How to Win Government Contracts (for Small Businesses)
More and more government contracts have been awarded to small businesses over the last few 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).
Here are tips to help your small business through the process of winning a government contract:
Be sure that you qualify as a small business.1.
First things first, incorporate your small business. The SBA defines “small business” with respect to the business’ average yearly sales and its number of workers. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), on the other hand, qualifies small businesses according to industry.
Be of good standing.
Government contract eligibility for a small business is only possible if it is in good standing in their state or states of operation. This means having updated licenses, franchise taxes, annual reports, and other 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. This website is not only meant to store your pertinent information as required by government agents, but it is also lets you market your business and make it stand out above the rest in your category. Also required of all government vendors is a DUNS Number, which is basically a unique identifier for each of your business locations.
Provided you have complied with all government requirements, your small business is now eligible for a government contract. On the SBA website is a page that links small businesses to government contracting opportunities that are right for them. You can also check out the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, where you can find business opportunities more than $25,000, including bidding information.
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 information you need to know, such as regulations, resources, systems, etc. can be found in the FBO’s website.
Many small businesses will find government contracts to be such a profitable and yet mostly untapped source of revenue. The process is not very simple and may take time, but fortunately, many resources exist to guide those who are interested in becoming government vendors. Of course, it is important to first ensure that these resources are highly credible, if only to prevent confusion due to inaccurate information.
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