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Anthony Closson: CEO of a Massive Veteran-Owned Contracting Company Built from the Ground Up

 In Blog, Goals, Govcon Learning, GovCon Tips

Build a massive veteran-owned contracting company from the ground up with Anthony Closson!

BACKGROUND

Anthony Closson grew up in a family with a small business. He even helped with his father’s small business and also made some side hustles. 

In college, he also worked as a bodyguard for a multi-millionaire whom he considered as his mentor because he watched and learned how this person built his business. 

Then, in order to strengthen his path and keep him disciplined, he joined the United States Air Force and became a Senior Program Manager over his four years of service. 

During that time where he was in Iraq and Kuwait working with some contractors, he found out how much these contractors got paid. 

It blew his mind and that’s what made him build Colossal Contracting, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certified company providing IT Integration services and others. 

“People had all these ideas, ideas are great, but if you don’t know how to do the disciplined executed steps to get there, you’re going to fall short.”

TOUGH EXPERIENCES

1. There’s a lot of competition. 

While working with companies including Lockheed Martin and other huge agencies, Closson realized that in order to thrive in this marketplace, they need to really separate themselves from the crowd of contractors.

There’s a lot of competition. This is why they are constantly working on defining their brand and their space in the market. 

“We continually define our space in this market. What do we do that’s special? How do people recognize us in our brand? And that is a constant evolution that you have to always be focusing on or you’re just going to turn into another number.”

2. Understand how the money works. 

In building Colossal when the economy tanked, Closson faced a lot of hurdles in terms of getting credit lines for the business. 

However, he was able to go through it and now that the company is bigger, they have more assets that they can leverage. 

With this in mind, he recommended that you should be lockstep with your banker. Understand how the money works and keep your banker involved in your business. 

“The hardest thing for us that we encountered in a small business wasn’t getting the work, it was figuring out how to execute it once you had it financially because it’s not easy to get lines of credit for small businesses, and that was our big hurdle.”

ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES

1. Continue learning. 

As you grow to a certain point, there are new obstacles that you need to face. To solve these new challenges, you need to continue learning. 

Look for a mentor or someone in the industry whose experiences and education you can learn from.

2. Connect these phases. 

Understand how you’re going to reach the government. Consider that there’s a  huge gap between your idea and your talents from receiving a government contract and executing one. 

For instance, after creating an LLC, there are still variables that you need to answer, including:

Are you going after primes? Are you selling to what specific agency? Are you going to try and go all in? Do you have the necessary contract vehicle? How do they do acquisitions?

Remember, there are a handful of talented individuals in this market and together, you are marketing your way to get one client’s attention. 

“People move too fast. They forget about all of those cycles, that I said, in between that are the most critical part.”

3. Be hungry. 

Since Closson established Colossal in 2019, other companies that came in business during that time are already out of business. 

That’s the reality of having a business. You either succeed or fail. This is why you need to always be hungry. 

“I had to work 70 hours a week. No one was gonna give it to me. I had to go get it. And it’s the only way that it’s going to be successful.”

4. Hire colossal people. 

Closson let everyone be involved in making decisions in terms of hiring people. They even hire individuals through word of mouth.

In fact, some of their key individuals have been hired since the company was established. 

The key to this is that they mainly look for the core of who that person really is and if that person is “colossal” or not. 

“You have to really look at the core of who that person is and figure out if they’re colossal or not. They may be great somewhere else and I always, you know, it may work somewhere else, but it may not work here.”

RESOURCES

If you want to learn more how Anthony Closson built a massive veteran-owned contracting company from the ground up, then be sure to click the resources below.

You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

83: Veteran Owned Massive Contracting Company Built from the Ground Up! – Anthony Closson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr-KecYv7zw

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