I4GovCon 22 - LinkedIn: Business or Social?

May 5, 2016

Whenever business or social media networks change the impact on the people who use them determines the future of the platform. Recently changes In LinkedIn have either excited or annoyed users. Now don't get me wrong I am a fan of LinkedIn and I use it daily. But I understand the pros and the cons that can make people react one way or another. Pete


In this podcast Pete Blum interviews Chris Gorog of Logic Central Online to talk about some of the recent changes to LinkedIn and how they impact human behavior.


  • What some of the changes are that greatly impact how LinkedIn is being used
  • Are the changes altering LinkedIn towards being a social network rather than a business network?
  • How LinkedIn is expanding and helping Veterans
  • Where do we go from here?
  • The next big thing

I4GovCon 21 - So you want to be a federal contractor?

May 1, 2016

Many small businesses desire to be a federal contractor. Jenny walks you through the process and challenges.

She answers the questions:
What do I need to know to get started as a Federal Contractor?
Do I just go and meet with prime contractors?
Where do I go to find the basics?
Should I consider being certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business?
Do I need to get a Trifold?
How do I keep it all organized?
How do I find out what agencies are buying my services and where?
There is so much activity out there how do I narrow it down?
If I have a military background, should I just be looking at Department of Defense Contracts?
What is a GSA Schedule and how do I get one?
How do I get a large contract like SeaPortE or AMCOM Express?
And more!

For more information and answers to your questions got to www.solvability.com

I4GovCon 20 - Are you ready for a Cost Plus Contract?

April 23, 2016

You created a bid and estimated your indirect rates based on potential growth from a Cost Plus contract award that will increase your headcount significantly. What else should you know about Cost Plus contracting?


1. Managing indirect rates is critical to maximizing the profitability of the contract. If you overrun your actual indirect rates, not only will you use up more of the contract value that was planned for program activities, but you may run out of authorized fee pool, reducing overall profit.


2. You may be required to submit an Incurred Cost Submission certifying your actual indirect rates six months after the end of your fiscal year. Check your contract for FAR 52.216-7 clause for Allowable Cost and Payment. The Incurred Cost Submission, also called Incurred Cost Electronically (ICE), has over 20 spreadsheet schedules with detail of your actual indirect rate pools and bases and summaries of your actual contracts, subcontracts and billings.


3. Provisional Billing rates should be submitted to DCAA annually at the beginning of your fiscal year. Once you have estimated your rates for the upcoming fiscal year, send a letter to your cognizant DCAA auditor stating your provisional indirect rates. You should receive a letter back from DCAA acknowledging the provisional rates. You can update your rates during the year if necessary.


4. Create a spreadsheet to track your Provisional and Actual Rates by Fiscal Year. You will want it for reference, and it may also need to show rates “Submitted”, “Unaudited” and “Audited.”


5. DCAA will typically verify receipt of a properly completed ICE, but may not audit it for several years. While DCAA has taken action to clear the backlog of Incurred Cost audits, they may not perform your ICE audit for several years. For small businesses, they have started a program where they may audit your first ICE and then just write an approval letter for subsequent approval, if they have determined the audit risk is low.


6. Issue adjusting billings at the end of your fiscal year for your best estimate of actual indirect rates. This billing is frequently referred to as an Indirect Rate Variance voucher.


7. Your first year may have indirect costs that are not as low as the indirect costs that you bid. You never have control over the timing of the award and the ramp-up time for the contract. If the contract starts in the 8th month of your fiscal year, it will bring down the indirect rate rates for that fiscal year, but not as low as the overall rates you planned in the proposal (which may have intended that the contract start in the 4th month of your fiscal year.) Be sure to discuss this with your contracting office and let them know where you expect to be on indirect rates, since funding may be affected.


8. Track your billings by month, fiscal year and contract year. In order to provide the information needed for the ICE, you will need to keep data showing each billing and the totals for the fiscal year, either in your accounting system or in a spreadsheet. Be prepared to compare your actual indirect rates and report the difference between indirect costs billed and indirect costs applied at actual.


9. Some Cost Plus Contracts have indirect rate ceilings. An indirect rate ceiling is a maximum value for an indirect rate. The most common type of ceiling is a maximum rate for G&A.


10. Some Cost Plus Contracts have exceptions to applying fee. Check your contract and how the fee pool is stated. A Fixed Fee pool may require delivery of hours or technical hours. In this case, you may only be able to apply fee based on labor costs, and not travel and other direct costs.


11. Some Cost Plus Contracts use a Subs Handling Fee or don’t allow Fee to be applied to Subcontractors. These rules will be part of the structure of the bid – be sure that your billing department has this information.


12. Cost Plus Contracts are typically incrementally funded. Funding Modifications will be issued to cover three to six months of funding. You’ll need to track cost and billing and notify your contracting officer when you are at 75% to 85% of funding.


13. Track your Authorized and Funded Contract Value split into Cost and Fee, including by Base and Option Years. Plan ahead on how to set up charging and tracking in your accounting system to provide reporting and billing by your fiscal year and the contract year.


14. Some Cost Plus contracts require a 15% withholding of Fee. The 15% is eligible for billing after the contract completion. This is also called Retainage. You may have the option to bill the fee withholding up to a maximum fee withheld of $50K


15. If you are a subcontractor on a Cost Plus contract, be sure you understand the contract and terms. Even if you prepare and submit an ICE, your prime contractor does not have access to your indirect rates. You will need to submit a variance voucher each fiscal year – don’t let it “roll over” to the end of the contract.


