Solicit Past Performance Evaluations
If youre new to seeking government contracts for bid, it may be worthwhileâthough not always requiredâto obtain an Open Ratings Inc. Past Performance Evaluation. Performed by a private sector of the Dun & Bradstreet Co., this independent auditing and rating system analyzes survey responses from your past customers to calculate a numerical rating of your past performance.
Register Your Small Business For Government Contracting Services
Before you start you win government contracts, you have to register your business first. Small companies are subjected to a series of paperwork. This process ensures the legality of the transaction between the private enterprise and the government. The administrations funding comes from the public, thus enforcing a strict registration process for small businesses for transparency.
But dont fret! We have prepared a comprehensive beginners guide on how to start winning federal contracts.
1. Legally register your business name
First things firstdecide on a business name that clearly reflects your brand identity and is not taken by any enterprise yet.
Then after you have decided on your legal business name, you should now register your business. This will protect your brand from legal implications and enjoy legal and tax benefits as well. In addition, there are four different ways to register your business, depending on your specific needs.
2. Apply for your federal and state tax ID numbers
After officially registering your business name, your next step is to apply for a federal tax ID or Employer Identification Number .
Your federal tax ID works similarly to your social security number. The former is used for business purposes, such as applying for business licenses and permits and paying taxes.
3. Request for your DUNS Number
The requirements needed to get your DUNS number are pretty simple. You only need to prepare the necessary information about your business, such as:
Special Invoicing And Payment Terms
Invoicing and payment terms may differ from standard business contracts. Its common for government contracts to be monthly, net-60, which means you may not receive payment for 90 days. Any mistakes can lead to a delay in payment for several months.
There may also be special invoicing requirements. Government contracting requires you to keep track of your funding and notify the government when youve reached 75% of your funding. Failure to do so may carry a penalty. Its therefore important to read contracts very carefully to ensure that you understand your responsibilities as a contractor.
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What Is The Growth Potential For A Construction Contractor Business
Construction is constantly taking place. New houses and neighborhoods are popping up daily. Just the same, the construction industry is competitive and, at times, saturated with workers and businesses looking for work. Growth potential is fairly good, but you must make sure you stand out from the crowd, both with your build creativity and skill, as well as with your professionalism and business acumen. Annually, residential construction industry earnings in the U.S. average in the multi-billions. The industry is robust, yet businesses fold every year from lack of a proper business plan and mismanagement of earnings. You wont get rich overnight, but there is plenty of room to grow and establish your business long term if you plan properly and stick to your plan.
Easiest Government Contracts To Win
Current or recent past performance makes future contract wins easier. Unfortunately, penetrating the Federal Government contracting market as a 1-person company with no past performance is nearly impossibleunless you leverage industry insider knowledge! Therefore, gain market penetration by alternative ways, finding those easiest government contracts to win.
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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:
Up Your Marketing Game
Successful marketing campaigns arent just about landing new customers. Theyre about securing more profitable projects and keeping your current customers happy.
Today, that means having an online presence and interacting with your specific audience through email, social media and blog posts, where you demonstrate how your business solves their problems.
Unlike what strictly online businesses do, though, you should also focus on . Start by making sure that your address, phone number and hours are available online and easily searchable. After that, network in your community both online and offline by attending chamber of commerce meetings or answering questions in a local newspaper forum. And, dont be afraid to spend a couple of bucks advertising your business on social networks like Facebook.
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Determine Products To Supply
Identify specific products and/or services needed by DOD that you can supply, then determine the contract to pursue from available opportunities. You can get current opportunities by entering search criteria at the Federal Business Opportunities website. In addition, you can get subcontracting opportunities from DOD prime contractors in your state. You can use SUBNet — a site managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration — to explore subcontracting solicitations normally posted by large prime contractors as well as other non-federal agencies.
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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Florida Ptac At Usf Tampa
Specialty: Procurement, Marketing
She built a successful federal government business pipeline for a women-owned IT security company and also founded a local chapter of a national womens business organization, achieving 350 invested members within a four year period. She earned a bachelors in health education and a masters in public health planning from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a hospital administrative residency in Fort Myers. In 2007, she was honored as the Managing Director of the Year by eWomenNetwork, was a finalist in 2008 for the Tampa Bay Business Journals Businesswoman of the Year and was awarded the Iconic Woman award in 2012 from the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
Register As Government Contractor
Obtain the DUNS number from the financial reporting company Dun and Bradstreet, which provides this Data Universal Number System. The DUNS number facilitates the process of verifying your financial and other information with federal agencies to determine whether to conduct business with you. In addition, you must register with the System for Awards Management, or SAM, which contains a database of contractors that do business with the federal government. Further, SAM requires that you obtain a Contractor and Government Entity — or CAGE — Code. This is a five-digit number that serves as a contractor identifier for firms doing business with DOD.
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Decide Which Niche To Concentrate On
The contracting industry is one of those industries where there is an unlimited number of niche ideas that you can tap into. Some very viable ones to consider include:
You can also consider setting up a construction clean-up service.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The US contracting industry is a very competitive one as you would be literally competing with the giants. The low barriers to entry in the industry have made it very tough to compete as some contractors do not mind setting unreasonably low prices to help them compete in the industry.
