Every election cycle, politicians talk about how much they want to help small businesses. But it can be frustrating trying to compete with major corporations to win government contracts.
It is possible, however, if you understand how the federal government works and have a great service to offer. Even if you just launched your business, you still have a chance to be awarded a lucrative contract from Uncle Sam that could set your business on the right path for years to come.
The US government spends more on goods and services than any other company in the world. Last year alone, it spent over $500 billion on contracts.
The opportunity is there for your small business. Follow these steps to improve your chances of winning a government contract.
Determine What to Offer
You likely won’t be able to sell every product in your portfolio to the government, so go through your inventory and figure out which make the most sense to offer. Then do your research on the various government agencies to see which might make a good fit for your services.
The more specific your product, the fewer agencies you’ll be able to pitch to. But that may work to your advantage if you’re smart about how you approach them.
Understanding the specific needs of the government agency you’re interested in working with will give you the best chance to sell them a product or service that solves a problem. You may need to tailor your standard options to match the government’s needs.
Be flexible but forward thinking to present your company in the most appealing light.
Talk to a PCR and Get Listed
You’ll need to speak with a procurement center representative for the government agency you wish to work with. This person serves as a liaison between you and the federal government, making sure you have all the info you need to bid.
Each agency will also have their own specific bid boards on their procurement websites.
After you’ve learned all the bidding requirements to win government contracts, get yourself listed in the System for Award Management (SAM). This database functions like LinkedIn for government contracts.
Update your business info quarterly to keep the government aware of what you’re doing and offering. The more accurate this listing is, the better a chance you have to win a lucrative contract from the government.
You’re Competing Against Other Small Businesses to Win Government Contracts
The U.S. government actually wants small businesses to succeed. By law, 23% of all its contracts must go to small businesses. You don’t have to directly compete with all the big boys to win a contract.
Use the Federal Business Operations website to see every open contract worth more than $25,000 and learn which agencies haven’t yet filled their 23% small business quota.
You’ll also be able to see other successful bids to help you craft your own proposal. Need more help? Try out these ideas for putting together a winning pitch deck for the government.
Take Your Business to the Next Level
You can win government contracts and turn your small business into a revenue machine. With proper research and planning, you can tailor your bid to meet the needs of the specific agency you want to work with and grow your brand.