There’s a tendency to try and cram everything into the end of the calendar year right now.  Here are some tips to help you to make the most of your time without having to take that double-dog dare.  Try not to get distracted about a shutdown: Yes, we are looking at a possible shutdown if Congress doesn’t pass a new spending bill by midnight December 8th.  Congress will have an entire week, though, before then to get it together after they return from Thanksgiving break.  Understand that some of your customers will be distracted by the possibility of a shutdown, but try to keep business moving forward.  Holiday time is RFQ time:  While government CO’s may believe that “there’s no place like home for the holidays” that feeling apparently doesn’t extend to contractors.  Government agencies are legendary for issuing RFP’s and RFQ’s from Thanksgiving to Christmas, often with short turn-around times.  If something lands on your desk with a thud on December 24th, though, that you’ve never seen before it’s a pretty good sign that the procurement is meant for someone else.  Devote your energy to opportunities that, like Santa’s reindeer, have long been on your radar screen. Have your Q2 plan ready to go:  The second quarter of the federal fiscal year starts January 1st and, while it may not be as active as Q4, there will be business transacted.  Similarly a sharper focus will emerge on spring and summer opportunities.  If you’re still deciding on your messaging and new solutions, you are now officially behind the curve.