Identify Federal Government Contracting Opportunities
The U.S. General Services Administration runs the FedBizOpps.com site, which provides a searchable database of thousands of government contracting opportunities.
The Maryland Department of Commerce maintains a Federal Facilities Directory listing of federal agencies with a major presence in Maryland. This resource will help you identify facility locations, access procurement history and forecasts, and view contact information for these agencies.
Montgomery County Procurement Resources
- Montgomery County Office of Procurement, provides information and guidelines regarding the purchase of services and products by Montgomery County government.
- Contracting Information – review current opportunities on the Office of Procurement web site and research existing County contracts using dataMontgomery.
- Contract Administrators – departmental contacts that purchase goods and services.
- How to do business with the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Resources.
- How to become a contractor for the Montgomery County Department of Recreation.
- How to do business with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
Finding Opportunities To Bid On
Once youre fully registered in SAM, youre ready to start bidding on contracts. Being able to find and place bids on government contracts is arguably one of your most valuable skills as a contractor, but there is certainly a learning curve to using the governments bidding system. The federal government uses their own bidding system known as Beta SAM. This works as a search portal for government contractors to find opportunities they want to bid on.
If youve ever worked on contracting websites like Fiverr and Upwork, Beta SAM has a similar purpose, but is exclusively for US government contracts. Youll want to get familiar with searching and bidding in Beta SAM so that you can begin finding appropriate contracts for your business as soon as possible.
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The Pros And Cons Of Being A Government Contractor
bycontributorFebruary 28, 2022, 4:54 am
Recently, the United States Government and its government agencies have announced different business opportunities for large corporations and small businesses to potentially submit a proposal for.
With thousands of businesses interested in federal contracting, tons of them have already made and submitted a proposal hoping to get a healthy revenue stream by providing the product or services the federal needs.
But, despite the numbers of businesses in the federals database, all of them fall into different categories contractor and subcontractor. These two works in different ways, and for this article, we will be talking about the advantage and disadvantages of being a government contractor.
How To Register As A Government Contractor
- B.S., Texas A& M University
For thousands of small businesses, contracting for the sale of their goods and services to the federal government agencies opens the doors of growth, opportunity and, of course, prosperity.
But before you can bid on and be awarded government contracts, you or your business must be registered as government contractor. Getting registered as a government contractor is a four-step process.
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Government Contracting Procedures Briefly
Each agency of the federal government conducts business with the public through three specific authorized agents, called contracting officers. These officers are:
- The Procurement Contracting Officer awards contracts and deals with contract terminations in the event the contractor defaults on the terms of the contract.
- The Administrative Contracting Officer administers the contract.
- The Termination Contracting Officer deals with contract terminations when the government chooses to terminate the contract for its own reasons.
Depending on the situation, the same person may the PCO, the ACO, and the TCO.
As a sovereign entity , the federal government retains rights that commercial businesses do not have. Perhaps most importantly, the government has the right to unilaterally change the terms of the contract, provided that the changes are within the general parameters of the contract.
Furnishing Assistance To Contractors
After receiving an activity address code, the contracting officer will notify the appropriate GSA regional office or military activity, which will contact the contractor and-
Provide initial copies of ordering information and instructions and
When necessary, assist the contractor in preparing and submitting, as appropriate-
The initial FEDSTRIP or MILSTRIP requisitions, the Optional Form 347, or the agency-approved forms
A completed GSA Form 457, FSS Publications Mailing List Application, so that the contractor will automatically receive current copies of required publications or
A completed GSA Form 3525, Application for Customer Supply Center Services and .
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Network Within Government And Procurement Programs
Government contracting does not end with just processing and dealing with the federal agencies. You shall learn how to win and develop a business relationship with the people in the industry.
Networking and talking with the people in the agencies can help you understand their needs and budget capabilities. Whenever you get the chance to meet a person from a particular department, you will also deeply understand how they work with government vendors. Also, by making relationships with them, you are not just aiming to win government contracts but also building the trust necessary for doing business.
How To Write An Effective Government Contract Bid
Drafting a proposal for a potential government contract is just the start of the bidding process. But it can have you look at a blank screen for hours, especially if you have no idea where to begin. To jumpstart your journey to writing an impressive bid proposal, here are some of the things you have to take note of:
1. Read and re-read the solicitation document
It pays to be detail-oriented in this line of work. If you miss even one detail about the governments solicitation, your bid will be deemed non-responsive. To avoid this, you should carefully review the entire solicitation, its detailed requirements, and most importantly, understand the contract regulations. If some things arent clear with you, never hesitate to contact the procurement contracting officer to ask questions.
