Small Business Government Contracting Assistance

Welcome Back!

In the first part of our series, we talked about some of the technical things your business needs to complete in order to land your first government contract. Now, we will discuss some ways in which you can get your foot in the door to this lucrative world. 

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.

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.

Never Underestimate The Power Of Relationships

As part of understanding your customer, it is very important to build strong relationships within the government agencies. The government is not a giant cold faceless entity. It is made up of people and they will appreciate the opportunity to speak to you face to face. An impressive interview might win you a supporter that will lobby in your favor.

Think About Subcontracting

Subcontracting with a prime contractor rather than the government means that you do not have to worry about the strict rules and regulations that are part of working directly with the government. This is because the subcontractor is actually answerable to the prime contractor, not the government. Luckily, prime contractors are always on the lookout for companies that can help them complete these important government projects. Subcontracting has many advantages for less experienced businesses.

Federal Contracting Also Makes Prime Contractors Want To Seek Out Businesses That Are Traditionally Disadvantaged

This means that prime contractors are on the lookout for talented businesses that are owned by women, minorities, and veterans. This provides opportunities for these groups in federal contracting that might not be available in other markets. Also, it is not unusual for prime contractors to be very loyal to their subcontractors and give them several avenues for repeat business. These are incredibly valuable relationships and firms should develop a strategy for how to approach these types of potential partners.

So, How Does A Small Business Successfully Start Relationships With Key Government Contractors?

The first step is to become familiar with the government marketplace. Do your research and become familiar with the terms that are commonly used in that industry. Then study the different regulations and become certified with the government, if necessary. You could also attend government trade shows to better understand the needs of particular government and state agencies. This will help you identify the needs of prime contractors and any niches that your business could fill.

A Fantastic Presentation Is The Key To Success

Having a good presentation is vital to winning over the federal government. You want to be able to make an excellent impression that goes beyond just having a great price point. It is important to understand that this is not your typical business client. Because the presentation to the United States is so different from presenting to other businesses, many companies get flustered.  Let us guide you through this often intimidating process.

Be Prepared To Give An Oral Presentation

Oral presentations are very common for companies who want to work for the United States government. This is not going to be your typical audience. You might not get the greeting and niceties that usually come with this type of business meeting. The government employees are not allowed to react to anything that is said. You should be used to seeing no feedback until the question and answer period.

You Still Need To Make Yourself Stand Out

The federal government will be watching many groups of people from various other companies. They have a point system and award the contract to the business that scores the most points. The government will often see the basic material being presented numerous times. It is important that your presentation is unique and memorable in a positive way. Your company really needs to catch their attention.

Make Sure You Establish A Good Business Reputation

Try to establish a network of government contacts at various agencies. These contacts can often serve as invaluable advocates for your business. They can also give you advice on how to navigate the bidding process. After you receive awards, make sure you work hard to establish a track record of reliability and success.  

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.

SAM Directory Can Help

Remember, registering for the SAM directory gives a business automatic entry into the extremely lucrative marketplace of the federal government. It is also a crucial step for applying for rewarding government grants that can help your business reach its full potential.  Let us, the professionals at SAM Directory, make sure that you do all that is needed to not miss out on this important opportunity. We will make certain that your application is processed quickly and efficiently so you can start being a federal contractor as soon as possible. We remove this hassle so you can go about the important mission of running your company. Stay tuned for the next article in this series.