Small Business Success Club

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Small Business Success Club (SBSC)

If you are like many other GovCon small businesses, your number one pain point is not knowing what to do. Everyone's telling you to 'do your homework', attend events, and build relationships – but no one shows you HOW. You keep spending countless hours trying to 'do the right thing', but you're still not seeing results.

The Small Business Success Club is a community of professionals like you working to build scalable, sustainable GovCon small businesses. Our members understand that successfully selling to the federal government is not a SECRET, it's just a process. Members who follow the process achieve results.



That's a question we would definitely be asking ourselves if we were in your shoes. There are many good (and several not so good) companies offering to help federal government contractors.

We are different because we have actually done the work successfully ourselves at every stage of the contracting process. This is not just theory to us! Everything we teach you comes from our own personal experience and is validated every day with small businesses selling to the federal government.

We practice what we preach, and we teach what works.


We've been in the Seller's Shoes

Neil has been where you are now – several times. With over 20 years experience as a small business owner serving the federal government, Neil has personally won contracts with VA, Army, USAF, DHS, Education, White House, and others. He has also won millions through subcontracting relationships with large and small partners.

We've been in the Buyer's Shoes

Emily Harman spent 35 years in the federal government as a user, buyer and champion of government contractors within the Dept. of the Navy.

Emily knows what small businesses do correctly to attract the federal buyer, and what mistakes to avoid as you market and sell to the federal government buyer.

We host Live Members-Only Video Calls

Each week, we host "Live with Neil and Emily' a real-time members-only video call.

Each week, we share a helpful tip like "How to Find and Cold Call the right Gov Buyer for your business"

Get any GovCon question personally answered by your expert advisors – whether you're just starting out or you're already a $10M dollar firm with current government contracts.

Training Uses Actual Member Examples

Instead of theoretical examples, we use real examples from real companies such as yours. If we plan on teaching about a topic like "cold calling" we'll pick a member and use their particular needs for the example. These "Actual Examples" not only help the lucky member, but are more relatable for other members.

GovCon Small Business Focused

The SBSC is committed to the success of small business contractors selling to the federal government. We understand the unique needs and capabilities of small businesses, and we provide guidance from that perspective. We guide members to their first $100k, or first $1M, or even first $10M in revenue.

$3 Billion Increase Win by HUBZone–Businesses

The Small Business Success Club is the sole sponsor of the GovCon Chamber of Commerce and has helped thousands of American small businesses.

In 2018, we helped HUBZone firms win almost $3 BILLION more than 2017, representing a 35% increase in one year.

Your Virtual Executive Team

When you join the Small Business Success Club, you instantly have Emily and Neil on your side. With 30 years experience each and extensive professional networks, think of us as informal members of your Board of Advisors.

Neil McDonnell

Neil McDonnell brings 20+ years government contracting experience as a small business owner and tech SME.

'Generous' is how most people describe Neil. With unlimited energy, clarity and passion, Neil freely shares his hard-learned knowledge from years of skin-in-the-game experience.

Neil has personally won and supported government contracts for VA, Army, Navy, Air Force, HHS, Transportation, Interior, Energy and the Executive Office of the White House.

Neil is famous for making complicated topics easy to understand, helping businesses 'find their niche' and for providing specific, achievable, actionable steps any business owner could follow.

A vocal advocate for American Small Businesses, Neil is the founder of the GovCon Chamber of Commerce (formerly the HUBZone Chamber) and is passionate about helping new contractors understand the process and focusing what is really important.

Neil is a US Army veteran, public speaker, author, the host of the Small Business Success Tips podcast series and a leading LinkedIn GovCon influencer.

Connect with Neil on LinkedIn

Emily Harman

Emily Harman draws on 30+ years experience, both as a Naval Officer and a civilian federal employee. She is a highly respected GovCon influencer and mentor.

As Director of the Department of the Navy's Office of Small Business Programs until June 2019, Emily was the chief advisor to the Secretary of the Navy on all small business matters. She was responsible for small business acquisition policy and strategic initiatives, and ensured small businesses were provided maximum practicable opportunity to support the Navy and Marine Corps as prime and subcontractors.

Emily is especially passionate about helping women-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses succeed in the federal marketplace. As the daughter of small business entrepreneurs, Emily understands the dedication and perseverance required to run a successful business.

Emily is also a personal life coach who helps business owners find solutions to time management, leadership, adversity, setting and achieving goals, strategic planning, and making time for themselves.

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn

"As an eager entrepreneur, I meet a lot of people. As soon as I met Emily, I knew she was different. No matter the subject, her advice and network impresses me!
I sought out Emily as a coach and mentor and her dedication to helping others ensures success all around!"

Heidi Wolff-Sharif
Business Development Executive

"With your help, doors are beginning to open for us.
Our marketing and business info is aligned to our purpose and now, we're prospecting for leads and opportunities the right way.
It was just matter of putting the basics into daily practice to see results. Thanks Neil!"

Marc Furman
Bayen Group, LLC

"A quick-witted and quick-minded authentic professional, Emily demonstrates common sense, an increasingly rare and precious quality. She quickly understood my business, connected the dots between vision and need and kept the innovative flame burning with a few well-chosen words… Impressive!
No matter your challenge, you want Emily Harman on your team! "

Sylvie Platre, CGEIT, PMP, CBAP, Founder and CEO
Performance Quest

"Neil is absolutely 'the real deal'.
He is mentor and motivator and a passionate practitioner.
He brings a blend of experience and expertise.
Neil is positive that all things are possible."

Patrick Burgess
President, Blue Star Technologies

"As Small Business Success Club members, we are learning the GovCon process.
Neil has put us firmly on the path and focused our efforts."

John McGrath
Better Metrics, LLC

"Emily understands how to navigate the US government contracting process, obtain meetings with key influencers and decision makers and capitalize on opportunities. She brings a level of genuine advocacy for capturing the innovation of small businesses, technologies and teams that can grow the government industrial base and introduce cost effective and innovative solutions that advantage the warfighter.
Trust that Emily, her experience, network, responsiveness, and true passion for improving small business outcomes will drive growth and improved results for your business."

Christopher Williams CEO, Citadel Defense
Drone Security Operators Trust


Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Let's try and answer those for you.

We make cancelling your membership as easy as joining. While we obviously don't want to see you go, the decision should be difficult but not the process.

All you have to do is visit your profile (top right) and follow the short steps to cancel.

The best way to get an answer to any question is submit it in the Community.

We monitor the Community on a daily basis and will respond quickly, especially if you mention it is time-sensitive.

The other great thing about the Community, you potentially will see answers from other members as well.

Because 75% of small businesses have incomplete or inaccurate profiles in SAM and DSBS – the very tools government buyers uses to find qualified contractors!
Those companies are INVISIBLE!
If your SAM and DSBS business profiles are not accurate and compelling, you will never make the buyer's shortlist
Did you know that your Capability Statement needs to communicate your company's core competency in just 6 seconds?

With over 20 years of federal government contracting experience personally as a small business owner, I know what needs to be done to be successful, and things that should be avoided. I have personally won and supported contracts in many departments including both civilian and defense agencies.
I wish there was an organization or community I could have joined years ago to help me as a small business owner. But there wasn't - until now.
It seems like every new small business must learn on their own and make the same mistakes other small businesses made.
So I created the Small Business Success Club to teach you how to achieve the success you desire.


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