Obtain Your Duns Number
Before you learn how to get a federal contract, you need to obtain your DUNS number. This will allow you to register for government contracts.
Your DUNS number is a nine-digit number that is used to identify your business as unique from any other. In many cases, DUNS numbers are used to predict the reliability and/or financial stability of your business. So, when youre bidding for federal contract bids, your DUNS number confirms that your business is actually eligible to bid.
DUNS numbers are free and can be obtained through the online DUNS Request Service.
Check For Smaller Contracts
Lets say youre still waiting for your small business accreditation, but youre looking forward to landing your first contract. If thats the case, state or local contracts can be an excellent place to start before going on to federal contracts.
You can visit your states procurement office or log in to your local government official website to learn more about the registration process and open or upcoming contracts available in your state.
Apply For Your Federal Tax Id Number
Your Federal Tax ID number functions similarly to your Social Security Number. Without your Federal Tax ID, your company will be unable to apply for business licenses and permits, nor even legally open a bank account to which your payments as a federal government contractor will be wired. You can easily apply for your tax ID here.
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Understanding The Government Contracting Acquisition Lifecycle
Successful government contractors prepare in advance by targeting specific agencies , building key relationships and setting up a strategic plan to grow their business. To do this, they must understand the contracting acquisition lifecycle, in order to know what actions to take and when to set their business up for success. The stages of the acquisition lifecycle generally look similar to this:
As you prepare in advance to win government contracts, you should keep an eye out for information and analysis that may help improve your ability to compete before, during and after the opportunity is put out for competitive bid.
Create An Outline For Your Government Contract Proposal
The secret in crafting an effective contract proposal is thorough and strategic planning. Once you have done all the preparations from the earlier points, you should lay down a contract outline.
Having a proposal layout before writing down your contract bid will ensure that your document will not veer away from your main message and contract goals. Additionally, this will lessen the risk of overlooking important information youll otherwise miss if you just blindly ventured into writing your contract bid.
To help you craft your outline, look again at the sections of the RFP sent to you, then try to address them one by one. After you have laid out all the points, you can start to write your proposal.
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How To Structure Your Answer
- if the question includes bullet points, adopt these as subheadings. With equal space allocated to each
- if there are no bullets, break down the different elements of the question to determine the best answer structure
- address each point in the same order as they appear within the question
- avoid extra subheadings which distract from the core wording of the question
Government Contracts Up For Bid: How To Succeed
Securing government contracts up for bid can be a great way to grow your business. The public sector spends over £285 billion annually through public procurement. They procure a wide range of goods and services across a variety of sectors.
This means theres plenty of opportunities for your business to become a supplier to the government. The government often outsources their needs resulting in government contracts up for bid. So, if this is something youre interested in, heres how to find and win government contracts up for bid.
Gain Experience And Grow Your Business
If youve Googled how to become a federal contractor you may also be wondering about the benefits. Another benefit is that by being a federal contractor, you can gain experience. The more contracts you secure, the more experience you will get.
Bids often require you to include up to three previous contract examples. Becoming a federal contractor can help build your experience. The more experience you have, the bigger contracts you can go for. The bigger contracts you go for, the bigger your business can grow.
Get Ready For The Paperwork
Winning government contract opportunities needs a lot of paperwork. So, when you get into federal contracting, you may want to do preparation. You can search on the local governments website and database for the official guide, requirements, essential papers needed and others.
Depending on your companys service and products, government contracting opportunities can give a lot of profit, benefits, and even a risky journey. From papers to machinery, the government find contractors for almost everything they need, and it is up to you and your business to prepare and win your government contract.
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Need Assistance When Writing Your Next Government Contracts Up For Bid
Although youre a bit more familiar with whats required, you might still be looking for some bid writing support. Writing isnt everyones strong suit and thats ok. Outsourcing a bid youve found to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract.
Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience. We offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need. You may not need the whole bid written for you you may simply need it proofread before you submit. We can help with that. Our services include:
How To Register Your Small Business As A Government Contractor
1. Register for a DUNS Number
Your DUNS number is the unique 9-digit code you can request at Dun & Bradstreets official website to confirm your business existence.
Be wary that online hackers are now targeting the federal marketplace by posing as official websites and require payment to use these free national services. To stay safely connected and protect your sensitive information against cyberattacks, make sure that you are only accessing the secure websites of the official government agency by checking the URL of the said website.
2. Know your North American Industry Classification Systems Code
As a self-assigned system, you are in charge of selecting which NAICS code best matches your products and services offered. Check the list of codes by visiting the website here. If you provide varying products or services, your business can also have more than one NAICS code.
3. Use Size Standard Tool
For technical assistance to confirm if your current business size is qualified as a small business, use this Size Standards Tool by the US Small Business Administration to confirm.
4. Register your business at System for Awards Management
Using your DUNS number, register your business for an account for free at their website. Some of the requirements you should keep in mind before creating a SAM profile for your business are as follows:
5. Fill out your SBA profile
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How Pwin Is Traditionally Calculated
Youd think that every Federal contractor who considers submitting a proposal for a government contract would have a well-defined process to calculate the PWIN. Yet, the PWIN calculation process varies wildly from business to business. Check out the five most recognized methods in use today, as referenced in William Rogers article, Different Approaches to Calculating and Using PWIN:
Respond In Full To The Question
- Make sure that each requirement of the question is addressed.
- Provide evidence of relevant, recent experience no longer than three years old and demonstrate your capabilities.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the product or service required.
- Demonstrate you’re in a unique position to provide the service.
- Differentiate your service offering.
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Youve Found A Great Opportunity For Your Business Youve Got A Product Or Service That Can Really Deliver What The Buyer Needs Everything Is Falling Into Place
But you still need to write a tender response before you win the contract.
