Why You Should Go for Government Contracting

As a small business owner, do you understand the ways government contracting can benefit your company? Our government is the single largest purchaser of goods and services in the world.

As a small business owner, you know the importance of attracting the right clientele for growth. You also know that if you have a thorough understanding of your client base and their needs, pain points, and budget concerns, you will be able to turn those clients into loyal customers and, in the best case scenarios, brand promoters.

While this will be different for every business, based on the services and products they sell, one thing is for certain. If you can land the government as a client, you are golden.

You may be asking why these contracts are so highly sought after. We are here to tell you why federal contracts are good for your small business and which small business industries could benefit the most.

Why are these contracts so good for entrepreneurs?
For many industries, a government contract can benefit your small business in both long term and short-term ways. With the government on your side, you will increase your revenue (short-term) and, more importantly, boost your brand (long-term, which can lead to a long-term revenue increase).

Another important aspect of having the government on your side is the impression this will give to customers and potential clients. If people see that the federal government trusts you, they will be more likely to feel comfortable using your services for their own projects.

Too good to be true?
Now you know what is attractive about landing a contract with the government for your company, but you are probably wondering how attainable it is.

The federal law requires that about 23 percent of all contract dollars go to small businesses and, with the U.S. spending about 500 billion dollars on these contracts, that means there are major dollars given to small businesses all over the country.

As an entrepreneur, this is a great opportunity! Not only will the government prove to be one of the best clients you could possibly land, but you will feel safe, as their payments are guaranteed to be prompt and consistent.

Now, this isn’t to say that the process is super easy; don’t let us fool you. Not just any entrepreneur should apply. But, if your industry can seriously help the government or provide the government with a handy service, you should definitely try to reach out and take advantage of these contracts.

Research beforehand.
Before you set out to land a contract, make sure to study all the regulations surrounding the contracts. Yes, as a small business owner you are busy – we understand that – but we promise this isn’t a waste of time!

Make sure you realize what these contracts entail, and ensure they are right for you and your business. While, yes, there is a ton of money out there available to the right small businesses, these contracts aren’t right for every entrepreneur.

Some industries just aren’t useful to the government. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that only construction or military businesses will receive these contracts. You may be surprised at how many small businesses across the country are rewarded with federal contracts.

Make sure you research and learn about all possible opportunities for your small business. If you find that your company can provide a service that the government lists, then it is worth your time and effort to try to win that bid.

How to Win Government Contract Bids
Once you decide that you can provide the U.S. with all your awesome services, the next step is to do the necessary research and land that win! Here are five winning tips that your company should take advantage of:

• Get certified.
Becoming certified will increase your chance of winning a contract. It will set you apart from the competition, and you can become certified based on specifics to your company. If you are a minority, women, or veteran owned/operated business, there are plenty of programs available to aid you in your certification.

• Be targeted.
This is important for a win. Target your services or needs to fit exactly what the government needs.

• Market yourself.
Make sure to market your business. Get your foot in the door and reach out to agencies contracting offices. Network. Get your company’s name out there and in people’s minds.

• Identify opportunities.
Once you have determined the agencies most likely to buy from you, now is the time to bid on contracts. Use all tools available to you, and stay in close contact with agency offices.

Tips for Landing Government Contracts Fast

When federal spending is up, as it is now, that creates a great opportunity for government contractors and for small and developing businesses. These contracts can help small businesses get the head start they need, but landing a contract for your firm can be tricky. Knowing all you can about the process will help your success in obtaining federal contracts.

Here’s what you need to familiarize yourself with so that you go for the contract that makes sense for your business:

• Know the rules.
Selling to the government is much different than selling to the private sector. Familiarize yourself with all that ‘s involved, as federal contracts have different bidding and product requirements, and longer lead times.

• Understand what the government is buying.
Every business has its own unique goals. Understanding your own business goals and strategies will help you target the right opportunity for your products/services.

What the federal government intends to buy and how much they are going to spend is all in the public domain. These budgets offer small business owners the chance to identify opportunities, and focus their sales and marketing strategies accordingly. Each federal agency budget is listed on the Office of Management and Budget website.

• Zero in on agencies that aren’t meeting their goals.
Every year the SBA ensures that small businesses get their fair share of federal contracts to make sure that goals are met. Again, all this information is available for public viewing. Take a look to see if your business could possibly lend its products/ services to an agency to help them hit their target.

• Research existing opportunities.
Once you’ve identified any prospects with agencies that align with your business goals, start researching upcoming and/or existing opportunities that may become available to you and your firm.

• Hit the ground running.
Make it a point to attend agency or industry-specific government-held events. These will attract the right influencers and industry experts. These events are worth checking because you can use your networking skills to link with people who could aid you to land that contract.

Though government contracts can greatly benefit entrepreneurs, landing one can be tough. You need to be well-versed in the world of federal contracting to achieve what you want. The problem is that to obtain a contract can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. That is a huge amount of time for those emerging businesses that need cash fast.

However, there are ways in which you can speed the process up; you just need to utilize the right tricks. Here we provide you with five tips for not only landing you a government contract, but also landing it as quickly as possible:

1. Take advantage of special programs.
If your business is women-owned or minority-owned, or even economically disadvantaged, all have a leading edge when it comes to landing contracts. Additionally, businesses that maintain their primary office(s) in historical or underutilized business districts or zones have another advantage over the rest.

Check out any other regulations that your business may qualify for. By taking advantage of these programs, your business will have a better chance of being favored over other businesses.

