Strategizing Your Sourcing Approach
Submitting federal bids is the end game. First, you need to plan your approach to finding the government solicitations. Federal solicitations can be found on beta.SAM.gov, formally FBO.gov. You can register to the platform and receive notifications.
If your organization is also interested in state, county, or regional opportunities, this can be more time-consuming. In order to find opportunities, someone in your organization will need to be responsible for registering to numerous bidding portals. Each one will likely have its own registration process. There are thousands of RFPs, RFQs and IFBs published every day across the US. Therefore, this will likely be a full-time commitment for a member of your team.
Reporting Achievements And Goals
When the mid-year data are available,SBA reports to each major federalprocurement agency on their progresstowards goals for that fiscal year.Annually, SBA prepares a report for thePresident, government-wide and byagency. That report is also published inthe Office of Advocacy’sState of Small Business. Achievements and goals are posted onSBA’s web site at.
Protesting A Firms Status As An Economically Disadvantaged Women
Definition. Interested party, as used in this section, has the meaning given in 13 CFR 127.102.
For sole source acquisitions, the contracting officer or SBA may protest the offerors status as an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business concern or as a WOSB concern eligible under the WOSB Program. For all other acquisitions, an interested party may protest the apparent successful offerors EDWOSB or WOSB status.
SBAs protest regulations are found in subpart F “Protests” at 13 CFR 127.600 through 127.605.
Protests relating to small business size status are subject to the procedures of 19.302. An interested party seeking to protest both the small business size and WOSB or EDWOSB status of an apparent successful offerorshall file two separate protests.
All protests shall be in writing and must state all specific grounds for the protest.
SBA will consider protests challenging the status of a concern if-
The protest presents evidence that the concern is not at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women who are United States citizens or
The protest presents evidence that the concern is not at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more economically disadvantaged women, when it is in connection with an EDWOSB contract.
SBA shall consider protests by a contracting officer when the apparent successful offeror has failed to provide all of the required documents, as set forth in 19.1503.
Protest by an interested party.
Before SBA decision.
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Why Seek Government Contracts For Small Businesses
There are a lot of good reasons to seek government contracts for small businesses, and business owners who ignore these opportunities are surely missing out.
Letâs take a look at just a few of the reasons that your small business should actively pursue government contracting opportunities as part of your customer development strategy:
Minority Small Business & Capital Ownership Development 8 Program
The 8 Program is SBAâs effort to promote equal access for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to participate in the business sector of the nationâs economy.
Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals include Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and others designated by the SBA.
The program recognizes the historical lack of equal access that minorities and other disadvantaged individuals have had to the resources needed to develop their small businesses. The program assists 8 approved firms to participate in the business sector and to become independently competitive in the marketplace. The assistance available includes access to federal government contracts as well as management and technical assistance programs.
The Small Business Administration provides additional details on the benefits and eligibility for each certification. You can also contact them at 973-645-2531
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Subcontract To Get Rolling
There are exactly two ways to make money in the Federal Government contracting industry.
First, you can either directly support the government on a prime contract. Second, and easiest government contract to win, you can have a subcontract under the prime contract holder.
Winning Prime Contracts to Gain Market Penetration
To win a prime contract, you write a proposal that fully commits your company to perform exactly in accordance with contract requirements. Therefore, your company is 100% responsible and accountable to your government customer to comply with all contract terms. This is a daunting task with some risk should you not have any experience in this industry.
Unless you already have experience in the Federal Government contracting industry, then focusing on immediately winning prime contracts is not your best strategy for market penetration, obtaining your first contract and therefore, not your easiest government contract to win.
Becoming a Sub Contractor to Avoid Market Penetration
When trying to obtain a subcontract there are two distinct phases:
Entrepreneurship Is A Team Effort
Entrepreneurship is the way that people can change their circumstances. As an entrepreneur, you can create your own salary. You create your own reality.
Sometimes, having a job limits you. Not that theres anything wrong with having a job, but as an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to create something special and uniquenot only for yourself, but for your family, for your community.
My last bit of advice is dont go it alone. Take the time to ask for help and explore what resources are available to you as a taxpayer, so that you can live your dream if entrepreneurship is something that you really want to do.
A small business and MWBE growth specialist, advocate, executive coach and trainer, Jean Kristensen is a woman on a mission to help others achieve their mission. Whether mentoring budding entrepreneurs, developing growth and marketing strategies for small businesses or consulting government agencies or prime contractors on fulfilling participation goals with qualified vendors, she is uniquely skilled at supporting clients reach their next level of success with measurable improvements and increases in revenue.