2. Align your proposal with the governments specified needs
Although government contract bid templates may be available on the internet, you should not entirely depend on them. To write an effective bid proposal, you should write your bid around the governments specific needs and how your business can help them out. This will show that you took the necessary effort to fully understand their requirements and plan your businesss course of action.
3. Highlight how your company can deliver the best solution
Telling your businesss compelling history can be an excellent way to start your proposal, but you shouldnt dwell too much on it. A concise paragraph will suffice for that.
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Identify Your Naics Codes
NAICS Codes are a set of numbers that helps the government classify businesses for statistical purposes and identify the industry your products and services belong in.
To get your NAICS Code, you only need to visit this official website, then select which of the codes in their list best describes your business. If you offer different goods and services, you can have one or more NAICS Codes.
Us Government Contracting Rules To Know
Once you are registered as a government contractor, you will be required to comply with several laws, rules, regulations, and procedures when doing business with the government. By far the two most important of these laws are the aforementioned Federal Acquisition Regulations and the 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act . However, there are many other laws and regulations that deal with government contracting.
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Establish A Contractor And Government Entity Code
A CAGE code is another unique identifier for your business that is designed to be publicly available and has been required to do business with the federal government since 2014. These codes allow the government visibility into company ownership and contracting activity through various payment systems. If you are not yet a government contractor and need to apply for a CAGE code, you may do so through the Defense Logistics Agencys website.
After you have completed the steps above, you are ready to complete your SAM registration. It is recommended to consult an expert before attesting to FAR and DFAR requirements. Inaccuracies or inconsistencies can be construed as making false claims to the government which is a felony.
How To Get Government Contracts As A Consultant: 3 Steps
By MBO Partners | June 30, 2021
Have you ever wondered how to work with the government as an independent contractor? The federal government engages more contractors than any other organization in the world, which presents many opportunities for independents. Each year, billions of dollars in contracts are set aside for small businesses, women, minorities, and veterans.
Many independent consultants look to government contracting as another option for growing their business. Follow these three steps to understand the processes, requirements, and resources needed to get government contracts as a consultant.
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Get Registered As Federal Contractors
The purpose of registration is to provide federal contracting officers with information about you and your business, which will help them determine if you are qualified to be awarded a contract.
Acquire your NAICS classification and a Unique Entity ID
This number is used to identify different types of businesses eligible for contracts. For example, the NAICS code for motor vehicles and parts is 441.
On the other hand, Unique Entity ID is a unique identifying number for your business needed for registering with other government entities.
Create a SAM account
This is your portal for accessing government contracting opportunities. Its also needed before getting rewarded a contract and receiving federal funds.
Register Your Business In The Sam Database
The System Award Management resource is the database of vendors of goods and services doing business with the federal government. Sometimes called self-certifying, SAM registration is required by the Federal Acquisitions Regulations for all prospective vendors. SAM registration must be completed before your business can be awarded any government contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement. SAM registration is free and can be done completely online.
As part of SAM registration process you will be able to record your business size and socio-economic status, as well as all FAR-required solicitation clauses and certifications. These certifications are explained in the Offerors Representations and Certifications – Commercial Items section of the FAR.
SAM registration also serves as a valuable marketing tool for government contracting businesses. The federal agencies routinely search the SAM database to find prospective vendors based on goods and services provided, size, location, experience, ownership and more. In addition, SAM informs the agencies of firms that are certified under the SBAs 8 Development and HUBZone programs.
Sam Registration Guide: Become A Government Contractor
The federal government includes hundreds of departments, agencies and offices and most of these entities need goods and services from the private sector. In order to work with the federal government, you will need to complete your System for Award Management registration, a complicated process, which is why weve created this SAM registration guide.
What is the System for Award Management?The System for Award Management, usually just called SAM, is the huge database that contains all government contractors as well as those wanting to apply for federal grants. To do business with any government agency, including FEMA, the Department of Defense, etc. you must have completed SAM registration.