2. Get certified.
Becoming certified will better help your business. Businesses that are owned 51 percent by women or veterans will receive preferential treatment. To get certified, reach out to organizations that your state provides for women, minorities, and disadvantaged business owners.

If you don’t want to certify through an organization, you can also self-certify through individual contract proposals.

3. Exploit all programs possible.
If your business qualifies for any programs, don’t be afraid to apply to multiple certifications. You may be able to reap all the benefits from all applicable contract opportunities.

4. Become a subcontractor.
Federal agencies like to give contracts to firms that have an established track record. To help your business establish as track record, seek out work as a subcontractor for a business that is working on a major government contract.

To connect with subcontractors, attend local business matchmaking events that aim to link businesses with varying government and corporate procurement officers.

5. Get a mentor.
This networking trick will take you far, and could potentially lead you and your business to subcontract opportunists or even contracts. Through programs and organizations, meet similar business owners and become a protégé to a larger firm that is already working with the government. You will then get your foot in the door and become a better candidate in the government’s eyes. You can also go to big contractors directly and offer to “study” under them.

The Process of Government Contracting Step by Step

It is not uncommon for small businesses and entrepreneurs to offer services and products to sell to the government. They will often strive to make the sale happen; however, most of the time they have no idea of the process of government contracting itself.

Even though the government is the world’s largest consumer, it is a totally different world than the commercial space. So, selling to the government means you need to obtain a completely different knowledge and skill set then you have had before.

If you want to successfully sell your goods and services to the government, it is helpful to know and understand the process. Without at least a basic knowledge of the practice, you could put your business in potential danger.

Below is a short explanation of the overall process. Keep in mind that bids that are either very large or very small will probably have a different practice, but this serves as a general guideline.

If you’re a business owner looking to enter the world of government contracting, this will provide you with a good place to start.

Step One
We can’t say this enough. Plan, plan, and plan some more. Along with extensive planning, you will need to conduct research. These two basics will better equip you with the proper way to go about securing government contracts.

This is the most crucial first step you can take. Without the proper planning and research, you will have a harder time adjusting to the process.

Step Two
Once you’ve obtained all the basic knowledge you can, now is the time to respond to and Invitation for Bid or IFB. This is either a written or electronic document that is issued by an agency that includes all the vital information you need to determine if this is the correct one for your company to pursue, and, if so, how to submit your bid.

IFBs should always include a thorough description of the service or product the agency is looking for. Additionally it should list all the purchasing conditions, type of contract, and delivery schedule.

It is important to note that you should be prepared in advance. This means that the company description, service/product description, and character references should all be ready ahead of time. This will enable you to turn around a bid quickly and efficiently.

Please keep in mind that an IFB is different than a Request for Quote (RFQ) and a Request for Proposal (RFP). An RFQ is specifically issued against the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule Program, whereas the RFP is a broader request and more open-ended than an IFB; RFBs are used for projects where the government is looking to the contractor community for strategy ideas.

Step Three
Now is time for the bid submission. All the planning and research you should have done (see step one) prepares you for this. You should now understand the overall market for your services/products, along with your target agency’s history of buying.

Keep in mind that your prospect isn’t always looking for the lowest price. Be sure to adequately price your company based on quality and experience. Government agencies focus more on experience, and value customers’ positive past performances and stability.

The government wants to trust that you and your company will get the job done efficiently, rather than save a few bucks here and there.

Step Four
After you submit your bid, it is likely that you will be asked for more information. This could mean that you will get asked to give an oral presentation.

This presentation may be asked of you if the agency wants to make a decision between two or three bidders. You will want to go over details of the bid and describe how the work will be accomplished.

These oral presentations are usually more common with RFBs, but all vendors should be prepared to give one.

Step Five
Throughout the entire decision process, keep in mind that the government agency will most likely keep asking for more information. Take this as a good sign! They are interested enough to keep requesting additional information, so make sure to accommodate them and provide all of their needs.

Additional Steps
Once the federal agency makes their decision and your contract is rewarded, you will then be in regular communication with the agency. Both parties need to communicate to set up initial meetings, deadlines, and all the other gritty details.

Remember, as we stated before, the government puts a high emphasis on past performance. So strive to do an outstanding job, so you can later use that reference to continue to build your government business, one contract at a time!

Networking and Government Contracting

Government contracts will help your small business in many ways, but the process of winning a bid can be a long and tiring one. There are unspeakable amounts of paperwork, you have to search through tons of contracts to find the ones that your business has useful goods and services for, and, on top of that, you should learn the correct language to understand everything clearly.

These are all important aspects of landing your contract, but what usually gets left out is the fact that business, even the government side, is all about human interactions and learning how to use those to your advantage.

Build Lasting Human Relationships

Even though the government can seem impersonal, relationships are very important for securing a government contract and for the agency contracts you may wish to pursue in the far-off future. Cold calls and databases can only take you so far.

Even though the process of winning a bid relies on heavy paperwork, you need to get out of the office and network. You want to meet (in person, if possible) important people who will assist in the decision-making both within the government and in the large contractors.

The best way to go about meeting the right people who will help you is to choose between a couple of agencies where you believe you can do work. Go to any events you can to learn about opportunities and to network with these people.

Perhaps the prospect of making these human interactions scares you, or you are not familiar with the correct etiquette. Here we equip you with the best networking tips so you can work any room or event and come out a winner (so to speak).

Networking Tips and Tricks

1. Know who’s who.
It is important to know exactly to whom you are talking. Remember that there are many key players who can potentially help you land a contract with the government.