Putting together a tender proposal is tricky, and the truth is theres no tried and tested template to follow each time you bid for a contract. All the elements, from the questions to the scoring and the weighting, will be different for every tender.
Every tender is different, and your tender response should be different too.
While theres no perfect template, there are great tips and specific steps that you should take to make sure that your tender response shows off what you can do and makes the buying authority really take notice.
Getting Your Tender Perfect Every Time
Keep sentences and paragraphs short and punchy
Use bullet points and headings to break up text
Decide on a clear typesetting, layout and font size and stick to them throughout
Be careful if cutting and pasting copy to make sure the format stays the same and nothing is lost or duplicated
Develop a logical argument in your tender which showcases your solution in a clear way
Read everything again, then get a colleague to read it for meaning, typing mistakes and omissions. A fresh pair of eyes is always welcome
Use clearly identified appendices for supporting additional information
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Ensure That Your Proposal Addresses The Project Goals
Referencing Section C of the RFP, you have to define how you plan to fulfill the contract goals clearly.
Your contract proposal should lay out your plan that hinges on your companys strengths. You have to highlight how your companys proposed solution is the most efficient and cost-effective option among other federal contractors during this step. To ensure that your proposal addresses every request stipulated in the RFP, list them all out in the proposal outline prior.
Bid First And Know Your Competition
An easy way to get more construction bids is stepping in before your competition does. Keep an eye on construction bidding marketplaces to create a profile and preemptively find jobs.
- BidClerk This site provides commercial construction leads and project information.
- iSqFt A networking tool, iSqFt is specially designed to help construction professionals connect and communicate.
- BidPlanroom Commercial construction professionals use this site to join a bidders list, post projects and promote their company.
When preparing to bid on a project, know what criteria your competition will use so you can bring more to the table. This means making your offer about more than just price. Essentially, you need to sell the fact that your services are better.
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Outsource Your Bid To Experts
Many businesses wonder how to become a federal contractor. One of the biggest mistakes they are making is that they dont leave enough time for their response. The average bid takes 23 hours to complete end-to-end. It can be very demanding and so thats why outsourcing can benefit your business.
One way you can become a federal contractor is by letting an expert Bid Writer write your response. They can support you will all aspects of your response and can help you win your next RFP. Here are three advantages of using bid writing experts:
- They offer an external point of view
- Experts in writing and winning bids and RFPs
- Have vast expertise in what buyers require from an RFP response
- Improve your success rate.
Why Seek Government Contracts For Small Business
Just like any other large organization, the Federal Government often needs to buy goods and services to operate optimally. From toilet paper to military vehicles, all of these items are contracted out by the government. If you sell to other businesses or organizations, there is no reason why you cannot market to the government also.
While there are multiple opportunities for your business, there are some reasons why many business owners avoid getting into government contracts:
- The process can be intimidating. Many assume their company would never be considered because of its size, age, and other factors.
- Dealing with red tape and a lot of paperwork can be daunting.
Although there are some drawbacks, there are many more good reasons why you should consider seeking a government contract for your business. You could be missing out on a huge opportunity.
There are several reasons why you should work to get a government contract:
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The New Normal Of Government Contracting Is A Tough Adjustment And Yet Many Contractors Are Thriving Here’s How They Are Winning The Proposal Process
This post is based on a presentation delivered at the Veterans In Business Conference. The presentation was made by James K. McCarthy, Principal Owner and Technical Director, AOC Key Solutions, Inc., a federal contracting proposal and business development consulting firm. Since 1983, KSI has helped clients win over $130 billion in federal contracts.
At the beginning of Jims presentation he talked about The New Normal of government contacting, adding that the storm clouds have formed. While there has been some signs of life of late in various government market sectors, the market has not rebounded as fast or as robustly has some observers had hoped.
The reasons for the new normal include political gridlock, sequestration and fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, continuing resolutions and government shutdowns. Coloring everything is political posturing and finger pointing, and a tendency for lawmakers to avoid long-term solutions and kick the can down the road.
How has this affected government contractors? Jim provided a painful list:
- RFPs Slowed to a Trickle
- Contract Awards Delayed
- Rampant Uncertainty
And yet, some government contractors are winning new contracts and successfully growing their businesses.
How are they doing it? Jim broke down the 11 things that the most successful government contractors are doing in the business development process.
1. Prevent Pipeline Creep
2. Have A Targeted Approach
3. Dont Go It Alone
4. Assign Accountability
7. Get It In Writing
Network With The Government
Getting to know people in the government contracting industry is highly advised. Talking to government officials and agencies and networking with them might help you better grasp their needs and financial constraints. Youre not just trying to get government contracts when you network youre also trying to create the trust and commercial ties vital for doing a winning business.
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You Bid On Every Government Contract Available
If you are a small business owner who wants to enter the government contracting industry, sending out as many contract proposals as possible to secure your win seems like a viable option. But it isnt!
When sending out a contract bid, you say that you can confidently deliver the requested task. Your proposal should reflect your competence and willingness to commit to excellence. Anything less than what you have promised will only tarnish your reputation thus, killing any chance to win government contracts in the future.
Submitting contract proposals to projects you are underqualified for is like shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you want to step out of your comfort zone by bidding on a project that is different from what you usually do, you should still find a way to play it to your strengths. Winning government contracts isnt about sending contract proposals to all government buyers. Instead of wasting your precious resources, you should learn how to pick the best federal contract to bid on. Try to search for bidding opportunities that require your expertise!
Understanding The Full Costs Of Delivery
First, you need to be clear about the full costs of delivering your solution. It is essential that you include all relevant overheads in your calculations and do not just count the direct or marginal costs involved. This means taking into account staff wages, any transportation or delivery costs, renting or buying new equipment and so on.
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