One of the best aspects of the Federal Government contracting industry is that it allows you to play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey!” The Federal Government procurement professionals don’t get to buy whatever they wish. When Congress approves the budget, they mandate how and even when (by fiscal year) the budget will be spent. This budget is published for all to see. There is zero ambiguity regarding what the Federal Government will be buying.
Even better, before the government buys these products and services, they release Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that fully and precisely define what they’re going to buy. Your proposal must simply come closest to the target that they have defined. It’s like playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey where you pin your tail (or proposal’s solution) closest to the donkey’s rear-end. Since there are literally tens of thousands of RFPs in various stages of release at any given time, you simply pick the closest donkey to you and your qualifications.
Why is playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey so great? In other industries and markets, startup founders must GUESS at what customers are willing to buy. And customers are rarely reliable sources of information. Don’t believe me? Just consider the following scenario.
According to a recent study, over two-thirds of Americans are overweight. As an entrepreneur you may see the obvious need for healthy fast-food options. Moreover, you may receive an overwhelming response indicating the desire for healthy fast-food options on various surveys that you commission. Being a bright entrepreneur, you fill this market void by launching your Too Few Tofu Restaurants chain. As you have your grand opening, you start to mentally count the millions of dollars that’s going to be spent by overweight Americans seeking healthier fast-food options.
Then your heart breaks, little by little, as you see overweight American customers walk past your healthy tofu and salad restaurants to buy burgers and fries during their lunch break. It takes you a while to truly believe that your target market is not willing to buy and eat healthy lunch foods. Finally, you relaunch your restaurant chain as Big Boy Burritos…The Biggest Burritos in Town to avoid bankruptcy.
Customers and markets are fickle, and they frequently lie. In many markets, entrepreneurship is a guessing game, and most entrepreneurs guess wrong. There is NO guessing when you play Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You know what the donkey needs and where the donkey needs it. You also know when the game is going to be played. And, this donkey has very deep pockets and is very generous when it comes to its tail!