One of the several things we’ve noticed that separate successful contractors from the field is the quality of their people.  While experienced professionals with excellent knowledge and relationships cost money, you should see how expensive – and frustrating – it is for a company that can’t or won’t make the necessary investments to grow their federal business. You can have an excellent solution but, without the right people to sell and market it, your firm may never get out of the starting gate.  Having the right person, too, in each position is critical to success.  Business development people should have experience in your segment.  A Washington, D.C. presence is essential – and not something “close”.  So much business, even business that will be fulfilled elsewhere, has its roots in Washington that a presence here definitely provides an edge.  Good contracting people who know their field are worth their weight in precious metals, too.  Once you have those people, make sure you don’t require each to wear so many hats that their effectiveness is diminished.  Several companies try to make-do with a contracts person, for example, who also has a sales territory.  Your company is unlikely to be happy with the results from either a sales or compliance standpoint and either one will cost you money if something slips by.  Making the right investments in people gives your business the best chance to succeed in the federal market.