionally, the Secretary may consider whether combining VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection with another VA office, component, or program may improve VA’s efficiency, effectiveness, or accountability.

    A copy of EO 13793 was published in the Tuesday, May 2, 2017, edition of the Federal Register.

    About the Author:

    Wayne Simpson | Centre Law & Consulting

    Wayne Simpson
    Consultant

    Wayne Simpson is a seasoned former Federal executive and acquisition professional who is also a highly-motivated and demonstrative small business advocate, with nearly 38 years of Federal Civilian Service with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and its predecessor organization, the Veterans Administration.

    Source: Thoughts from anyone in the Opps4Vets community?

    Valerie Ormond

    Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC


  • 14 Apr 2017 11:58 | Valerie Ormond

    Please meet Opps4Vets Charter Sponsor, Azita S. Moghaddam, from ASM Educational Center (ASM). In her own words:

    I am Azita Moghaddam from ASM Educational Center,  a family-owned and operated business and certified Woman-Owned Small Business.

    ASM felt it was important to become an Opps4Vets sponsor because we wanted to support our Veterans and simply say THANKS for serving our country.

    ASM provides Training (IT, Soft Skill, Management, Entrepreneurship and other) and delivers training in the US and across the globe.

    As we celebrate our 25th year anniversary, we look forward to opportunities where we can team up with CVE's to pursue Government contracts or other commercial projects. We also welcome the opportunity to provide training to your employees as well as your customers (standard and customized).

    Please also visit our site to learn more about the Military Spouse Scholarships (up to $4K) at www.asmed.com/mycaa!

    Our biggest lesson learned we’d like to share with Veteran businesses is to never give up and always do the right thing.

    You can find out more about us at our Opps4Vets page here.

    Also, please feel free to send me an email at azitam@asmed.com.

    My family and I look forward to being of service to you!

    With Gratitude and Appreciation, Azita

    Azita's parents, Ency Moghaddam and Ahmad Moghaddam, receiving the distinguished 2014 Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award. The judges selected ASM from among more than 4,000 nominations.

    Thank you, Azita, for being part of the Opps4Vets community, and we look forward to working with you!

    Valerie Ormond, Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC




  • 11 Apr 2017 18:16 | Valerie Ormond

    http://www.highroadsolution.com/clients/moaa/images/spacer.gifINFORMATION ABOUT NEW VSO SERVICE MODEL.


    Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) has transitioned to a new service model of providing information and advice on the VA disability compensation and appeals processes as well as other benefits offered by the VA.

    Join MOAA staff VSO experts on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EST for a webinar that will describe the new service model. They will provide a question and answer session at the end.

    You can view more information and register in advance by clicking
    here. Advanced registration can be done any time before the event. Read More >

     

     

    Interested in learning more about VA benefit eligibility or the claims filing process? Visit MOAA’s VSO Webinar Archives on our website: www.moaa.org/vsowebinar.


    Valerie Ormond, Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC


  • 03 Apr 2017 15:41 | Valerie Ormond

    by:  Robin James, ez8a

    I received a lot of calls for people asking if the information for Veteran Owned firms was similar to that of the Service Disabled group for those firms that had both the Veteran Owned business certification as well as a GSA Schedule.

     

    The summary table below shows the groups with the highest average federal revenue for the ten most common NAICS Codes for SDVOSB and Veteran Owned firms.

                                                                                                       
      Non-GSA GSA
           

     Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

         
           

      0

         
           

    6

         
           

     Veteran Owned Business (VetBiz)

         
    0 4
     

    The table below show that firms with either the SDVOSB Verification or the VetBiz Verification out perform their peers generally speaking by a factor greater than 10x. 

     

    Top 10 NAICS Codes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    NAICS Code Description        

    Number of Firms Non-GSA

         
           

    Average Non-GSA Revenue (3 years combined revenue) 

         
           

    Number of Firms GSA 

         
           

     Average GSA Revenue (3 years combined revenue)

         
           

    GSA Revenue Multiple of Non-GSA

             

    Firm Revenue

         
           

    423450 SDVOSB

         
    Medical, Dental and Hospital Equipment and Supplies 105 $491,683 23 $4,924,920 10.0
           

