Friday, September 18, 2009

Attracting Your GSA Mentor

What's In It For Them? And You? 

1.  Learn about the program.
If GSA offers a briefing on its Mentor-Protege program, attend. Otherwise, read all you can. If your prospective mentor is new to Mentor-Protege (because this is new for GSA), you may need to be able to explain how it works, and provide links.
2.   Think about what you can offer your mentor.
These programs take time -- theirs and yours -- for application as well as participation. What's in it for them?
- More margin on sales subcontract to you?
- Access to a new client base?
- Opportunity for an equity position in your company?
- Something else?
3.   Decide what you want from your mentor. Need ideas? The 2007 GAO report said:
  • 87 percent of responding protégés said their mentors helped their business development and corporate infrastructure. 
  • 84 percent credited mentors with "enhanced their engineering or technical expertise"; a
  • 25% said their participation helped them meet ISO quality Standardization, CMMI, or other certifications. 
4.   Prepare To Meet
Update your Capability Statement and list your objectives before you approach your prospective mentors! Remember, a good initial point of contact is the person listed on their GSA Schedule online. Pay attention to your gut. Are you comfortable with what you're hearing and who you're meeting?

Got your mentors narrowed down? Link to the application here and find out more.

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