Whether you are talking to another business owner, or someone high up on the federal ladder, know how to communicate with them properly. Know how they can potentially help your firm. The way you communicate with each person at these events will differ according to their specific roles.

You should do your research before the event and know how to correctly approach different people.

2. Be yourself.
Much like your company needs its own identity to set it apart from others, you need your own personality to set you apart – in a good way. If you try to be something you are not, this will show and not make a good first impression.

Anyone speaking with you, and anyone who potentially will conduct business with you, should feel comfortable and should never have to question if you are genuine or not.

3. Only discuss what is set in stone.
While it is easy as an entrepreneur to get excited and discuss future products or services that may help a contractor, don’t get ahead of yourself. Be sure to only speak about services that are available now: something they can benefit from immediately.

4. Follow up.
This is highly important when building these relationships. Make sure you follow up to stay on important influencers’ radars. Always ask for a business card so you have all of their contact information right in your hand.

To further your connections, shoot them an email to follow up. Message them via LinkedIn – anything that will keep you in their memory as a potential client.

5. Prepare.
This is an especially helpful tool if you are nervous. Prepare by doing research on key people who may be there. Think of some ice breakers beforehand. Practice your handshake and pick out a professional outfit that you feel confident in ahead of time.

Taking all these measures ahead of time will help calm your nerves and allow you to feel more confident when you enter the event.

6. Practice good listening.
What is just as important in any conversation is the ability to listen. It is always refreshing to have a conversation partner who knows when to speak and when to listen. Plus, talking too much with little to no listening skills will end up coming across as rude. That is something you want to avoid when making a vital connection that can help your business’s future.

Once you have these under your belt, feel confident when going to agency events. Meet people who may help you secure the correct contract for your company, and enjoy finally being able to land on the government’s payroll.

Insider Tips for Government Contracting

You would be surprised at how much the government spends a year on private-sector contractors – about 500 billion dollars! Half a trillion dollars is a huge amount and, as a small business owner, you probably want a piece of that pie!

However, it is hard to land a government contract. It is all about who you know and playing the game by the rules. When an agency puts out a request for proposals or RFP, it is vitally important to respond with accuracy. If you do not provide the agency with the right information, communicate with the right contracting office, and with the right goods/services required by the agency, you have a slim chance of winning the bid.

Government contracting is a meticulous game to play, but, when done correctly, your business can reap many rewards. While it is good to know all the rules, regulations, and methods to secure these contracts, it is also beneficial to gain an edge over your competition.

There are several small yet significant steps any business can take to help land that government deal. Below we provide you with insider tips to help you and your business succeed:

1. Find a mentor.
As a business, you have probably found your niche. Creating something that is specific but at the same time needed will take you far. What will help your services even more is knowing the right people who may need your goods or products themselves or know of someone who needs them.

Take this extreme example from NFIB. In 2000, the Navy went looking for new technologies to protect its fleet after an attack on USS Cole. It just so happened that an engineering firm outside of Massachusetts created a product that could use technology to stop cross-compartment flooding.

Although the engineering company had a narrow niche, the Navy was in dire need, and they had it. What does this have to do with landing government contracts for small businesses, you ask?

Well, the deal was secured through a friend on the inside. Although this key player wasn’t a decision maker, he paved the way for the deal. Likewise, a friend might not win you the contract, but they can lead you in the correct direction.

While tried and true, it really is all about those you know. So, make those connections in the community. Network at government agency events. Getting yourself out there, and your company being on the right people’s radar may secure you the contract you need.

2. Talk the talk.
You may not realize it, but language can serve as a huge barrier when it comes to securing your government contract. Government solicitation usually contains hundreds of acronyms that are hardly ever spelled out. Plus, there are about 60,000 of those acronyms.

When you don’t know these, you can potentially damage your credibility, misread criteria that can lead to losing a contract, or worse, win one you wish you hadn’t.

Before you get ready to walk the walk, take the time to research and study the talk. Learning the lingo before your small businesses responds to an RTF will greatly help you.

You don’t want to ruin your company’s reputation, especially because the government looks heavily on past experience. Secondly, you don’t want to get into an agreement with the wrong agency or in a contract that is not what you initially thought.

3. Answer the question asked.
In eager attempts, small businesses will often hand out too much information to an agency when responding to a bid. While businesses may think this is helpful, what they don’t realize is that it usually fails to answer the question.

This disconnect between what is asked for and what is delivered can cost you that coveted contract. Businesses need to strive to clearly answer the question that is asked of them.

The government is the one deciding what it needs and defining the need as it sees fit. When your company prepares proposals, avoid not responding fully or attempting to “sell” the government what your company has to offer.

Instead, remember to answer the particular requests or questions the government asked for. When you don’t, it is called leaving the mail unanswered, and it will not get you any closer to landing that contract.

What is important to take away from these insider tips is that if your small business can answer the mail, talk the talk, and find a mentor, then you will have a better than average chance of receiving your piece of the government pie.

Secure Your Chance of Winning a Gov’t Contract

Secure Your Bid
Board Room

Are you a small business that wants to land a big contract? You may be surprised at who your best customer might be: the government! Thousands of large corporations score government contracts every single day. This directly increases their profits in a major way. Just because you operate a smaller business does not mean you cannot win one, too. Further, as a women-owned company, you are equally entitled to earning a government contract just as much as the bigwigs in huge franchises. You need to first understand what a government contract is, how to find them, and how to win your fair share.

What Is a Government Contractor?

