TargetGov Newsletter- Volume 8, Issue 3
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Are You Building the Right Relationship?

Think about how you make purchasing decisions, especially big ones. You usually feel best about making an informed decision if you know something about the vendor, if they have a good track record, if the price is reasonable and if they have done any work for anyone you know.

It is similar with government relationships. You must spend the time and effort to find the right office and person within that office. They need to take the time to get to know who you are, what your company offers and where you have worked in the past. They are responsible for making very expensive decisions with a lot of complicated legal processes. The easier you make it for them, the better chance you have of getting business.

We want to work with you to navigate and foster these relationships. TargetGov provides expert consulting services and business development products which have directly resulted in clients winning billions of dollars in federal contracts.  We are committed to helping you reach your contracting goals in the federal marketplace.

In This Issue

Are You Building the Right Relationship?

Location, Location, Locomotion

Government Contracting Institute

How to Retrain Your Brain so You Accomplish More


Come See Us

5 Steps to Obtain Decision-maker Meetings
March 13, 2015
Baltimore, MD 

2015 Essential Accounting Updates for Federal Contractors
March 20, 2015
Baltimore, MD 

Location, Location - Locomotion
by Melinda Adamczyk
What a treat it has been to spend the last month working for the Government Contracting Institute. Working with government contracting expert, Gloria Larkin, is in itself, a privilege. She is a master. I have worked for and with many great people, so I have perspective. The Government Contracting Institute was created by Gloria as another way to serve businesses who are government contractors. It is wrap-around service. TargetGov uses the FAST™ Process to assist business in becoming government contractors. The Government Contracting Institute provides comprehensive Advanced Federal Contracting Training to organizations who have become government contractors and need training on what comes next; on the contract. Our classes are taught on site at bwtech@UMBC by long-term industry experts on an ever-increasing range of government contracting topics. Even in the short time I have been here it is clear, the instructors are completely committed and love to teach.
While our students are indeed tech savvy, capable of all things 21st Century, there is some great magic in real-time training and people-in-the-room. Classes are small. People are gathered around a table. Students interact with each other. Students interact with the instructor. When I watch students lean forward to listen, I remember the many great teachers I have had. The anecdotal contributions from instructors often make the penny drop. I watch people light up, become energized and view the task before them in a whole new way. 
Our students represent a range of businesses: small, large, new and old. In some cases, our attendees are the person solely responsible for the government contracting effort at their organization. Some students are very experienced in the industry and must fulfill CEUs. (We are proud to be a NCMA Education partner.)  Some students are just beginning the journey that is government contracting. Some have already won contracts. They come to learn what they need to know to be compliant and to fulfill their contracts perfectly. Some students are new to their positions and are adding to their skill set. And, at the end of every session students ask for more classes. I have watched budding camaraderie’s that may lead to Teaming Partnerships and a relevant network.
We will always offer on-site class, capturing the instructional expertise made possible by the many seasoned professionals here in the Baltimore/DC corridor. This amazing bwtech@UMBC is an incubator model that everyone should see and know about. It is truly something. This location is less than 10 minutes from BWI and just of I-95. Students literally come by car, plane, train and foot. Eventually, we will begin to hybridize our offerings for those who cannot make it to our classroom, or who really must have an e-learning option. It is life in the 21st Century, and we are here to provide instruction. But, having had the privilege of witnessing the live classes, I am determined to preserve the something special that happens in the classroom. Each of us can remember an instructor, whose passion about a topic, made the content come alive. And, each of us is probably living the benefit of that kind of training experience.
We hope to see you in class soon!
Located on-site at bwtech@UMBC, the Institute provides a range of government contracting training taught by industry experts.  

****NEW DATES*****

5 Steps to Obtain Decision-maker Meetings


Getting a meeting with a decision maker is a critical key to success in the federal marketplace. Workshop attendees will be able to identify the actual decision-makers for a target agency and opportunity, discuss how many decision-makers may be involved in the purchasing process, when in the buying cycle you can actually meet (and the supporting FAR proof), and what topics can and cannot be discussed. This workshop covers defense and civilian government agencies as well as the intelligence sector. In addition to agencies, we also cover meetings with prime and general contractors and potential teaming partners. The workshop wraps up with after-the-meeting follow-up best practices. You’ll be instructed by the TargetGov team, who are national experts in federal marketing.

Date: March 13, 2015
Time: 8:30 am- 12:00 pm Doors open at 8:00 am. Breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $297
Credits: 3 CPE, 0.3 CEU, NCMA-certified and accepted by other organizations.

For more information and to register click here

2015 Essential Accounting Updates for Federal Contractors

Take a fresh look at your federal accounting practices.  Increased competition, cuts in overall spending, and changes in compliance requirements have made it essential to be at the top of your game. Regardless of your experience with federal accounting, this class will provide new and updated information and strategies to increase your understanding of government contract accounting. You will gain the knowledge to implement a solid accounting system earning your company a competitive advantage. Class trainers from Aronson LLC, a leading financial advisor to government contractors, will share expertise, advice, and best practices to solve your federal accounting challenges and reduce your audit risk.
Date: March 20, 2015
Time: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, Doors open at 8:00 am. Breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $595
Credits: 7 CPEs, 0.7 CEUs, NCMA-certified and accepted by other organizations.

