When you work for a large business, everyone tends to have a single role and there tends to be
discouragement from veering too far outside the boundaries of your defined role.
This works fine for the large business, as all the gears need to be connecting as intended and turning in the right direction for the business to function efficiently. Any little deviation can throw things off and cause the gears not to turn as desired.
The great thing about working for a small business is everyone tends to wear multiple hats and at any level you have an opportunity to be exposed to tasks outside of your boundaries. For example, as the Senior Vice President (SVP), my main focus is overseeing contract/project execution, making sure our customers are satisfied, and growing the business portfolio.
However, I get to do a lot of other really cool stuff, too. I get to help with reviewing contracts, recruiting new staff, and other corporate matters which I really enjoy!
If you work for a small business as I do then you have an opportunity to do things outside your normal boundaries too! One of these is to participate in corporate growth and new business development. Here are some key ways you can contribute, some simple and others much more complex:
1. Keep your resume up to date and posted on your corporate shared site.
This allows your company the latest view of your skills, experience, certifications, and even your customer history so that they can engage you as new opportunities arise.
2. Help your Project Manager (PM) maintain your project past performance writeup.
This is critical to supporting new business development. It provides an always up-to-date description of the project work you are doing so that they can cite it in new business proposals.
3. Keep your eyes and ears open on the ground.
You have line-of-sight access to your customers and other key Government leaders. Be aware of what they are doing. Engage them in discussion. Share what you learn (as appropriate) with your team. You may be exposed to new business opportunities before the rest of the market is given access. You may gain key knowledge and information that is valuable to another proposal your company is writing.
4. Be ready, willing, and able when called upon to help write proposals.
Even if you’re formatting resumes or past performance writeups, you are playing a critical role in the proposal process.
Above all else, be happy and have fun on your project. Your customers pick up on this and your positivity may make a difference in their decision making when they’re making a source selection. Also, be the best ambassador and representative you can be on the ground. It may make others want to join your team!