Everyone that has started a business and seen it grow has had one eye on the dream: winning a government contract. Last year alone, the total federal contract spend was in excess of $447 billion, so no matter how small the piece of the pie you end up snacking on you know it’s going to taste delicious. The problem is, government contracting can be a hugely daunting prospect for a small business, not least because the probability of succeeding doesn’t look good.
But just because something is intimidating doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Not at all. And to prove this to you, we have pulled together a list of strategies that can help you land the US government as a client:
Homework Is A Must
The most effective thing you can do is research. Research everything, especially when it comes to learning all you can about your target agencies. You want to gather all the specific details you can, from their primary challenges to their budget, where they prioritize spending which North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes they most closely align with. Once you know these details, you will be much better positioned to succeed in your subsequent steps.
Speak To Other Contractors
You’re right. Direct competitors are not going to tell you their secrets or handover a piece of the pie when there is millions at stake. But there is still a lot you can learn from government contractors that don’t work in your field. For example, you could speak to a local business like www.CochranEng.com, who specialize in engineering, about the benefits of working with local municipalities and how this can lead to a federal contract. The more inside knowledge you have the better, and the more experience working with the public sector the better your chances with the government.
Prove You Are Capable
Landing a government contract requires time and effort, especially when it comes to creating a strong, compelling and solutions-driven capability statement; one that highlights what your company’s strengths are and where your expertise lie. Essentially, this is just a marketing document, but it needs to be filled with details because it will serve as the blueprint for ongoing business. As such, make sure you include all your relevant certifications, state what makes you different from the competition and detail why you should be the preferred provider in your sector.
Find Strategic Partners
Of all the networking strategies out there, this is one of the most effective ways of getting introduced to the government. Pick the right strategic partner and you will find doors into the subcontracting world begin to open, and that’s where you will really start to gain access to new markets. But it’s not just about knowing the right people. These relationships can also add value to your company and make government decision-makers look at you more favorably. That’s why you need to join all the organizations you can, focusing on those that represent and support small businesses.
It’s not easy to get in the door. But once you are in, you can reap the benefits big time.