How to Win Government Contracts (for Small Businesses)
An increasing number of government contracts have been given to small businesses in recent years. And the forecast looks positive as Congress has been showing a keen interest in small businesses, and the federal government has even laid down procedures for micro-contracting (for the facilitation of smaller contracts).
Below are tips that can increase your small business’ chances of securing a government contract:
Check if you qualify as a small business.1.
First things first, incorporate your small business. The SBA’s definition of “small business” is mainly based on number workers and the business’ average annual sales. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), on the other hand, qualifies small businesses according to industry.
Be of good standing.
Before your small business can be eligible for a government contract, it should be in good standing in the state or states in which they operate. That means they should pay franchise taxes, submit accurate annual reports, update their license, and meet other compliance requirements. A non-compliant small business can lose its authority to do business in the state, which turn diminishes its chances of securing a government contract.
Register your business.
Those who want their small business to get federal contracts should first sign it up on the System for Award Management (SAM) website, which serves as the main registration system for all potential government vendors. Through this website, not only can you provide your pertinent details that all government agents require, but also market your business and make it stand out from others in your category. If you want to do business with the U.S. government, you should also have a DUNS Number, which serves as an identifier for each business location you have.
Expand your network.
As long as you have complied with all the requirements, you are now eligible to bid for a government contract. On the SBA website is a page that links small businesses to government contracting opportunities that are right for them. Also, you can take a look at the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), which lists business opportunities above $25,000, including information that you need to bid.
Use specific programs to your advantage.
Some programs are actually designed for specific types of small businesses (for example, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses). All key information, from regulations to opportunities, can be found in the FBO website.
For many small businesses, government contracts can be such a profitable but still largely untapped source of income. The process is not the simplest, but thankfully, a lot of resources are available to help those who would like to do business with the government. Of course, the credibility of these resources should be ascertained to avoid confusion.