How Much Does SAM Registration Cost?The government does not charge a fee for SAM registration. At Federal Contractor Registry, we are a third-party SAM registration service. You might wonder why someone would pay a third party to register them into the SAM database. While SAM registration is free, the truth is its extremely complicated and frustrating. Many of our clients are business owners that started to complete their SAM application, got frustrated or fed up and simply called us instead.
It can take 10-15 hours to complete the SAM application. The application is filled with puzzling government-speak, and if youve never dealt with government agencies, you can become quickly confused by the questions and acronyms.
Perform A Federal Market Research
To succeed in a highly competitive industry such as this, you have to keep tabs on every event and trend happening within the government contracting field. Stay tuned with the latest news about the industry by subscribing to our newsletter and monitoring the governments spending trends at USASpending.gov.
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Why The Government Seeks To Issue Contract Purchases To Small Businesses
- The government makes its needs publicly known through various media, such as radio, television, newspapers, and the Internet.
- The government conducts its sales in an open environment, playing by and laying down many rules to ensure a fair process.
- The government usually buys in large volumes and over a period of time. This kind of customers can provide a solid foundation for any small business.
Having the government as a customer gives your business a stamp of approval. If you can meet the governments requirements, chances are that you can meet the requirements of any other customer. With the huge number of small businesses vying for an opportunity to become government contractors, it can be difficult landing the government as a client. Here are seven tips for boosting your chances becoming a government contractor:
Support And Advice On Government Contracting
New Jersey Institute of Technology Procurement Technical Assistance Center provides free counseling in addition to training and technical resources to New Jersey-based businesses, including those looking to successfully identify and bid on government contracts. Its resources help clients navigate the procurement process.
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Federal Government Procurement Programs And Resources
- beta.sam.gov — This site is the official source for Federal Government Contracting Opportunities. Anyone interested in doing business with the government can use this system to research active opportunities.
- The System for Award Management is an official website of the U.S. government. There is no cost to use SAM. You can use this site for FREE to:
- Register to do business with the U.S. government
- Update or renew your entity registration
- Check status of an entity registration
- Search for entity registration and exclusion records
- GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules also known as Multiple Award Schedules , are contracts that allow federal customers to acquire more than 4 million services and products directly from more than 8,600 commercial suppliers. Under the schedules program, GSA enters into contracts with commercial firms to provide supplies and services at stated prices for given periods of time.
- The Small Business Administrations Government Contracting Programs to assist small, woman, minority and veteran-owned and disadvantaged business owners obtain or increase government contracts.
Maximize Every Learning Opportunity Available
It is a common fact how confusing the government contracting industry gets. Luckily, learning resources and coaching centers are readily available to budding government contractors. For example, you can consult your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Centers . PTACs can assist you by evaluating the readiness of your business to enter the field, the requirements you will need to apply as a qualified government contractor, and even connect you with known industry professionals who can provide you with their valuable insights. They can also tell you whether you are eligible for any socio-economic assistance programs that can equip you to play in this highly-competitive field.
Not only that, you can start by reading up guides and articles online, such as this one!
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Connect With Small Business Professionals
The Small Business Professionals are part of DoDs effort to encourage small businesses to enter into a contract with the agency. The SBPs are advocates for small businesses that can help interested government contractors to learn about DoDs mission, culture, challenges, and above all, requirements.
The SBPs are the first people you will encounter should you decide to pursue DoD government contracting. Request a meeting with DoDs SBPs as soon as you confirm that the goods and services you sell are aligned with the federal agencys current needs.
Understand The Type Of Solicitation
Government contracts come in different forms, and the type of solicitation issued will give you insight into what the government agency expects from your proposal. There are three main solicitation types youre likely to see from the federal government:
- Request for quotation : Typically used for contracts under $150,000, this vehicle is relatively simple and seeks information on price, delivery or other information for planning purposes.
- Request for proposal : For larger acquisitions, applicants need to provide details about how they would perform a specific project or supply a specific product.
- Invitation for bid : Similar to an RFP, the IFB or ITB is for projects over $100,000. It represents a sealed solicitation for government procurement, meaning there is no negotiation between agency and vendor.
Each of these solicitations requires a strategic approach to pricing. In an RFQ, for instance, your business is likely to compete with others to see who can offer the best value or lowest price. Responding to an IFB, conversely, takes careful consideration to ensure youre setting a fair price there will be no room for negotiation if you overshoot the bid or leave out key details.
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