How To Be Prepared For Government Contracting

Being a government contractor can be extremely lucrative. However, you should have a strong understanding of government procedures and processes. We will name some things that all contractors should be aware of in order to be successful.


Government procurement has always been a part of advancing many national, economic, and social objectives. Government contractors must comply with the rules and regulations of labor standard statutes. This will include the Service Contract Act, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, and other statutory requirements that further socio-economic objectives, except for certain contracts where such legislation is specifically stated as non-applicable.

The United States Government Is A Very Powerful Client With Deep Pockets

The Federal government usually spends around 500 billion dollars a year on goods and services. This makes the U.S. government an extremely attractive client. There are few other organizations with this type of spending power and clout.

The government also tends to buy goods and services in bulk. If your business has the infrastructure to handle large orders, then the government can help you grow substantially at an accelerated pace.

Government agencies also buy goods and services in large quantities. Large orders can be a double-edged sword for small businesses. However, if managed correctly, they can help you grow substantially and rapidly.


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 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 is a speech that explains what your business has to offer and how you can help another organization meet its goals. It should be short and simple, no longer than a 30-second elevator ride.

Do Your Research

Once you have selected some agencies that are in need of your goods and services, it is very important to research your customers. Luckily, nowadays you can find out a lot about an organization online.

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. Here are a couple of examples of how you can find the information you need in order 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 would like to do additional research, you can also check, an online listing of government contracts that detail all contracts with a value exceeding $25,000. Another available resource is, a site that details how government money is spent, what agency is issuing awards, and who the federal government is buying from.

The Capability Statement

Capability statements are essential marketing tools.  These written documents state your firm’s abilities in a clear and compact manner. This should include a company overview, past performance, and how you can fill a need for the agency. To stand out from other businesses, be sure to tailor your statement to specifically match the project and/or agency needs.

Be Savvy In E-Commerce and Marketing

Make sure you are up to date on all the latest technologies and software. For certain government agencies, you must be able to invoice and receive payments electronically. Also, make sure that you register on SBA’s PRO-Net database and contact the agency’s office of small and disadvantaged business utilization (OSDBU). This will give you an advantage when trying to market your business to the Federal Government.

Have A Clear Understanding Of The Government’s Accounting Requirements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) states that contractors must comply with the following in order to work with the government:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
  • Cost Accounting Standards
  • FAR agency supplements

Make Sure You Have Your CAGE Code (Commercial and Government Entity)

This code is five characters and unique to your business. It’s basically your ID code, and government agencies will identify your business using this code. It is a bit like a social security number for your business. If your business includes more than one facility, then you will need multiple CAGE codes. Each location must have its own unique code, and each location must be registered separately with SAM.

The Federal Government Offers Great Opportunities For Many Types Of Businesses

The government actually designates a portion of the contracts for women-owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, companies within historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone), and service-disabled, veteran-owned small organizations. This allows for underserved groups to have a real chance to get awarded lucrative government contracts.

The Federal Government Wants To Help Small Businesses Succeed

Unlike other markets, the Federal government wants to make sure that small businesses are able to receive a substantial chunk of the $500 billion contracting pie. This makes the Federal government one of the most powerful consumers of goods and services in the whole entire world and they want to help small businesses succeed in winning these contracts.

How Do You Get Started Working With The Government?

SAM stands for System Award Management.

In order to do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management. The government will not hire any type of business that has not registered in the SAM directory.

We have an article on our site, Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses, that gives you important information about this process.

As a smart entrepreneur, you have already used our site to register in the SAM directory. Congratulations on taking this important first step to become a government contractor.