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Solvability | Jenny W. Clark

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 26)

Summary: Jenny Clark explains the fundamentals of direct and indirect costs, competitive pricing strategies for small businesses and the financial systems required for DCAA compliance, maturity and scalability in government contracting.

Guest Bio | Solvability CEO Jenny W. Clark helps small businesses nationwide win federal contracts, by focusing on competitive pricing and profitability.  Solvability works with 'second stage federal contractors', defined as small businesses serving defense and aerospace with 10 to 100 employees, $2M to $10M in sales.

Based in Florida, Jenny focuses on DCAA Compliance training and consulting for small businesses in the aerospace and defense industry and is passionate about helping small business succeed. For the past 5 years, she has also hosted Florida's Annual GovCon Summit and she continues to be a frequent contributor to the GovCon industry as an author, speaker and coach. 

In this episode, Jenny Clark and Neil McDonnell discuss: 

  • the differences between the various direct and indirect costs that shape business pricing structures
  • how businesses use a multiplier rate to calculate their direct and support costs and desired profit
  • how to calculate the wrap rate – the hourly billing rate businesses charge government clients
  • how tools, like the Wrap Rate Calculator, help businesses create budgets for income and profit and loss statements, track real and projected costs and prepare to scale up
  • how government contracting profit margins average 5-15%, often narrower than in the commercial sector
  • the importance of understanding your real costs completely to determine whether a contract is worth bidding on
  • how legal and accounting professionals who specialize in government regulations and structured reporting systems are different to regular CPAs
  • what it means to be Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) compliant
  • the basic accounting and billing systems (eg QuickBooks desktop version) that are required for government compliance and reporting requirements
  • why primes require subcontractors to use the prime’s billing system, so that federal customers continue to receive instant reporting
  • ideas for how successful companies can immerse themselves in government contracting and find peers and competimates in the industry

Referenced Links:

CONTACT |Jenny W Clark


Neil McDonnell is an experienced small business owner and seasoned entrepreneur. An Army veteran and the founder HUBZone Chamber of Commerce, Neil is a government contracting subject expert and small business advocate for media and conferences.

His podcast series offers key information and tips to help small businesses gain insight into government agencies and large prime contractors and develop strategies to effectively present services. 

SPONSOR: Small Business Success Club



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