The Institute offers contracting professionals the opportunity to receive instruction from industry leaders on topics that will help your company fast-track market entry.

For complete listing of our  course selections and more information on the Government Contracting Institute classes click here.


7 Ways To Retrain Your Brain So You Are More Productive

    by Laura Vanderkam - As it appears in Fortune  

Evolution is a slow process. In the timeline of our species, we’re not far removed from our days of living in small clan groups, hunting and gathering to survive. We would encounter no more than a thousand people in our lifetimes. Our brains were built for that world, not one where incessant interruptions at work and at home fly at us like swarms of angry mosquitos.

No wonder we feel distracted and stressed — particularly professional women who are often managing lives that don’t stay neatly compartmentalized. In my research on high-earning women with families, I’ve found that about 75 percent do work tasks outside of work hours, and an equal proportion do personal tasks during the normal business day. There is always something competing for time and attention.

But while “our genes haven’t fully caught up with the demands of modern civilization, fortunately, human knowledge has,” writes McGill University neuroscientist Daniel Levitin in his bestselling book, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. “We now better understand how to overcome evolutionary limitations.”

Highly successful people “have learned to maximize their creativity, and efficiency, by organizing their lives so that they spend less time on the mundane, and more time on the inspiring, comforting, and rewarding things in life.” For true VIPs, this can involve a staff of dozens. For the rest of us, Levitin offers suggestions on how to create the calm that comes from giving our brains less to think about, so we can focus on what matters.

  1. Give things a place. “Place memory evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to keep track of things that didn’t move, such as fruit trees, wells, mountains, lakes,” Levitin writes. We didn’t exactly transport much daily, which is why we’re not wired to keep track of things such as car keys, cell phones, and wallets. We misplace them, then spend much mental energy finding them. The answer? Give these things a home, such as a tray or hook by the door. When possible, buy duplicates so things don’t have to move: reading glasses for work and home, scissors for the kitchen and home office.
  2. Create triggers for what you want to remember. We go through much of life on auto-pilot. It’s one way our brains conserve energy. The problem is that once you start a routine, your brain isn’t going to stop you to remind you of something else you intended to incorporate. But the brain does go on alert when it registers something new. So “use the environment to remind you of what needs to be done,” Levitin writes. “If you’re afraid you’ll forget to buy milk on the way home, put an empty milk carton on the seat next to you in the car or in the backpack you carry to work on the subway.” Your brain will recognize this out-of-context item and interrupt its reverie. This bias toward the new and unexpected is also why emails or text alerts make us so excited. Use this to your advantage, and set up reminders for important things you’d like to take time for: connecting with old friends, scheduling a date with your partner.
  3. Plan for a big network. “Because our ancestors lived in social groups that changed slowly, because they encountered the same people throughout their lives, they could keep almost every social detail they needed to know in their heads,” writes Levitin. Now, you may work and interact with hundreds of people who expect you to remember their names and details about your last conversation. Your brain alone isn’t up for the job. So write down notes about people you meet and what you talked about. Social networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook) can help with basic details, and with birthday and work anniversary reminders, but for the human brain, out of sight really is out of mind. Plan to review your contacts regularly.
  4. Focus. The human brain can switch between tasks, but it’s metabolically costly. “It takes less energy to focus,” writes Levitin. “People who organize their time in a way that allows them to focus are not only going to get more done, but they’ll be less tired and less neurochemically depleted after doing it.” If you have chores to do, put similar chores together. “If you’ve collected a bunch of bills to pay, just pay the bills — don’t use that time to make big decisions about whether to move to a smaller house or buy a new car.” Defer those decisions to a different designated time slot.
  5. Prep and review. Of course, while it’s best to spend big chunks of time focused on one problem, the workplace is seldom set up for this. Many managers tromp from one meeting to another like high schoolers switching classes. You may think you’ll remember what transpired in each meeting, but you won’t. This is why psychiatrists work a 50-minute hour. “They use that extra ten minutes to write down what happened,” notes Levitin. So rather than scheduling things back to back, give yourself ten minutes to write notes about what needs to be done. Also, “Because attention switching is metabolically costly, it’s good neural hygiene for your brain to give it time to switch into the mind-set of your next meeting gradually and in a relaxed way before the meeting starts.” Ideally, hour-long meetings would really run from ten after to ten before the hour. Give it a shot. It’s the rare meeting that couldn’t be compressed if people tried.
  6. Don’t dither over things that don’t matter. Do you agonize over wardrobe or food choices? If your brain can only make so many decisions in a day, then it’s better to preserve its power for weighty matters. Edit your closet to limited options that all work. At business lunches, just choose the same thing (e.g. the Caesar salad). You’ll eat again, and making fewer decisions means you can make better ones when it counts.
  7. Sleep. It’s the secret weapon of cognitive success. “Across a range of inferences involving not just language but mathematics, logic problems, and spatial reasoning, sleep has been shown to enhance the formation and understanding of abstract relations, so much so that people often wake having solved a problem that was unsolvable the night before,” writes Levitin. Good sleep looks different for different people. Some people do best with naps. Some people sleep straight through the night, and others wake for a while in the middle. Whatever works for you, though, prioritize making it happen — and your happy brain will help you get a lot more done.

Laura Vanderkam is a journalist and the author of the forthcoming book Their Own Sweet Time: How Successful Women Build Lives That Work (Portfolio, June 2015).


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