How Small Businesses Can Win Government Contracts

The Key To Winning A Government Contract Is To Pay Attention To Guidelines

You must read closely to 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. 

Be Precise And Follow Directions

Naturally, the government is a stickler for following rules and regulations. It is shocking how many bids get tossed out because companies fail to follow basic directions. Be aware of deadlines and do not leave anything black when filling out forms. The request for proposals or RFPs has very specific instructions and you must take everything seriously. Just think of it like filing your income taxes and do not take any unnecessary shortcuts.

Make Use Of Government-Provided Free Tools.

You can identify contracting opportunities online by utilizing tools such as this forecasting tool that lets you see what opportunities are available. You can study the government contracts that are 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.

Things To Do Before The Requests For Proposal Or The RFP Is Released.

You should always ask the following questions to fully understand how you are going to structure your winning proposal:

  • What is the top priority, quality, price, or speed?
  • What problem can you solve for the government using your product or service?
  • Do you need to team up with anyone else?
  • How is the proposal going to be scored by the agency?
  • What are the agency’s operating policies?
  • Who is the agency’s current contractor for this particular good or service? 

The Structure of Government Requests for Proposals.

Each proposal has three sections:

  • The Scope of Services
  • Instructions- Make sure that you follow all instructions carefully and with precise details
  • Evaluation -This is how the government will score your proposal

The Scope of Services

This is where you will explain how you plan on completing the work or providing the goods that are being acquired. It is the most important part of the proposal.

You must list and provide evidence of core competencies and how you can effectively help the agency reach its desired outcome in the allotted time. This is the time for your business to show your innovation and creativity. You also need to keep in mind that the government does not want to waste money and keep your pricing competitive.

One of the ways to stand out is by identifying your employees and list their qualifications. Make a strong case for why your people are the best at what they do and why the government is in good hands. Remember, you hired this personnel, so no one knows better than you how awesome your team can be at completing the proposal.

This Is The Time To Brag

You should bring up excellent past performance and how you are experienced in providing the goods and services the proposal requires. This does not only mean other government contracts. The government agencies put a high value on commercial work as long as the scope of the project is similar.

Mention Connections

If you have others coming in with you on the proposal to help make things move faster, be sure to mention how this is an advantage. This is particularly true of very large jobs. Think about building relationships with strategic partners so you can have a wide variety of skill sets to provide a strong proposal.

Innovation Is Key

The government needs to be very careful about how they handle money that is provided by taxpayers. They are tasked with making sure that things go smoothly and no unnecessary risks are taken. This is a great opportunity for a small business that prides itself on finding innovative solutions to age-old problems.

The United States government is open to fresh perspectives and ideas that can streamline their systems or save them money. Do not be afraid to think outside the box when you bid for government contracts. Your new ways of doing things could be just the thing to make you stand apart from the other companies vying for the same opportunity. They are particularly keen to listen to ideas that have been proven in the private sector.

Flex Your Expertise

This is not the time to be shy about your business’s accomplishments. Being a small business does not automatically mean that you are the underdog in the competition.

Bigger is certainly not always better.  Small businesses can often prove to be more agile, efficient, and have better response times when compared to their larger counterparts. A larger organization might not have the flexibility to pivot the way it can, which allows small businesses to be able to think on their feet during crises. Smaller companies can also provide more personalized customer services which is something all consumers appreciate.

Narrow In On The Customer’s Needs

At the end of the day, 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 in which the customer’s needs always come first. Identify what the government agency’s pain points are and then offer them your innovative solutions to their problems. This type of discipline always wins big points with the government.

The System for Awards Management or SAM Directory

The absolute first thing that you must do to qualify for government contracting jobs is to register with the federal government supplier database, which is called the System for Award Management or SAM, for short. 

This allows you to be certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This gives you the Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS Number). Your business size will be determined to see if you qualify for the specific set aside government contracts. You will also identify Your North American Industry Classification System. Please see our blog, Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses, to get an in-depth look at what is needed for this phase of the process.

Sam Directory will guide you through the process of writing a successful government contract proposal. We are invested in your success and want to help you succeed in winning a lucrative federal contract.