With snow and ice storms impacting much of the country this week, we’re reminded that preparing for bad weather is a lot like preparing for capture of new business within the federal marketspace. Here’s our top five bits of advice for handling either. 1- Prepare ahead of time. You never want to face the storm without the proper resources. For bad weather, tradition holds you need to stock up on bread, milk and TP. In the contracting world, it’s all about people. Make sure you have the right people tasked to the right assignments. Give them the resources they need to succeed, and be involved throughout as a manager. In either case, if you wait until last minute, you’re not going to get what you need. 2- Don’t rely on the forecast. Forecasts can be helpful, but don’t rely too heavily on them. When you know a solicitation is on the horizon, be prepared. Don’t be blindsided by an early, or late, release, or changing requirements in a solicitation. Do your own research, talk to a lot of people, and make your own decisions. Along with that, 3- Be flexible. Contract releases, like storm patterns, tend to change over time. The closer they get, the more difficult they are to grasp. You must be willing to change and adapt to the changing dates and needs the government presents. 4- Trust your people. Somehow roads get cleared and power lines get restored when everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to and working as a team. Trust your pricing people to do pricing, your proposal people to write proposals. Work with trusted consultants like Richter & Company for your independent competitive assessment and price to win needs. Hold your people accountable, and know that there’s a trust factor involved. Encourage working together as a team, and be available for assisting in any realm you’re needed. 5- Responsibility ultimately rests on you. You can blame snow, sleet, ice and the declining skills of the contracting community, but ultimately your fate rests on you. How you plan for and respond to your circumstances determines how well you’ll fare in any storm.