Winning a Cost Plus contract is a positive milestone – just be sure that you review the contract issues, ask lots of questions and discuss with others who have experience with the customer.


I4GovCon 19 - Wrap Rates

April 16, 2016

In federal contracting, a wrap rate is the hourly billing rate that you’ll charge a client for each hour of time.


Jenny takes the complication out of understanding what it all means and how to ensure you have a profit.


She mixes it up talking about Wrap Rates, rappers, and the new Tesla S Model.


I4GovCon 18 - i4GovCon Summit Review

April 9, 2016

The i4GovCon Summit was about bringing together businesses across Florida's I-4 corridor and strengthening the i4GocCon community.

Jenny and Pete review the event and talk about some of the highlight, what great knowledge the speakers gave us, and what each panel covered.

We all learned something valuable and made many new connections while networking with great people.

Check out the great pictures and interviews on i4govcon.com  

I4GovCon 17 - The Agriculture Industry

April 2, 2016

Agriculture is a major industry in the state of Florida and Hillsborough County and the extent of the growth and employment opportunities in this industry are something we wanted to share. At the i4GovCon Summit Simon Bollin talked about the opportunities. This information is valuable so we invited him to tell us all about these opportunities.


Pete and Simon discuss Hillsborough County's agriculture programs for veterans and how continuing growth means lots of jobs 

  • Hillsborough County Veterans in Agriculture Program, introducing veterans to career opportunities in agriculture
  • HCC Veteran Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Florida
  • Unmanned EarthSystems Certificate
  • UF Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Hops research project
  • AgFreeze, veteran owned business food processing business going in Plant City




Simon Bollin is the Agribusiness Development Manager for Hillsborough County Economic Development Department. The primary focus areas for this position is exploring ways to grow jobs and capital investment and ensure that the County’s policies are supportive of agricultural interests.  In addition, Simon provides technical support to the Agriculture Economic Development Council as well as information gained from the Council to support the best interests of the agribusiness community.

Simon grew up on a grain and cattle farm along the Mississippi River in West Central Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Purdue University in 2001. He has studied at the Agriculture University in Cracow, Poland and has lived and worked in several countries overseas.

Simon has a strong background and has held various positions in the agriculture and environmental industries. Past positions include Assistant Farm Manager of Huber Ranch Sod Nursery, which afforded him the opportunity to be involved with the resodding of Solider Field.  His experience as a Certified Crop Adviser for 12 years and a professional agronomist throughout the Midwest and overseas brings experience in dealing with regulatory entities. Simon has been involved in permitting, land application and composting operations of numerous municipal, agricultural, and industrial programs throughout the Midwest and globally.


Outside of work Simon enjoys traveling the country to participate in high cetane motorsports to include diesel truck and motorcycle drag racing, offshore powerboat racing, and Indycar.

Simon can be reached at 813-276-2735 or bollins@hillsboroughcounty.org


I4GovCon 16 - The Transition Room

March 25, 2016

The Transition Room is about the challenges a veteran will face when transitioning out of the military as well as the challenges of the companies who are trying to find those veterans.

Jenny talks to Pete about the plans and goals for the Transition Room during the i4GovCon Summit.

  • Having a panel to talk about the top issues and veteran hiring programs
  • The Project Transition USA: Bring A Hero To Work program and its benefits
  • Using LinkedIn for the veteran and the employer  

I4GovCon 15 - The Thunderdome Initiative

March 19, 2016
SOCOM is leading the initiative called Thunderdome.

It is about bringing together the best and local talent from academic institutions and business to work together torapidly turn ideas into prototypes by pulling all the pockets of vast knowledge together as one.

Jenny tells us what it is all about and where it started. She talks about the local and regional areas and how they can contribute.

Also she covers:
  • What methods the Thunderdome initiative encourages to get these ideas moving
  • What can businesses and communities do to participate
  • How does Florida fit in when it comes to aerospace and defense
  • How the i4GovCon Summit is aligned with the Thunnderdome Initiative

I4GovCon 14 -Learn about the i4GovCon Summit

March 11, 2016

If you are interested in learning about the i4 GovCon community and want to meet others with like minded goals about networking and moving business forward more efficiently the i4GovCon Summit coming up on March 24th in Tampa is the place to be.

This episode goes into some of the detail about the i4GovCon Summit and building a community across the state of Florida. Jenny shares the goals and some of the key topics for the summit. 

  • What companies are out there and what they are doing to re-energize Florida
  • The benefits that come out of groups networking and coming together at the summit
  • How the students of Florida colleges and universities play a big part of this  
  • How to keep the i4GovCon community moving forward after the summit

I4GovCon 13 - What’s New With LinkedIn

February 26, 2016
LinkedIn is a constantly changing platform with new features being added almost month. Even the power users of LinkedIn have a hard time keeping up with all the changes. Pete gives you the latest on what is new and important.

Some of the changes talked about are:


Adding Media 

The LinkedIn long-form

Keep in Touch box

Groups​! They​ ha​ve changed a lot!

​The limit of Groups you can join has been raised
​No more open groups

Discussions are now called “Conversations”