A government contractor is a private company that produces goods and services based on the contract the government created for them. The contractor may work for profit or no profit (non-profit). In either case, a government contractor will assist your business with jobs and revenue. Whether you are just opening your doors or have been in business for decades, you will want a government contractor on your side. It basically guarantees sales of your goods and services.

What is even better for you as a small business owner is the fact that the law requires a certain percentage of all government contracts to be awarded to small businesses. The billion-dollar companies cannot always win the contracts. After all, America is built on small businesses! You have a good opportunity to earn some extra cash for your company as long as you find the right contract for your specific industry. There are government contracts available for nearly every type of industry, from consulting companies, equipment goods, IT needs, rails and roadways, services, supplies, and trades. So, whether you are in accounting or graphic design, there is a contract for your industry.

The best way to go about finding the right government contract is by familiarizing yourself with the rules of contracting. There are local, state, and federal contracts available through government affiliations. Each type offers different amounts of money !important; likewise, each has specific reporting requirements. There may be limitations on several factors, including how much your small business can subcontract, the types of products you can provide, and the overall interaction that is necessary with other firms. It is critical you adhere to these regulations in order to keep your contract. If your small business can fulfill such tasks required, that is very beneficial to you. You can complete the contract at a reasonable price and timeframe, which gives you the upper hand in comparison to large companies.

Do Research for Your Specific Industry

It is essential that you research what contracts and agencies are available for buying your specific goods and services. You can search government bids on the Government Bid, Contracts, RFPs site. The user-friendly site is very easy to navigate. In fact, there are thousands of active government bids every day, and the site sorts them all by industry, including:

