Prepare for Success: Tips for Government Contracting Businesses Ahead of Alliance Northwest Conference

Prepare for Success: Tips for Government Contracting Businesses Ahead of Alliance Northwest Conference Main Photo

12 Feb 2024

Government Contracting, APEX Accelerators, Apex, PTAC, Alliance NW

Are you a business engaged in government contracting? Circle March 14th on your calendars because Alliance Northwest, the largest business-to-government conference in the Pacific Northwest, is just around the corner! Now at the Tacoma Convention Center, this event is the ultimate opportunity to connect with prime contractors and government agencies, and for small businesses to come together for a day dedicated to relationship building and networking.

As  you consider how to maximize your Alliance experience, it's imperative to reassess your government business registrations and marketing strategies. Here are key recommendations to position your business for success:


  • System for Award Management (SAM) –we recommend renewing every six months.  This extends the expiration date  and provide a runway for dealing with any issues that may arise.  Additionally, it will allow you to update:
    • dollar amount of contracts *
    • number of people in your company
    • key personnel names
    • contacts and emails.  

*Neglecting SAM updates increases the risk of losing out on bigger contracts. For instance, if you've done $1M+ in government work but show only $10K/year due to outdated SAM info, you might be overlooked for larger projects. Keeping your SAM profile current increases your credibility and competitiveness.

Update your Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) with the Small Business Administration.  

  • Contracting Officers and Prime Contractors use the DSBS as a marketing tool to find small businesses and those with socio-economic certifications.   A red flag for Contracting Officers is an incomplete profile in this system. 
    •  Maximize the limited space.  Use that first line to state your experience and why your business has the expertise or knowledge to succeed.  At the end of your narrative list the certifications that your business has.
    • Include as many keywords as possible regarding your business, make sure the keywords are unique to your industry.
    • If you use references do not provide the reference’s contact information unless requested by a government representative.  This will stop your competitors from marketing to your customers.  However, be sure to include your contact information.


Review your Marketing Plan.  Consider your wins and any areas that need improvement.  Update your Marketing Plan annual goals.  Make an appointment with your APEX Accelerator Advisor who can help you with market research and find upcoming outreach events.  Your APEX Accelerator Advisor can also review your Marketing Plan and offer suggestions.

Update your Capability Statement or Line Card.  Remember to add the projects you are working on or have completed.  Update to quantify and qualify i.e., “Our company provided extensive help desk assistance.”  What does that mean?  Did your company (assistance?) provide 20 employees or 2 employees?  Make sure your DUNS number is changed to your UEI number.  Sign up for our Feb. 14th class for detailed assistance!

Refine Your Presentation:

Elevate your presentation by updating your elevator speech, conducting a thorough website review, and refreshing content to align with your purpose statement. Attention to these details can significantly enhance your impact and credibility. 


This is also a good time to reflect on lessons learned from the past year and leverage them to refine your business strategy. Brainstorm with your employees, your partner, and your APEX Accelerator Advisor, to see how you could turn those failures into a positive experience. Future proposals may inquire about how you resolved issues that arose during the contract. (It's a good practice to request debriefs on all government proposals (even those that you win) to gain valuable insights and enhance future submissions.  Keep all this information in a file where your team has access for proposal writing and responses to evaluations)


Set clear goals for what you hope to achieve at Alliance Northwest. Whether it's forging new partnerships, securing contracts, or simply expanding your network, having a plan in place will help you make the most of your time at the conference.

Attend Workshops and Seminars: Take advantage of the educational opportunities offered at Alliance Northwest. Attend workshops and seminars relevant to your business to gain valuable insights and stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.

Network Strategically: Be strategic about who you connect with and make sure to follow up after the conference. Building relationships is essential for success in government contracting.

Alliance Northwest presents a unique opportunity for businesses engaged in government contracting to connect with key stakeholders and explore new business opportunities. By taking the time to prepare and plan ahead, you can maximize your experience at the conference and set your business up for success in the year ahead.

Need help? KEDA Apex Accelerator business counselors, Mary Jo Juarez and Terry Homburg are widely recognized as subject matter experts in government contracting and their services are free to registered APEX Accelerator clients. 

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