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Understand The Solicitation Type
There are a few different avenues that government agencies use to request proposals from potential government contractors, and as you may have come to expect, each comes with its own jargony acronym and paperwork rundown. But the type of solicitation used for a particular contract tells you a lot about what the agency expects from your proposal, so itâs important to understand the difference.
Following are the main three solicitation types youâre most likely to see on SAM.gov or any other listing of government contracting opportunities:
Request for Quotation
A request for quotation is the simplified acquisition procedure for government agencies typically used for contracts under $150,000. However, while this is considered simplified by government standards, you may still find it more involved than other scope of work proposals your business has completed for private entities. Consult the SAM.gov database to view past RFQ proposals to better understand how an RFQ should be successfully completed for a business in your industry.
Request for Proposal
Invitation for Bid
Invitations for bid refer to sealed solicitation processes for government procurement, meaning there is no negotiation between agency and vendor. The submitted bid package is considered final, and price point is most often seen as the key differentiator between qualified bidders.
Ways To Identify State Contracting Opportunities
There are numerous entities throughout the State that issue solicitations for various types of goods, services, and construction contracts. Below we highlight some of the entities that issue a substantial number of the Stateâs procurements, but vendors should be aware that other entities, including Colleges and Universities, can also provide contracting opportunities. Each state agency may also list its own specific procurement opportunities.
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How To Get Government Contracts For Women Minorities And Small Businesses
Many entrepreneurs such as myself create businesses out of a need. Some people are just tired of working at their jobs. Some people are really great at something and decide to be an accountant or a management consultant. But the problem that many entrepreneurs face is that they dont necessarily know all of the other challenges they are going to encounter.
The government provides a number of resources to help entrepreneurs make the decision as to whether or not having a business is for them. It teaches them, free of charge, what they should be looking at, how they should scale up, and those types of things.
I think about the Small Business Administration as an example. Right on their website, they have a number of online courses that a potential business owner can take to see if starting and launching a business is right for them. It covers everything from finance to marketing, and those types of things.
Using the government as a resource, since its a service thats provided free of charge, is a really important first step. You just dont know what you dont know when youre starting a business.
How To Find Government Contracts
You need to find them before you can win federal government contracts. The Small Business Administration is a good resource for federal government options. Of course there are state and local projects you can start bidding on too. These are looking to find contractors as well.
Heres five good ways small businesses can find them.
If youre a small business that wants to look at the big picture, start here. Youll get an overview of the federal marketplace.
Search The Web
Subcontracting opportunities occur at the local level too. Search for procurement. The submission process might be different for each.
Some contract opportunities have special designations and programs. Like Women-Owned Small Business and Service Disabled Veteran . Get more info from the SBA official website on award management.
Ask An Expert
There are consulting services that supply technical assistance. And they can help with business readiness by sorting through the legal implications.
Use A Service
There are other services that match small businesses up with federal options. They use criteria like keywords.
Read on to find out how businesses can put together proposals.
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Sba Government Contracting Classroom
Do you want to develop a more in-depth understanding of government contracting before diving into the federal marketplace? The SBA Government Contracting Classroom is a wonderful online course series that thoroughly explains what you need to know about government contracts for small business. These courses are a great resource to learn more about the specific forms and processes involved in registering for, finding, and winning government contracts for small businesses.
Government Contracts: How To Get Them For Your Small Business
Getting a government contract for your small business could be a huge opportunity to grow in so many industries. They offer stability, consistency and, most importantly, money for your company.
The financial risk is generally low and can be a profit increase that betters your business for years. Although the opportunity is great, actually getting a government contract for a federal project can be difficult and time-consuming. Follow some of these guidelines to get you started:
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How To Get A Government Contract
Once youre qualified and have completed the registration process, heres how to submit a strong bid for a federal government contract.
Government contracts come in different forms, and knowing how to prepare your bid can help you secure this type of lucrative business opportunity.
The federal government is a huge potential customer for small businesses. A federal contract can be a good opportunity to boost revenue for your business, especially since the government is obligated to award a large percentage of contracts to small companies.
Heres how to prepare your business to bid a government contract.
Making Your Bid Or No
Now its time to delve into making decisions. Its important to carefully evaluate the suitability of a contract before proceeding with your federal bid opportunities. Many organizations try and make their services fit the contract when, really, it should be the other way around.