  • Business Events, Expos, Matchmaking
  • Business Guides and General Reports
  • Capital Improvement Program Review
  • Consulting: Accounting, Banking, and Finance RFPs
  • Consulting: Architectural and Engineering RFPs
  • Consulting: Conservation, Energy, Solar, Green RFPs
  • Consulting: Court and Legal Government RFPs
  • Consulting: Dental, Healthcare, Medical RFPs
  • Consulting: Education, Training, Leadership, Religion RFPs
  • Consulting: Event Planning, Hotel,Conference RFPs
  • Consulting: Housing, Assisted Living, Nursing Home RFPs
  • Consulting: Human Resources, Staffing, Recruitment RFPs
  • Consulting: Insurance and Benefit Plan RFPs
  • Consulting: Interior Design Service Government RFPs
  • Consulting: Management, Technical, Research and Development RFPs
  • Consulting: Marketing, Advertising, PR, Graphic Design RFPs
  • Consulting: Planning and Transportation Analysis, CDBG RFPs
  • Consulting: Professional Services and Federal RFPs
  • Consulting: Public Affairs, Legislative, Lobbyist RFPs
  • Consulting: Real Estate, Purchase, Lease, Structure, Facility RFPs
  • Consulting: Youth and Aging Service RFPs
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Equipment: Air Circulation, Boilers, Furnace, Refrigerator Bids
  • Equipment: Aircraft Related Bids
  • Equipment: Appliances, Service and Trade Equipment Bids
  • Equipment: Athletic, Playground, Recreation, Golf Carts Bids
  • Equipment: Auto, OEM Part Bids
  • Equipment: Boat and Marine Bids
  • Equipment: Engine, Turbine, Component Government Bids
  • Equipment: Heavy, Dump Truck, Tractor, Trailer, Lift Bids
  • Equipment: Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Equipment: Instrumentation Bids
  • Equipment: Light Vehicle, Auto, Pick-up Truck Bids
  • Equipment: Machinery, Small, Mower Bids
  • Equipment: Medical and Laboratory Government Bids
  • Equipment: Modular and Prefabricated Structure Bids
  • Equipment: Office and Copier Bids
  • Equipment: Petroleum Bulk Station and Terminal RFPs
  • Equipment: Power Supply, Solar, Generator, UPS, Battery Bids
  • Equipment: Purification and Filter Bids
  • Equipment: Rental and Leasing
  • Equipment: Safety, Fire, Police Government Bids and RFPs
  • Equipment: Solid Waste Bids
  • Equipment: Tanks (Fuel and Water) Bids
  • Equipment: Tools, Hand, Power Bids
  • Equipment: Transit, Custom Vehicle Conversions, Railway (Buses, Trains, Modular Vehicles)
  • Equipment: Water, Wastewater, Pump Bids
  • IT: Consulting and Service RFPs
  • IT: Data, Records Management, Storage, SAN RFPs
  • IT: Drones, Robotics, Unmanned Vehicles and Crafts
  • IT: Education (K-12 and Higher) RFPs
  • IT: Financial, Accounting, Payroll system Government RFPs
  • IT: Geographic, RFID, GPS Systems, Mapping and Seismic Bids
  • IT: Hardware and Government Technology Equipment Bids
  • IT: Media, Audio, and Visual Government Bids
  • IT: Medical, Lab, Science Technology Project Opportunities
  • IT: Network, Wi-Fi, Fiber, Internet Project Government RFPs
  • IT: Photography, Microfilming, Scanning, Copy
  • IT: Recycling, Disposal of Electronic Device Bids
  • IT: Security — Cyber, Technology-Related RFPs
  • IT: Security, Alarm, CCTV, and Monitoring RFPs
  • IT: Simulation Equipment, Kiosk and Service RFPs
  • IT: Software used by Governments
  • IT: Video Production Opportunities issued by Governments
  • IT: Voice, Communication, Telecom RFPs
  • IT: Web Development, Database, Programming, Application RFPs
  • Roads and Rails: Aggregate, Asphalt, Concrete, Traffic Paint Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Construction, Bridges, Striping Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Parking, Meters and Ticketing System RFPs
  • Roads and Rails: Sidewalks, Pathways, Parking Lot Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Signalization, Signals, Post, Poles, Related Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Snow Removal, Sweeping, Service Bids
  • Sale and Government Auctions: Equipment and Property
  • Services / Equipment: Vehicle Conversion CNG / Propane
  • Services / Supplies: Agriculture and Animal Related Government Bids
  • Services: Art, Exhibit, Monuments, Cemetery Government Bids
  • Services: Auctioneering RFPs
  • Services: Auto Repair, Towing, Equipment Repair Government Bids
  • Services: Billing, Collection, Investigation, Background, Fingerprint, Livescan
  • Services: Call Center, Answering, Telemarketing RFPs
  • Services: Cleaning and Custodial Government Building RFPs
  • Services: Concessions, Food Services, Vending Bids
  • Services: Environment, Abatement, Hazardous Gov RFPs
  • Services: Facility, Property, Park Management, Operation Bids
  • Services: Federal – S / Utilities Bids and RFPs
  • Services: Grounds, Landscaping and Irrigation RFPs
  • Services: Interpreter, Translation, Transcription, Court Reporting
  • Services: Laboratory RFPs
  • Services: Laundry, Linen, Mats, Washing Bids
  • Services: Personal, Sewing, Upholstery RFPs
  • Services: Pest Control, Weed Government Bids
  • Services: Printing, Publishing and Mailing RFPs
  • Services: Recreational and Sport Government RFPs
  • Services: Recycling, Shredding, and Waste RFPs
  • Services: Security, Assessment, Training Government RFPs
  • Services: Transport, Hauling, Shipping, Warehousing, Moving Bids
  • Supplies: Ammunitions, Weapons, Gun, Rifle Gov Bids
  • Supplies: Beverage, Food, Smallware Bids
  • Supplies: Building, Rope, Chain, Lumber, Glass, Steel, Const. Related
  • Supplies: Chemicals, Gases (Not Fuel) Government Bids
  • Supplies: Clothing and Uniform Government Bids
  • Supplies: Custodial, Janitorial, Soaps, Paper Towels Bids
  • Supplies: Dental, Laboratory and Medical RFPs
  • Supplies: Education, Training, Art Bids
  • Supplies: Electrical, Lighting, Cabling Bids
  • Supplies: Fuel, Oil, Lubricant Bids
  • Supplies: Furniture, Furnishings, Shelving, Desk Bids
  • Supplies: Grounds, Landscaping, Turf Related Government Bids
  • Supplies: Hardware, Abrasive, Bearing Bids
  • Supplies: Musical, Phonograph, Radio Government Bids
  • Supplies: Office Supply, Paper Bids
  • Supplies: Personal Care Item Bids
  • Supplies: Plastic Products, Containers, Tags, Seal Bids
  • Supplies: Plumbing, Irrigation, Water Meters, Valves Bids
  • Supplies: Promotional Item, Award, Seasonal Firework RFPs
  • Supplies: Signs, Wayfinding, Signage (Interior,Exterior) Bids
  • Supplies: Textile, Fabric, and Flag Bids
  • Trades: Carpentry, Doors, Entryways, Locksmith Bids
  • Trades: Concrete, Granite, Masonry, Brick, Block Contracting Opps
  • Trades: Demolition, Salvage, and Excavation Bids
  • Trades: Electrical RFPs and Bids
  • Trades: Elevator and Lift Government Bids
  • Trades: Fence, Gate, Guardrail Government Bids
  • Trades: Flooring, Carpet, Tile Work Contract Opportunities
  • Trades: General Construction, CM, Subcontractor Opportunities
  • Trades: Glass, Glazing, Windows, Tinting Contract Listings
  • Trades: HVAC, Refrigeration, Mechanical Bid Opportunities
  • Trades: Inspection, Quality Control, and Surveying Opportunities
  • Trades: Insulation, Siding, Ceiling Work Contracts and Bids
  • Trades: Machinist, Fabrication and Welding Contract Opportunities
  • Trades: Marine Construction, Dredging Bids
  • Trades: Painting (Paint Supplies), Wash, Blast, Weatherproof Bids
  • Trades: Park, Pool, Playground, Stadium Construction Bids
  • Trades: Park, Pool, Playground, Stadium Construction Bids
  • Trades: Plumbing, Fire Protection Service Bids
  • Trades: Roofing, Gutters, Canopy Government Projects
  • Trades: Water and Sewer, Utility Construction Contract Bids

Chances are very good your area of services and goods fall under one of these categories. You also have the ability to search contract awards on the site. It details the title of the contract, award date, the company who won, and the amount of money. Some examples include:

  • Asphalt Paving on May 11, 2012 for $323,971
  • Color-Changing LED Lighting System on May 6, 2015 for $24,917.66
  • Library Carpet Replacement on April 16, 2015 for $74,900
  • Electrical Substation Distribution Equipment on April 13, 2015 for $141,756.38
  • Camp Park Fire Suppression Repair or Replacement on April 6, 2015 for $13,368
  • Pool Heating system Replacement on April 6, 2015 for $22,175

There are over 30,000 awarded contracts listed that you can search based on keyword, company, or industry. Can you imagine your small business winning one of these contracts? It would be a colossal profit for your company. The contracts also benefit the businesses receiving the goods and services, as well as the economy for your community in general.

