Businesses of all sizes, not just large corporations, are eligible to bid for federal government contracts. Sometimes small businesses have niche skills that perfectly suit them to fulfill a government contract. If you’re interested in bidding on government contracts, make sure your small business is ready to handle the job before you start the paperwork process.
Leverage Your Business’s Strengths
You started your business for a reason, and you should know every facet of that business. Because so many federal government contracts exist, knowing your business is essential when you’re trying to pick the contracts you’re capable of carrying out. Plus, you’ll be able to sell your business better when you know exactly why your small company is perfect for a contract.
Consider other strengths and advantages: The government takes special care to consider bids by women, veterans, and people from certain economic areas. It also makes a point of considering small businesses for the goal of a quarter of all contracts.
Don’t Forget State and Local
The federal government is your goal, but state and local contracts are other good places to focus. Because government budgets change frequently, having contracts at all three levels (federal, state, and local) offers you protection from those changing budgets. Gaining local or state experience is a good way to increase your knowledge of the process and meet people from government agencies. You never know when a state politician might choose to run on the national stage.
Keep Current on Rules and Regulations
When you contract (or subcontract) for the government, you need to adhere to all the rules and regulations to which a government agency working in your field does. Your business probably uses cloud services. If you’re working for the government, then your technology use needs to comply with FISMA, the Federal Information Security Management Act. Before you win any government contracts, go over a FISMA cheat sheet to find out what you have to do to comply with these regulations. Otherwise, you might face trouble once you win a contract.
Find networking events where the government agencies you hope to work with will be. Fill out your paperwork online when necessary, but take time to stop by the office to drop off hard copies and meet the people working there. Some organizations hold networking events specifically for government contractors; register for those events and see whether you can find a few people who you can talk to while you’re wading through the complicated paperwork process.
Bid More Than Once
Finally, don’t give up after one bid. If you believe your business has something to offer the government, then keep bidding on contracts you want to fulfill. You’ll get more experience in bidding, and you’ll increase your chances of finally making this dream happen.
Federal government contracts are an exciting way to grow your business and expand your client base. Learn as much as you can about each job before you bid, practice diligence with the paperwork, and study up on rules and regulations you’ll need to comply with.