Many people think that governments are slow to change. However, as the world becomes more complex, a contractor needs to keep pace with the changing federal marketplace.
For example, the government often goes for a “best value” procurement in times of plenty. This means that they are looking to award the contract to the company that can prove they can best handle a project because of past performance, subject matter expertise, and management capabilities.
When funding is more restrained, government contracts are often given out on a “lowest price, technically acceptable” (LPTA) principle. This means that the decision will be much more driven by the bottom line of price, even in complex projects. A company needs to understand what type of methodology a government agency uses to structure its bids correctly for a higher chance of winning the contract.
Government Contracts Offer Security
The recent pandemic has just shed light on how things can change in the small business marketplace in the blink of an eye. Businesses that were doing quite well had to totally rethink their business models quickly in order to survive.
One of the best ways to expand your business and have a secure lifeline in unexpected rough times is to become a government contractor. The United States government is one of the most powerful consumers of goods and services in the world. This is a 500 hundred billion dollar industry that is required to set aside at least 23 percent of these contracts specifically for small businesses.
This Is Not An Oversaturated Field
Many small businesses often do not want to deal with the hassle of working with the government, and sometimes there can be surprisingly little competition for a government project. That is why utilizing Sam Directory to handle all the confusing registration requirements is a very smart investment. A smart small business can put themselves in a very favorable position to win government contracts if they just follow our guidelines.
Remember Registration With The SAM Directory Is The Vital First Step
SAM stands for System Award Management.
To do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management directory. The government will not hire any type of business (large or small) that has not registered in the SAM directory.
Please read one of the helpful blog articles on our site like Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses. These blogs will help give you all the information you need to understand how we can help make the process very easy for you.
Do Your Research
Once you have selected some agencies that require your goods and services, it is essential to research your customers. Luckily, nowadays, you can find out a lot about an organization online.
The United States government is a customer just like any other. However, this customer has deep pockets and unlimited needs. A small business can cater to the government by following a strategy where the customer’s needs always come first. Identify the government agency’s pain points and then offer them your innovative solutions to their problems. This type of discipline always wins significant issues with the government. Here are a couple of examples of how you can find the information you need to win lucrative government contracts:
- Inquire about the vendor Outreach Sessions and when will they be held
- Inquire how your company’s products/services could help with the agency’s missions
- Request meetings with Agency Program managers leading the contract requirements you’re pursuing
If you want to do additional research, you can also check www.fbo.gov, an online listing of government contracts that detail all contracts with a value exceeding $25,000. Another available resource is www.usaspending.gov, which describes how government money is spent, what agency is issuing awards, and who the federal government is buying from.
Understanding The Marketplace
It might at first feel like working for the government is very unpredictable. Contractors can be affected by various factors such as budget cuts, regulatory pressures, change of administration, and stringent accounting rules.
However, all marketplaces can be volatile and change rapidly according to the whims of consumers. Therefore, a company needs to make sure that they understand the end buyer deeply and why they want to use their products and services.
This is also true for the United States Government. Therefore, you will need to develop relationships and cultivate trust that allows you to showcase your competitive advantage. Strategically managing the right relationships might guarantee the federal government as a solid client that can assure your business of a bright future.
High-Level Security and Background Checks
Government contractors need to be able to pass several security clearances. A background check on your company and employees is often a condition of employment.
This will include the following:
- Criminal Records
- Credit History
- Motor Vehicles and License Records
You should make sure that all your personnel and employees can pass this intensive screening. If there are any issues, make sure the government is made aware of them ahead of time, so that an explanation can be given. For example, if you are participating in programs that rehabilitate criminals by giving them jobs. Transparency is often the best way to deal with situations that might cause an issue in obtaining lucrative government contracts.
Help is available from special small business programs that encourage participation by small businesses and help these businesses navigate the government contracting maze This includes small businesses owned by minority and traditionally disadvantaged groups. These programs, which are administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), assist small businesses on how to obtain both large business and government procurements.
Here is a list of websites that are provided by the government to help small businesses obtain contracting information.
FedBizOpps (Federal Business Opportunities): This is the spot for government procurement opportunities of $25,000 or more. Here, buyers for the government are able to publicize their business opportunities by posting information directly to FedBizOpps and commercial companies looking to do business with the government are able to find opportunities solicited by the entire federal contracting community. (http://www.fbo.gov)
Small Business Administration (SBA): This site has a great deal of information pertaining to small businesses as well as SBA-Net, a gateway to opportunities, and a great place to network. It has a direct connection to the CCR database, which is fast becoming the sole database used by government buyers to locate potential small business contractors.
Procurement Gateway: This is the Defense Logistics Agency site for all opportunities posted from its procurement offices. The defense department is one of the largest consumers of goods and services in the government. Their procurement department is encouraged to work with small businesses and this can be a very lucrative opportunity for a lot of small to midsize companies.