Get Ready to Apply For Government Contracts

There are three crucial points to keep in mind during this entire process. First, you must prepare to invest. Just as any other type of work, it takes money to make money. You may feel overwhelmed at how much you have to initially invest in order to get a government contract. However, you should remember that what you are spending to win will pay for itself several times over when the contract is awarded to you.

Second, you can tailor your services. If you are close to satisfying the requirements of a government contract, but something within your goods and services is a tad different, the best thing to do is change your goods and services. In other words, decide what to sell. Figure out what products or services you will sell to which federal agencies. Make your products fit the requirements !important; it will be worth it in the end!

Finally, you should find a mentor to assist you with the entire process. If this is your first time applying, or even searching, for government
contracts, it can be a little tricky, to say the least. You can attend networking events and information sessions. This way, you will familiarize yourself with the government agencies that hold contracts for your industry. You can even contact the small business specialist for the federal agency directly. Each agency has one, so identify who it is, and set up a meeting. During the meeting, you do not have to try to sell your product. You are not trying to convince the specialist to pick you for the contract. Rather, the specialist can point you in the right direction of who will actually do the buying.

Stop trying to analyze the fine print yourself, and hire someone who can get your foot in the door.

Beyond these three essential factors, there are several other key elements to remember when looking for government contracts. These include:

  • Keep your cool — Remember, you are selling to the government, so this sales pitch will be extremely different than trying to convince a private sector that they need your goods and services. If you are too aggressive, it can turn the government agency away. Although you can be passionate about your business, you always want to stay in a positive light.
  • Show off your goods and services — Although you should not come off as aggressive, you can strut your stuff. It might be beneficial to lend out your products for testing or demo your services directly in front of the agency. When they see you have confidence in your business, it may entice them to pick you.
  • Be realistic — You should never assume you will automatically win a contract just because you are a small business. The quality of your goods and services, and the competitiveness of your pricing will boost your chances of winning. The government agency will analyze your past profits and performances. Do not get in over your head on your very first contract, promising the sun, stars, and moon. You need to be practical about your business and its capabilities.

You will have to prove yourself if you win the contract, which will give you a better shot of repeat work in the future.
You must get certified if you are a woman-owned business or a minority-owned business. This can be done through either a state or national entity. Make sure you do your homework, and utilize the many entities available, because several government contracts must be awarded to these specific types of businesses. You will be one step closer to earning a contract for your small business!

Government Bid, Contracts, RFPs makes it easy for you to stay in the loop of what government contracts are available, thanks to its free registry. You can sign up to receive daily local, state, and federal bids, contracts, and RFPs to your email. The contracts may be from cities, counties, schools, airports, authorities, and other agencies.

As a small business owner, you are faced with constant challenge financially. It can be difficult to stay positive at times. However, it will be easy to keep your head afloat in the industry, thanks to government contracts. You need to keep in mind that someone in the United States is going to win these contracts !important; it might as well be you! So, search your industry, and search it often. You will be amazed at how many fall under your goods and services. Once you find one that is tailored to your specific company, and you meet all of the requirements, apply! You will have a government contract on your hands within the next couple of weeks.

What Winning Looks Like
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3 Fatal Mistakes to Avoid in Government Contracting

Most agencies will talk to you about the benefits of Government contracting, but very few will actually point out the most challenging aspects of this venture and how to overcome them. Ask some of the most successful contractors, and they will tell you that their Government contracting endeavours had their fair share of flaws.

Making mistakes in Government contracting is completely acceptable. Not learning from them is what jeopardizes your business and pushes it to the back of the line. It is a highly competitive, rigorous and complex market that requires the utmost expertise, dedication and perseverance. Without these, you cannot possibly hope to attain a modicum of success in the field of Government contracting.

As mentioned before, learning from the mistakes made is key to surviving and thriving in the Government contracting business. When you commit a mistake, you should be quick to acknowledge it, understand it and respond to it with the necessary adjustments and changes. This is how you develop your contracting skills and put yourself in a more advantageous position the next time around.

The following are three of the most costly mistakes that contractors have made in Government contracting. Acquaint yourself with these fatal mistakes so that you can avoid them and have a smoother run in this field.

1) Making Your Business Look Risky

What does a risky business look like? Well to begin with, a risky business is one that has no praiseworthy or laudable track record. When you have no customers that you can refer to, you are running a risky business. The lack of a bank account, credit history, website or social media page are all indicators of a business that does not have a guaranteed existence, let alone guaranteed success.

You need to understand that contracting officers are trained to select the crème of the crop, which certainly does not include businesses that are under the risk of extinction. In other words, the motto of Government contracting (from the Government’s perspective) is to choose the option that has the lowest risk factor.

Now that you know the requirement of the contracting officers, it is on your shoulders to ensure that you lower the risks as much as possible. The lower the risk factor of your company is, the better will be your chances of being acknowledged and approved by the Government officials. To make sure that you look credible, the first course of action that you need to take is be registered in the Central Contractor Registry or CCR. This is the simplest way of securing the legal basics. Once that is done, you can focus on increasing your reputation by opening up a website, social media page, a professional email account using your website’s name and everything else that will add a greater degree of credibility to your company.

2) Not Understanding the Language

It does not matter whether you are at the local city level, the state level or the Federal Government level, every section has a language of its own, along with individual procedures and processes. If you expose your inability to understand the conversation, procedures or acronyms, you endanger your chances of ever making it up the Government contracting ladder.

