Despite the perceived hassles of bidding and working on government contracts, they can be a boon to small business growth. Being awarded a government contract is a great way to find reliable income and improve your business’ reputation for professionalism in your industry.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration:
“The world’s largest buyer of goods and services is the Federal Government, with purchases totaling more than $425 billion per year. The government especially encourages small businesses to bid on contracts for some of these needs. In fact, Federal agencies are required to establish contracting goals, with at least 23 percent of all government buying targeted to small firms.”
Tips for Finding Contract Opportunities
- Get in touch with your district or regional SBA office, and get on the email list for new contract announcements.
- Check out the Contracting Opportunities page on SBA.gov. From locating green contracting opportunities to finding state certifying agencies, you’ll find what you need to start the application process as well as learn how you can beat the competition.
Tips for Winning Government Contracts
- Get acquainted with the SBA.gov website. Not only does the Small Business Administration provide numerous resources on understanding the process, but you can also find training courses, opportunities, and tips for marketing your small business to the Federal Government.
- Learn the system. The world of government contracts is fraught with red tape and confusing lingo. However, once you learn to navigate the system, you can streamline your own processes. Applying for contracts can become second nature.
- Follow the instructions. Never has it been more important to read the instructions and follow them to the letter. Incorrectly complete one tiny section of an application, and your bid could get tossed. Don’t be tempted to send unsolicited supporting documents either. If it’s not specifically requested in the application instructions, don’t include it.
- Choose contracts wisely. Don’t bet tempted to apply for every government gig just because you’re desperate to get a foot in the door. If your business is not qualified to handle every aspect of the job, move on. Applying will only waste your time and the time of government workers.
- Network with agency reps. Get to know the people who are responsible for selecting contractors by meeting with them personally or attending open contracting sessions. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and show that you are a dedicated professional.
- Get certified. Working on a government contract means following a determined set of regulations. Check out Working with the Government to see what additional steps you should take to qualify for the job.
As a reminder, minority and women-owned business are frequently sought for contracts as well. You may find it’s worth your while to attain these certifications in your pursuit of doing business with government agencies.
Does your company work on local, state or federal government jobs? Overall, how do you feel about your experiences and their impact on your small business?
Image credit: Marzie