Weekly Kick-starter: How to Refresh Your Pipeline

Michelle Taveres, Ampersand

Michelle Taveres, Ampersand

As the flurry of government fiscal year 13 activity ends, most of our pipelines are looking a little thin. We await award decisions, maybe look to staff couple of wins, adjust to the losses, and start to think about what's next.

Do you need a little inspiration to renew and refresh your opportunity slate?  Here's what I'm reading while thinking about how to build a pipeline of exciting, viable opportunities.  Enjoy!

  • Regardless of your views on Solyndra specifically, the reality is that the government has to get creative (and increase its risk tolerance a wee bit) to get some innovative programs moving.  Is there an opportunity to help your clients get inspired by the Department of Energy's (DOE) lead?
  • Over the last year, the General Services Administration (GSA) has been sorting out issues on its contract for travel services.  Previously a single-award, the e-Travel contract is now being opened up to another vendor. You may or may not be impact but travel in general is an issue for all of our clients and is fertile ground for alternative strategies to getting work done across geographies.
  • This Inc. article on strategies for small business to sell to large ones actually applies much more broadly.  The idea is simple-- get excited but your client and the possibilities to instill a sense of urgency. It's something we know but worth a reminder as you're looking at building out your pipeline. You might prioritize your day around helping clients find ways to solve their most pressing problem--not necessarily their biggest or most complex.
  • This last link on prefab garden sheds is a bit random but my husband and I started talking today about adding another shed to the backyard. I'm embarrassed to admit that we already have two but such is life with no basement and no garage and two toddlers). I haven't done an exhaustive search but there were lots of business out there like this one with a beautiful product at a lower cost than a custom build, a handful of options, free shipping, and good customer feedback. It was just a reminder to me that we all have reports and recommendations out there that with a little repackaging and refinement (to remove anything proprietary from the original client) might benefit another client who's willing to give up some of the customization for something high-quality at a lower cost. 

Regardless of your approach, we all need a pipeline of opportunities to get excited about. A solid list of viable future work helps motivate our teams and support messaging on the strategic direction of the organization. Have fun!