The key to survival in this business is to be outstanding. You have to offer the best services that your clients can possibly get. You donât have to price yourself too low or run at a loss, you simply need to up your and efforts and place yourself at the top of your clientâs choices by offering them impeccable services.
Step : Create Your Business Website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
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Obtaining A Gsa Schedule Contract
Another way to sell to the government is by obtaining a General Services Administration Schedule contract. Schedules are long-term, government-wide contracts between commercial suppliers and the government that allow you to sell to any federal agency. Vendors are pre-approved and ceiling prices and other terms are pre-negotiated, so the process is a lot quicker and more streamlined than with public bidding, plus youll face less competition.
Keep in mind that holding a GSA Schedule contract only qualifies you to sell to government agencies it doesnt guarantee sales, so youll still need to market yourself. But first, to get approved youll have to complete a number of registrations and certifications, and youre typically required to have been in business for at least two years.
Federal Government Contracting: Where Do I Start
Many small business owners look towards the new year with goals of working with the federal government. Many want to take advantage of certifications to make them, in their minds, more appealing to get a contract.
While that may be true, let me start by saying that a company will not get a contract because of a certification alone. There are several other reasons that a company will be selected, with one of them being relationships.
I recently had the opportunity to coach a client as to the best approach to get started.
In every scenario of doing business with the government, just like any business transaction, it starts with a relationship. And that relationship is more likely to flourish if the vendor does as much research as possible before making contact.
In order to make your company stand out from the other 95 percent of companies who are contacting everyone in the government to buy their product/service with no focused message or agency knowledge I encourage clients to research past agency buying, how the agency buys , who the agencys top customers are, and what is projected for the agency to purchase in the upcoming year.
So, next action is, to whom should I direct my questions within a targeted agency that I have researched? In every federal agency there are small business officers. This is a starting point. You could also reach out to contracting officers or other points of contact that your research reveals.
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Price Your Bid Appropriately
Federal contracting officers are expected to ensure that supplies and services for government agencies are purchased at fair and reasonable prices, and they conduct a significant amount of market research to understand typical pricing before making a proposal solicitation. At the same time, most solicitations are met with a competitive number of bids, leaving you as the business owner tasked with issuing a competitive bid while still reasonably maximizing your profit potential.
As you can imagine, setting your contract pricing well will be critical to your ability to win profitable government contracts. You need to consider your costs both during bidding and the fulfillment of the contract while allowing enough room for day-to-day overhead.
Remember as you bid that contracting officers arenât necessarily seeking the lowest price, but rather the best value with all factors considered. Look for ways to add value in your bid without increasing overhead costs to maximize your companyâs appeal as the âbest valueâ offer.
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:
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Evaluate Your Products And Services
The federal government comprises countless government agencies, offices, and organizations that require a specific type of product or service. And because of that, the US government claims the top spot as the biggest spender in the country. From hiring video production houses to procuring medical supplies to fight the pandemicthey need it all. So if you are feeling unsure whether a particular federal agency will buy whatever you are selling, chances are they will.
Like how the Google search works, all you have to do is click the drop-down button for its search filters, type in the necessary keywords, select other filters to refine the results further, then hit enter. After a short while, the website will flash an extensive list of different government contractors, complete with their profile, the total amount of awarded government contracts, and the current government agency they are working with.
Free Guide To Getting Started In Government Contracting
In this blog post, we took a general overview of how you can get the best possible start in government contracting.
However, if you want to take it a step further, and get a more detailed, step-by-step guide for getting started, we have a FREE guide for you.
Most government contracting guides will give you just the basics such as filling out the paperwork and submitting bids.
USFCR’s Practical Guide to Getting Started in Government Contracting covers the basics, but also gives you actionable strategies for building a new and reliable source of revenue.
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Updating Your Vendor Profile:
If you are a NYC-certified company and your profile in the NYC Online Directory of Certified Businesses is incorrect, you can update your information. If you want to update your:
- NIGP codes: you must log into the City’s Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal . Please choose *only* the NIGP codes that best describe the products and/or services your business provides. For assistance, please complete the Contact PASSPort form.
- Contact information: please call us at 513-6444 or complete our contact form.
- Business address, company description, and/or experience listed in your profile: you must send a signed request on company letterhead with both old and new information to:
NYC Department of Small Business Services1 Liberty Plaza, 11th FloorNew York, NY 10006Attn: Certification Unit, Division of Financial and Economic Opportunity
*Please note that for changes that may affect your businesses’ certification eligibility, we may request additional documentation before updating your profile.
Hire Employees For Your Technical And Manpower Needs
The tools and equipment you would need to set up your contracting business would depend on the type of contracts you plan to start carrying out. Of course, the tools and equipment you would need for carrying out building contracts would be different from those required for carrying out landscaping services. Some basic tools and equipment that you may need for most contracting businesses however include:
- Measuring tools
- Motor Vehicles
- Heavy Equipment
You donât have to go all out to buy equipment for your business as there are many businesses that specialize in renting out equipment to contractors. This would only cost you a fraction of what it costs to buy the equipment out rightly, and can save you a lot of money.
As for manpower requirements, the size of your employees and the project you are working on would determine your staffing needs. You may only need a few permanent staff to run the office and then employ other temporary staff who you would only work with on a needs or per project basis.
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