At every new meeting, outreach session and conference that you attend, you will come across a host of new terms and acronyms that you have probably never heard of before. It is your responsibility to jot down these words and become familiar with them as soon as possible. This is how you learn the lingo and enhance your command over the language.

3) Being Unprepared

A lack of preparation before asking for and meeting with decision makers makes you appear as a careless and unprofessional organization that does not fully comprehend the value of research. You will be provided with abundant background information by the Federal Government entities, but at the same time, you need to do your homework to be able to analyze the information that you have been presented with.

This is where business philosophy comes into play. Having data on your table cannot be regarded as knowledge. It is only when you assess and analyze the data that you acquire knowledge. Without ample knowledge of the subject, your preparation with the decision makers will always remain incomplete.

If you avoid these fatal mistakes, you will be doing yourself a world of favour in the field of Government contracting. These tips can lay the foundation for a healthy, well oiled and stable Government contracting business.

3 Types of Government Contracts You Need to Know

Federal Government contracting is a major step towards prosperity for any small business. The profit margin is kept under control courtesy of rigorously competitive bidding, but that does not change the fact that government contracting can yield great rewards for small businesses over a period of a few years. One of the reasons for that is the fact that the Government keeps handing out projects to small businesses once a contract is rewarded to a worthy candidate.

There are a lot of things that you need to take under consideration when bidding for a government contract. The most important of these is the type of Government contracts that you will be bidding for. Now you may think that just because these contracts are created by one single Government entity, they will have the same impact on your business. This is not true. Different Government contracts influence your company in different ways. This is why familiarizing yourself with Government contracts and knowing the ins and outs of each variant is absolutely essential for you to survive, let alone thrive in the field of Government contracting.

There are various kinds of contracts that are issued by the Federal Acquisitions Regulation. Here, we will be looking at the three that are of the most concern to entrepreneurs owning small businesses.

1) Fixed Price Contracts

The characteristic of a fixed price contract is that the cost is kept as far away from the revenue as possible. The invoices for such contracts are event driven more often than not. This means that invoicing is sent when products and services are delivered. In other words, invoices are not sent out at regular time intervals. With that being said, the terms of the contract do not have to be met completely. Invoices can be sent out when a particular objective stated in the contract is fulfilled by the contractor.

The contractor is usually at the greatest risk when a fixed price contract is signed with the Government body. However, there is very little reason for companies to be intimidated by this contract or ignore it completely. One of the biggest perks of having such a contract is that it allows the company greater room to exercise their control and authority over materials and time management. This notion of a greater share of power appeals to entrepreneurs who would compromise security for heftier rewards.

In simple terms, these contracts always open up the window of opportunity to earn mega profits.

2) Cost Reimbursement Contracts

Cost reimbursement contracts are very much different from fixed price contracts since these do not separate cost and revenue. As a matter of fact, cost and revenue have direct connection in cost reimbursement contracts. There is a periodic time-frame for invoices to be sent out. In other words, the sending of invoices is not dependent on the delivery of goods and services. Monthly based on costs incurred during the period is a typical example of the terms upon which cost reimbursement contracts are created.

When costs are lowered, the revenue stream flows in faster. If there is a loss in revenue, then the terms of the contract can be changed in order to add additional tasking. This contract is extremely suitable for companies that like to play it safe and are afraid of taking leaps of faith and risks that can turn out to be more costly than assumed.

3) Time & Materials Contract

Time & Materials contract, also known as T&M contracts are quite different from any other Government contracts. The biggest difference that can be noted is that the Government directly subscribes to the workforce and labor of the contractor instead of appointing the contractor to produce specific results. In simpler words, the contractor is being hired as a temporary Government workforce. The direct hours are the deliverables in this case. Periodic invoicing exists under the terms of this contract. Since the Government is purchasing specific hours of labor, a contract that details the exact number of hours of particular labor categories is generally issued.

The risk involved in signing up for a T&M contract is relatively low. If the contractor fails to provide the required skills and is unable to show the perseverance required to accomplish the objectives in the field of work, then there is a risk of the Government accusing the company of breaching the contract. In most cases, the small businesses are up to the task that they are appointed for.

Learning more about these contracts can give you a head start in doing your research about Government contracting. The more knowledge you have about these contracts, the better equipped you will be to signing one in the not so distant future.

5 Tips for Writing a Gov’t Contract Proposal

Government contracting is a very profitable business for both small and large companies. Despite how attractive Government contracting may seem on the outside, the reality of the situation is that getting landing a Government contractor’s job is as competitive as anything else in the world of business. An enormous amount of time, effort and investment has to go into Government contracting. In other words, it is a complicated process that can only be simplified by your willpower to learn and progress.

One of the things that companies often struggle with is writing a Government contract proposal. For some, the idea of not being able to be eloquent enough to woo the Government officials seems quite laughable, but truth be told, this is a very serious problem that affects most companies who are in the running for Government contracting. It’s no longer about having a remarkable technical writer who gets the “status quo” spot on. If you want to be regarded highly by the Government officials, you need to walk the extra mile to impress them with something that goes beyond the basic RFP requirements.

Here are 5 simple rules to follow for hitting the nail on the head for Government RFP and proposal writing.

1) Understand the Government’s Problem

Don’t jump into writing a document before you have a complete understanding of the Government’s problem, their aims and their intentions. Do as much research as you can on the nature of the Government’s predicament. Without adequate understanding, you cannot put forward a proper response to the Government officials. The last thing you want is to submit a document that falls short in substance and depth.

