The Federal Government Offers Great Opportunities For Many Types Of Businesses
Small businesses are the economy’s lifeblood. They are often key sources of innovation and research. The mom-and-pop shop has been part of the landscape and American dream since the beginning of this great nation. The federal government can help you achieve your business dreams. Let us help you take this vital first step on the pathway to success.
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.
Sometimes, the hardest step is getting your foot in the door. Networking is extremely important when trying to secure government contracts. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great resource and hosts many events throughout the year. These events are usually at no cost to business owners and can offer a treasure trove of information about how to obtain contracts from various agencies.
This is your opportunity to shine, so make sure you are prepared to present an elevator pitch to better define your company. This speech explains what your business has to offer and how you can help another organization meet its goals. It should be short and simple, a 30-second elevator ride at maximum.
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 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.
The First Step Is Registering With SAM
To do 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 been registered in the SAM directory.
Please read one of the helpful blog articles on our site, 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 easy for you. In addition, Sam Directory will happily guide you through this often confusing process.
What do I need to register for the Sam Directory?
You will need the following :
- A Data Universal Numbering System or DUNS from Dun and Bradstreet
- Your Tax Identification Number or TIN
- A Social Security Number if you are a Sole Proprietor.
Where Do You Find Government Contracts For Bidding
Search for opportunities at the following SAM.gov. Federal agencies are required to publish all contracts that are above $25,000 on SAM.gov. This means that there are a large number of contracts advertised there at any given time.
Contact a procurement officer for information on contracts below the $25,000 threshold for publishing.
In 1994 the Federal Acquisition Act FASA simplified the buying procedures of the government.
Many more harsh restrictions on government purchases were removed for purchases less than $100,000. Now agencies use much simpler procedures for analyzing and soliciting bids up to $100,000. However, the government must still advertise all purchases over $25,000 at www.fbo.gov.
These simplified procedures mean that approval levels are lower, there is much less documentation, and administrative details are not as complex. The government now has to reserve purchases that are between $2,500 and $100,000 for small businesses. The exception is the contracting officer cannot obtain offers from two or more small businesses that are competitive in price and quality.
Purchases not exceeding $2,500 individually or through multiple items are considered micro-purchases. These do not require competitive quotes but are not limited to small businesses. Micro-purchases are often made using government-issued purchase cards or typical credit cards.
Make Sure You Are Organized
Having solid financial records and a clearly thought-out process goes a long way to impress government agencies that you can handle the job. It presents a professional demeanor that is quite impressive.
The Key To Winning A Government Contract Is To Pay Attention To Guidelines
You must read closely what the request for proposals or RFPs wants in your bid. Make sure that you are aware of deadlines and who is handling the requests. Usually, small businesses have 6 to 8 weeks to submit a bid but this can vary, depending on the agency.
Make Use Of Government-Provided Free Tools.
You can identify contracting opportunities online by utilizing this forecasting tool that lets you see available opportunities. You can study government contracts a couple of years old to see what requirements are needed to win the job. This puts you in an excellent position to have all your research completed when the contract is about to expire, and you put in your proposal.