The Federal Government Wants To Help Small Businesses Succeed
Unlike other markets, the Federal government wants to ensure that small businesses can receive a substantial chunk of the $500 billion contracting pie. This makes the Federal government one of the most potent consumers of goods and services in the entire world, and they want to help small businesses succeed in winning these contracts.
Small Businesses Are Given Special Consideration When It Comes To Government Contracts
In many markets, small businesses are often outcompeted by larger organizations that have access to almost unlimited resources. So this set aside might increase a small business’s chances of winning a lucrative bid.
The federal government must set aside at least 23 percent of its total spending specifically for small businesses. As a result, several small companies have made a fortune just on federal government contract awards.
The Federal Government Has Government Personnel That Are Strictly Utilized to Help Small Businesses Be More Competitive In Securing Government Contracts
Here are some examples:
- SBA Procurement Center Representative (PCR): Procurement Center Representatives are often located at a significant government buying office, even though they technically work for the Small Business Administration. They will identify items and services that small businesses could produce or provide and try to get them “set aside” for small businesses, which means that only small businesses can bid for the contracts.
- Competition Advocate: This person is responsible for promoting full and open competition at high management levels in the significant buying offices. They are supposed to challenge overly restrictive statements of work and contract clauses that can prove to be burdensome. They also try to expand competition for items by offering challenges to requirements that are not deemed necessary for the performance or essential physical characteristics.
- Small Business Specialists (SBS): The law requires every government buying location to have a Small Business Specialist. These specialists work specifically with small businesses to help them do business with that office. Larger government offices might have entire staff, while smaller offices might only have a part-time person assigned to that task. Central government buying offices have full-time staff, while smaller offices have a part-time person assigned to that task.
- SBA Commercial Marketing Representative (CMR): Commercial Marketing Representatives keep track of large companies working for their departments. These representatives are often the go-to for fantastic small business subcontracting opportunities.
It is wise to utilize this group of highly specialized government personnel as they are an invaluable resource for small businesses to obtain 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, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), assist small businesses in obtaining both large enterprise and government procurements.
Here is a list of websites provided by the government to help small businesses obtain contracting information.
The government also offers more personalized guidance through counseling. There are also commercial counseling programs.
The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers or PTACs offer valuable assistance to small businesses. They can be found in educational institutions. These counselors are well known for their expertise. There is also a government-backed membership organization called the National Contracts Management Association.
The PTACs help small businesses locate marketing opportunities and assist with various e-commerce issues. They can also help you prepare financial reports, procurement forms, and contractual paperwork and guide quality assurance. Most of their services are free though there can be a nominal charge for services such as electronic bid matching. You can contact one of the regional directors at The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers for more information. In addition, the website www.sellingtothegovernment.net could help you locate a PTAC near you.
National Contracts Management Association
The National Contracts Management Association (NCMA) is a government-supported organization that started years ago (1959). It was created to help companies do business with the federal government.
The organization provides certification programs and educational seminars for small businesses. They also print a monthly magazine called Contract Management. The fee for new membership is $120 and can be renewed at $100 per year.
Small Business Administration Certifications
A Small Business Administration certification is an excellent way for your business to stand out in the marketplace. Certifications can help you access specialized funding and scholarships, allow you to compete for set-aside contracts, and can be a great bonus to potential clients. Here are some certifications to consider for your small business:
- Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSBs)
- 8(a) Business Development Program
- The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program(SDVOSB)
- Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program (HUBZone)
How Do You Get Started Working With The Government?
SAM stands for System Award Management.
To do business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management. In addition, the government will not hire any type of business that has not been written in the SAM directory.
We have an article on our site, Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses, that gives you essential information about this process.
As an innovative entrepreneur, you have already used our site to register in the SAM directory. Congratulations on taking this critical first step to becoming a government contractor.
How Do You Get Started Working With The Government?
For example, the following are the steps to apply for a federal grant:
- Step 1: Obtain a DUNS Number
- Step 2: Register with SAM
- Step 3: Register with Grants.gov
You might be wondering what SAM means and how you register with the site. Go to sam. Directory to find people willing to make this as easy as possible. Then, check out our informative article Everything A Small Business Needs to Know About the SAM Directory, which should quickly answer most of your questions.