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Lessening growing pains in the government contracting world

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When President Jack C. Pines and CEO Robert M. Hemingway founded Analytical Consulting Group, LLC in 2003, they wanted more than just a means to support themselves.  Growing pains were soon realized as they tried to get a foothold in the contracting world.  Hemingway shared that one of the biggest challenges they faced was finding a contracting vehicle.

“If you’re a new company, no matter how experienced you are, if you don’t have a vehicle, you’re dead in the water,” said Hemingway.  In order to become a pre-approved vendor to the Federal Government, companies must have three years of contracting business history. This often equates to working with a larger company because they are already approved. Hemingway asserted there is a lot of competition and the possibility to lose the rights to your work to another company.

The belief that the federal government should leverage the agility and innovation potential of small business by protecting them from large business competition dates back to the Great Depression. In the decades since, it’s become enshrined in policy that small businesses should have “maximum practicable opportunities” to compete for prime contracts and subcontract awards. Translating that into practice for your particular industry is no mean feat and growing your business within the realities of the federal market is its own challenge.  However, if your offering is unique and you’re a small business, the deck is stacked in your favor, shared Steve Charles, co-­founder and executive vice president of immixGroup. 

Along with challenges have come triumphs.  One of those triumphs came when the company was signed as a prime contractor for the U.S. Army, not sub-contracting for a larger company. Hemingway is also proud of the fact that, right after the economy crashed, they were able to still hire people and give them the opportunity to maintain a steady work record. They attribute their success to client satisfaction and providing the highest degree of expertise and industry capability.

“We’re not in this business for the sole purpose of making money,” Hemingway said. “We’re former intelligence analysts. We see it as not just a market, but providing a service. We’re proud that most of our employees are veterans. We’re not limited to that, but we’re proud of it.  We don’t approach this as a market to be exploited.” 

What’s Hemingway’s advice for people going into the contracting business? “Know the basic tenets of federal acquisition regulation. They offer that through the Virginia PTAP,” he said.  The Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) educates participants on what they can and can’t do in government contracting. The program is administered by George Mason University.

Analytical Consulting Group provides a wide range of services for their clients, including national defense, geospatial intelligence, information technology services, information assurance, cyber security, program management and language services.  More information on Analytical Consulting Group can be found at analyticalcg.com.

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

 

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