Get That Government Cheese: The Ultimate Guide to Scoring Government Contracts
by Arina Smith Starting a Business 06 September 2018
So far in 2018, the United States government has spent 265.5 billion in contracted services. You might think that only a few big businesses score these contracts. But, that’s far from the truth.
Businesses big and small can secure government contracts. As long as they meet the basic requirements and follow the procedures. How can your business score the right contract today?
Not sure how to make it happen? Don’t worry. We’ve you covered.
We’ll tell you how to get that government cheese today!
How to Get Government Contracts:
Government contracting might seem like an impossible deal to close. It is a competitive field for any company. But, your business can score a government contract with the right approach.
To make this happen, you’ll have to prepare your business to comply with all government contracting requirements. Your business must meet them to register on the government databases. The process is complex but, it will be worth all your time and effort.
It’s recommended that you research before applying for any government project. Can your business handle these projects? Does your business have the capital to afford these contracts?
The task of ensuring that your government contract is upheld is important. Just winning the contract is not enough. You need to ensure that there are no other problems or complications, which are arising. If you feel that someone else is trying to manipulate your winning contract bid in some way or another, you should immediately look to government contract bid protests.
This is a legal stand, which will help you ward off troubles from certain motivated quarters and ensure that you get the business. Businesses need to realize that government contracts are worth a lot of money and there are some players who might not be too happy with you coming up with the winning bid.
These are some of the questions that might indicate if your business is ready for this next step. If your business is ready, you should follow this process to get your company qualified for government contracting:
1. Research the Types of Govt Contracts Available:
There are 2 types of contracts. You might be eligible for bidding on competitive set-asides and sole-source set-asides contracts. The first type applies when more than one small business can perform the job.
Competitive set-asides are also applied automatically when the government contract is for 150,000 dollars or less. In contrast, sole-source set-asides are contracts where only one company may meet the requirements.
These contracts are issued without any competitive bidding. You may consider getting your business certified as a veteran, minority, women-owned or any other applicable business certification. These certifications might give your business an advantage in the bidding process.
2. Look for Your Business North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Number :
Federal statistical agencies use the NAICS number to classify businesses. This number is specific to your industry. You can find your number on the United States Census Bureau website.
3. Get Your Duns & Bradstreet Number:
Before you can apply for any contract, you need a Duns and Bradstreet number to be eligible. You must request the number for Federal Government Contractors and Awardees.
The company will ask for details about your firm, such as the number of employees, physical location, annual revenue, among others. Duns & Bradstreet will provide your business the number free of charge.
4. Check If You Meet the Requirements for Government Contracting:
To be eligible for a government contract, you must meet the SBA size requirements. These are specific to every industry. You should consult an SBA office or use their online tool to find out if your business meets the requirements.
You will need your business’s most recent annual revenue and NAICS code. The parameters are specific for each industry. For example, a Commercial and Institutional Building Company with NAICS code 236220 may meet SBA’s size requirements. But, only if its annual revenue doesn’t exceed 36,500,000 dollars.
5. Consider the Possibility of Bidding on Joint Ventures:
If your business doesn’t meet the government contracting size requirements, you may consider a joint venture with another business. When you pursue a project working together with another company, your joint venture may qualify for set-aside contracts. Your venture may only be eligible if it meets SBA standards.
6. Open an Account and Register Your Business at the System for Award Management:
Before registering your business, you must open an individual account at the System for Award Management website. You will need information such as email address, username, password, among other details.
After you open your account, you may use it to register your business. You’ll have to set an entity administrator. In some cases, they may ask for a notarized letter appointing the administrator.
To register your business, you will have to submit information such as NAICS code, Duns & Bradstreet number, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), bank account information, among other details.
6. Decide If You’re Pursuing Government Contract Projects as a Subcontractor or Prime Contractor:
If you decide to bid on the contracts, you will be pursuing the project as a prime contractor. Your business will be in charge of completing the project. The government will pay you for your performance.
When you decide to perform as a subcontractor, you agree to complete certain services for the prime contractor. Your business won’t be hired by the government. And, the prime contractor will pay your business for your services.
7. Start Bidding on Government Projects:
As a prime contractor, you will have to bid on government projects your business can fulfill. To find the right government contract, you should search on GSA Schedules, SAM, SUB-Net and other platforms like this company. Some programs such as GSA Schedules may require you to register your business.
If you’re looking for subcontractors, SUB-Net can help you find the right company for the job. The System for Award Management is a great place to find government contracting opportunities.
Can You Score Government Contracts Today?
Yes, you can score government contracts. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small. To get that contract, though, your business must meet the basic requirements.
Preparing your business is essential to speeding up the process and secure the right contract. Remember to have all the documents and information ready before applying for a government contract. If you decide to pursue contracts as a subcontractor, the prime contractor might not ask for your business to meet the same requirements.
Don’t forget to consider joint ventures as a possibility to score that contract. Sometimes your business might not be able to handle a project on its own. Creating great alliances with other small businesses like yours may help you take your business to the next level.
Want to learn more ways to grow your small business? Check out our Small Business section for more helpful tips.
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