Do not fill up the RFP response with fluff. Pretentious documents barely scratch the attention of the Government officials. Make sure that you are letting the Government know that you have done your homework on the particular problem that they are trying to solve. Discuss the industry and the problems that are related to the Government’s contract. Propose plans that you will implement with the Government’s help in order to eradicate the problems that have affected the concerned industry.

2) Don’t Hide Your Costs

If you are to assume that the Government officials are novices and have no knowledge about the industry you are involved, then you are paving your path to a “Federal Rejection”. Before the Government looks for private contractors, they do their research on what your service or product costs. According to the procurement rules, the Government has to come up with an estimate of some sort, which they will not usually stray from. When formulating this estimate, the government takes into account the cost of services and products of nearly all the businesses that are involved in your sector. Therefore, it would be quite foolish for you to try to mislead the Government by hiding your costs and trying to get away with a bargain.

3) Always Compete

The main focus of writing a Government proposal should be to stamp your authority over your competitors. Think of the proposal as no more than an audition, where you are trying to impress the judge (the Government) that you are better than the rest of the participants. In order for you to be better than your rivals, you need to have a basic understanding of what they may conjure up in their proposal. Based on that tentative knowledge, create your own proposal that will outshine theirs. This strategy may not always secure the gold medal for you, but it will at least put you in contention for the runners up spots.

4) Exhibit Your Knowledge of Procurement Rules

The last thing that you want to do when writing a Government contracting proposal is make the government assume that you are a rookie company which has very little knowledge about procurement rules. Let your understanding of the procurement rules shine through in your document. The Government will quite obviously have a liking for those companies which are well versed in the Federal laws, rules and regulations.

5) Keep Your Weaknesses Hidden

No company is perfect. Every company has its flaws, its weaknesses and sometimes even “dirty laundry”. Revealing any of these to the Government is the same as not applying for Government contracting in the first place. The solicitations often ask you to describe past problems and how you handled them. Respond to this question in the most roundabout way as possible, without fabricating facts and including lies.

Follow these 5 simple steps and you will never again be dissatisfied with your Government contract proposal writing.

5 Ways Gov’t Contracting Grows Your Business

The general perception towards Government contracting is that it puts businesses, especially small businesses in a very complicated and intimidating environment. This perception is not a completely misguided one. Without the expertise and assistance of people who are knowledgeable in the field of Government contracting, small businesses can lose their way and end up with a truck load of problems to deal with. Government contracting can be particularly dangerous to the fiscal property of small businesses, but with that being said the rewards on offer of Government contracting are too lucrative to be dismissed by any small business.

Most of the small businesses do not have a clear understanding of how Government contracting can actually benefit their company. Much of this confusion can be blamed on a lack of sufficient knowledge about the effects of Government contracting on the small business sector. Once you are acquainted with impact that Government contracting has on your industry, you will find it easier to be receptive to the idea of bringing your company under the fold of Government contracting. Here are 5 notable ways in which Government contracting influences the small business sector in the United States of America.

1) Procurement Reform

Facilitating Federal procurement was one of the key objectives of Vice President Gore’s National Performance Review Report that was revealed approximately 20 years ago. The main focus of the Vice President was to form a government that works more efficiently and requires less money to be operational. Almost 400 recommendations were made by the report to improve the state of the Federal Government while uplifting the quality of the Government services to the citizens of the nation. This eventually led to the procurement form legislation that will alter the Federal procurement process once and for all.

Currently, plenty of changes are being anticipated in the current Senate Procurement bill. One change in particular is aimed specifically at small business provisions in an attempt to encourage bids by small companies who are at a clear disadvantage from the big hounds in the industry.

2) National Performance Review (NPR)

Government contracting will have a massive impact on Information Technology. The National Performance Review is expected to generate more than $10 billion in new business opportunities. This provides small businesses with a golden opportunity to climb up the ranks by making use of the new funds that are allocated for them. The reason why the Government is so interested in outsourcing its services through small businesses is because they believe that small business can greatly contribute to increasing the productivity and effectiveness of Federal workforce.

3) Health Care Reform

Regardless of which Administration is at the helm, a health care reform is almost always around the corner. Although the details are hardly ever revealed in their entirety, but there is still enough information for marketing research firms to predict that a window of opportunity will be opened that will benefit businesses involved in imaging, data entry technologies, ID cards/smart cards, multimedia and business process re-engineering.

4) Proposal Quality

There is good news for entrepreneurs who are worried about the disparity between the quality of the proposal and the quality of the work performed by the contractor. A RFP that was published a few years ago stated the following in section M “Selection Criteria”, “”The offeror’s ability to follow the proposal instructions set forth in the solicitation will also be considered to be an indication of the offeror’s ability to follow instructions should they be awarded a contract as a result of this solicitation” . In simple words, if you are willing to live by the words you mentioned in the proposal during your application as a contractor, then the Government will definitely look after you in the best way possible.

5) Quicker and Shorter Technology Equipment Buys

The internal policy document of the Government states that the time-frame of performance of Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) hardware buys has been shortened considerably. The duration of 5 years before, has been altered to 2 years now. Furthermore the size of the contracts has been noticeably reduced as well. On paper this may smell like trouble, but in reality, it creates far more opportunities for small businesses than ever before. There will now be more room for solicitations and potential contract negotiations which will put your small company in the driving seat during Government contracting.

Now is a better time than ever to get involved in Government contracting. Seize the opportunity before time runs out in this ever changing global economy.