    423450 VetBiz

         
      122 $292,320 17 $8,603,747 29.4
           

    541330 SDVOSB

         
    Engineering Services 364 $5,546,114 47 $23,107,113 4.2
           

    541330 VetBiz

         
      441 $1,671,435 28 $59,062,152 35.3
           

    541511 SDVOSB

         
     Custom Computer Programming Services 108 $413,847 23 $14,010,993 33.9
           

    541511 VetBiz

         
      154 $1,147,072 27 $11,626,685 10.1
           

    541512 SDVOSB

         
    Computer Systems Design Services 135 $920,110 20 $41,584,764 45.2
           

    541512 VetBiz

         
      149 $1,573,549 16 $7,565,369 4.8
    541513 SDVOSB Computer Facilities Management Services 46 $1,066,716 7 $23,344,416 21.9
    541513 VetBiz   32 $112,726 4 $9,484,333 84.1
    541519 SDVOSB Information Technology Value Added Resellers 110 $1,623,617 23 $123,398,295 76.0
           

    541519 VetBiz

         
      67 $1,433,263 13 $56,491,568 39.4
           

    541611 SDVOSB

         
    Administrative Management and General Management 541 $1,118,080 28 $56,491,568 29.1
           

    541611 VetBiz

         
      418 $1,030,517 18 $16,225,441 15.7
           

    541620 SDVOSB

         
    Environmental Consulting Services 64 $5,649,953 10 $12,894,564 2.3
           

    541620 VetBiz

         
      97 $799,723 7 $6,439,847 8.05
           

    561320 SDVOSB

         
    Temporary Help Services  41 $1,268,778 9 $12,254,416 9.7
           

    561320 VetBiz

         
      30 $272,562 14 $25,044,372 91.8
           

    561612 SDVOSB

         
    Investigation Services 43 $139,584 5 $8,206,951 58.8
           

    561612 VetBiz

         
      78 $1,540,468 8 $12,935,658 8.4
     

    Robin James
    tel:  859-442-1050
    email:  rjames@governmentmarketingresource.com

     

    Please welcome our newest Opps4Vets sponsor, Cogent Solutions!

     

     

    Cogent Solutions is a SDVOSB and HUBZone certified federal systems integrator that is ISO 9001& 27000-1 certified. They are providing advanced technical and business solutions in information technology with a major focus on Cloud services, Web development, Program Management, Helpdesk, COOP/Disaster Recovery, Cyber Security, Information Assurance, and software development.

     

    Welcome to the community, and thank you for your sponsorship!

     
  • 24 Mar 2017 14:28 | Valerie Ormond

    If not, why not?

    A random sampling of Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE)-certified businesses showed that 35% of CVE businesses fail to take advantage of this important, and free, marketing tool.

    Displaying that CVE logo lets buyers know you are vetted, and that you take your business seriously.

    Potential clients know you had the organizational skills to produce the documentation of between 11 and 19 sections of requirements in the manner required.

    They know your books are in order, you meet licensing requirements, and you understand and have committed to abide by strict government regulations.

    Yes, the main point of your website should be to explain and sell your product and services first.

    But don’t miss the golden opportunity to display your hard-earned CVE certification as a bonus discriminator.

    If your CVE logo isn’t currently displayed, schedule 15 minutes today, and request your webmaster load that logo to the appropriate place, or load it yourself. And to make it even easier, here are copies of the CVE logos, so copy and paste yours to your site now.

    Once you’ve done this, post your website link in the comments to this CVE Logo blog post to offer others ideas to as to where it can be placed and to let the community know what you do.

    Valerie Ormond, Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC








  • 19 Mar 2017 14:11 | Valerie Ormond

    SD/VOSB Kingdomware Decision Ramifications for VA Suppliers

    Supreme Court Decision
    The Kingdomware Decision basically clarified that all VA purchases must be set aside for competition among veteran-owned small businesses. This occurs if a contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more small businesses owned and controlled by veterans will submit offers that justify an award can be made at a fair and reasonable price, also known as the “rule of two”.

    VA Policy Change
    The VA now internally has a policy of going into the VIP database to search for available veteran-owned firms from which to request a bid.  This is now procedurally done as part of VA procurements and Veteran Owned firms are then contacted and invited to bid in order to meet the “rule of two” requirements.  

    Federal Supply Schedules
    When the VA is purchasing from Federal Supply Schedules such as FSS or GSA Schedule they must also follow this same procedure. 

    Effect
    There is currently a 3,000 firm backlog trying to get the SDVOSB and VOSB Certifications (Jan 2017). This is building the queue and evaluation time for firms attempting to obtain these certifications, as they are now much more valuable than prior to the Kingdomware decision. (Opps4Vets emphasis) 

    Excerpt from original post by:  Robin James, ez8a, Tel: 859-442-1050; Email: robinj@ez8a.com

    Thank you to new Opps4Vets corporate sponsor Craneology, and please see what one of your fellow Opps4Vets community members is up to.


Matchmaking that works.

Companies are actively seeking out Veteran Owned Businesses and Skilled Veterans for potential employment.  We will use your information to match you with opportunity.