To help you decide whether or not to proceed with a bid, you could ask yourself the following questions:
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Additional Resources For Government Contracts
We hope this has been a useful primer on how to obtain government contracts for small business, but theres certainly more to be learned within this expansive and complex industry. Fortunately, the SBA and other federal agencies have gone to great lengths to provide valuable resources for small business owners interested in federal contracts. Here are a few of the most useful resources we recommend.
More Information Gives Small Businesses A Leg Up
Think about the last proposal or bid you sent to a prospective customer. When preparing that bid and setting your rates, how helpful would it have been to know exactly what the customer was looking for and how much they were prepared to spend? It would be a game-changer. Yet when youâre bidding on government contracts for small businesses, this dream can be a reality every single time.
Federal agencies are required by law to create written budgets annually, detailing exactly what they intend to purchase and the funds they have allocated for those purchases. And the best news for business owners? Those budgets are available in the public domain through the Office of Management and Budget website. If youâre willing to dig in and do some research, you can get the inside scoop on your prospective customerâs strategy and goals for the contract youâre proposing as you prepare your bid.
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How To Get Business Contracts: Everything You Need To Know
Learning how to get business contracts is essential to a business’s survival. When small businesses get clients that pay well for their products and services and are repeat buyers, it can strengthen the business and keep it running. 3 min read
Learning how to get business contracts is essential to a business’s survival. When small businesses get clients that pay well for their products and services and are repeat buyers, it can strengthen the business and keep it running.
While landing a big contract to make you a supplier for a large Fortune 500 company can be a dream come true, obtaining those orders and contracts can require a lot of work. Both male- and female-owned small businesses have seen a sharp jump in revenue within two years or less after adding a significantly large company to their clientele.
What’s great news is that larger companies in the United States are looking to make more purchases and increase their overall business interaction with small businesses, including those owned by women, minorities, and veterans. Starting in 2012, major corporations like Walmart, Macy’s, IBM, and many others have made public announcements that they intend to spend more dollars with small businesses.
Increase Your Companys Value
As weve already established, securing a government contract could enable you to build connections with the right clients. However, creating stability for your business is not the only advantage of this.
Securing a government contract could also increase your companys value. If the government chooses you to deliver their project, this will have an extremely positive impact on your reputation. It shows that your business is compliant with government standards, which will impress future buyers and potential clients.
Also, when you work on a government contract, youre likely to be contributing to the growth of the local economy. This is a great benefit of federal contract bids and will improve your reputation among other businesses in the area.
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Market Directly To Agencies
If youâre in a very specific industry or know exactly which government agency your small business is most suited to contract with, you can market your firm directly to either targeted agencies or prime contractors. To do this, you would use SAM.gov and SUB-Net to identify existing procurement needs. Then, you can communicate directly to those agencies why your company is the right choice to fill that.
Opportunities to connect with agency decision-makers are available through procurement conferences, industry events, and even contract matchmaking events.
Even if an agency doesnât have a current contract opening, taking advantage of direct marketing opportunities will help your business establish its name among the government contracting community as a key âcontract playerâ in your line of work. Check out the website for your local SBA district office to find trainings and events in your community that involve your target agencies.
Experience Is The Best Teacher
The government provides two mentoring programs to help small businesses that want to win contracts. The first is the General Services Administration GSA Mentor-Protege Program. Qualified business owners will be paired with experienced owners of similar companies who can help them maneuver through the system.
Businesses that are socially or economically disadvantaged and qualify for the SBAs 8 program will also be paired with a mentor in the SBAs Mentor-Protege Program who has experience in federal contracting.
After youve done the hard work and secured a government contract, make sure you have the software to manage your contracts securely and efficiently. In addition, if you are interested in learning more about smart funding options for your small business, explore your possibilities with Quickbooks.
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Why You Should Apply For Contracts With Government Agencies
Federal agencies require that your small business adhere to certain labor regulations and laws to get accepted. But that doesnt mean there arent big advantages to working with a government agency.
Granted, its a tough process to get to be a federal contractor. However, these projects last from one to three years usually.
Tap Into A New Market
Small businesses are always looking for new work. You can grow and mature your enterprise by entering the public sector. There are new industry opportunities here that small businesses like.
Taking advantage of upcoming contracts is easier as a contractor. Businesses can change government jobs quicker than federal employees. Small business contractors arent tied down with as much red tape.
These Are Easy To Land
The registration process is time consuming. Its a big task, but there are set asides for a successful business. You ll need to qualify, but then some federal contracts are reserved.