6 organic growth killers crippling contractors


Many contractor aren't putting emphasis on the factors that drive organic growth, including having the right objectives and prioritizing customer relationships, writes BD expert Nic Coppings.

The holy grail for government contracting companies is organic growth – that coveted buzzword investors scrutinize. Yet, for many companies, despite prioritizing organic growth, progress often stalls, leaving them dependent on mergers or acquisitions for growth. So, what's holding them back? It's not about technical prowess, nor simply a crowded marketplace. The silent killers stunting growth lie lurking within the very core of these organizations.

1. Lacking a True Growth Culture

The first is the absence of a genuine growth culture. Merely paying lip service to growth aspirations while failing to ingrain them into the company is akin to erecting a hollow facade. The antidote? Nurturing an environment where every team member embraces their role as an essential growth agent with the requisite skills and incentives to effectively gather and share customer human intelligence.

2. Aligning Growth Objectives

Another challenge lies in aligning individual roles with overarching growth objectives. When employees don't grasp their role in fostering growth or relationship building skills are undervalued, organic growth remains elusive. To address this, create a "Growth Playbook" that outlines goals and how each role contributes.

3. Prioritizing Customer Relationships

Another obstacle is not valuing customer relationships. While technical expertise is crucial, many prioritize it over developing relationships with government decision-makers. Great customer relationships aren't just casual acquaintances - it's about partnerships where the customer feels understood and supported.

Relationships must be seen as an investment and valued like an asset. Implement a "Customer Engagement Program" where designated individuals across teams regularly engage with identified customers so the relationships are in place when needed.

4. Upskilling for Growth

Inconsistent knowledge and the use of "growth" skills compound the challenges. While highly skilled in technical domains, formal training in business development, customer engagement, emotional intelligence, and building relationships with government customers is frequently lacking. Investing in "Growth Skills" training equips your teams with the skills needed for success.

5. Breaking Down Silos

Customer intelligence and market insights often remain trapped in siloed departments, failing to reach the people who need it most. This usually isn't due to ill intent but rather a lack of understanding of how to effectively share and leverage this vital information across the organization.

Companies must foster an environment of transparency where the free flow of intelligence is encouraged and incentivized. Standardizing processes, playbooks, and terminology across departments lay the foundation for seamless collaboration.

6. Integrating Post-Merger Cultures

Finally, integrating disparate cultures after a merger or acquisition presents a formidable hurdle. Create a dedicated team or hire a consultant to align cultures, processes, and playbooks post-merger, streamlining integration and minimizing disruption to growth strategies.

The Path Forward

In the quest for organic growth, organizations must align every facet to solidify market positions, deliver long-term value, and thrive in the competitive landscape. The successful organization of tomorrow will be a cohesive ecosystem where every employee functions as an intelligence node and growth driver attuned to customer needs.

For investors, this translates into higher valuations and smoother exit strategies, recognizing that a company with embedded growth mechanisms is inherently more desirable.

Embracing the necessary mindset shifts, team dynamics, and cultural transformations is crucial to unlock the full potential of organic expansion. Complacency begets obsolescence - adapt or be rendered obsolete.

The choice is yours to tenaciously seize the growth granted to those with the vision and audacity to relentlessly pursue it. Secure your tomorrow as an unstoppable force, or risk relegation to the stagnant middle market abyss. What's your legacy to be?

With over 20 years in the Government market, Nic Coppings, a Senior Partner at Hi-Q Group, has been pivotal in helping clients secure billions (and counting) in contract wins by enhancing their customer relationships and intelligence quality. Hi-Q training programs go beyond theory, equipping teams with the 'how' to forge Winning Relationships and weaponize customer intelligence. Connect with Nic on LinkedIn for more information on how to win more with winning relationships.