The United States federal government is the largest customer in the world. In fact, the government spent $560 billion on contracts in 2018. This was a 6 percent increase from the year prior.
The government buys everything from ships to pencils. In addition to supplies, they also purchase contracting services.
Winning a government contract can set your company up for years of steady revenue. However, the government puts a premium on strong past performance. This means that you need to successfully deliver what the government requires.
Read on to learn how to secure and fulfill a government contract. Explore these 4 need-to-know facts and become a government contract holder.
1. Find a Bid to Respond to
The federal government posts contracting opportunities on a website called Fedbizopps. Here, they post a contract requirement accompanied by a Statement of Work (SOW) and other important attachments.
There are a number of ways to find a bid related to your company’s product or service. You can filter a search by geographic information like city or state.
2. Meet the Bid’s Instructions
Included in the Request for Proposal (RFP) package posted online are the bidding instructions. It is imperative that you follow these instructions closely. The government can throw out your proposal if you fail to meet its instructions.
For example, Section L is a section of the solicitation that informs bidders how to break out the cost. In some cases, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires cost to be broken down to an hourly rate.
Do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about the government’s instructions. The government will issue clarifications and, in some cases, even revise a requirement based on a bidder’s input. Another option is consulting companies like DASG that specialize in government contracts.
3. Negotiate the Contract
Depending on the contract type and competition, negotiations with the government may not be applicable. However, in many cases, the government enters negotiations with bidders.
This is especially true in a sole-source environment. When there is only one bidder, the government is going to negotiate directly with the company.
If a competitive environment, the government requests each company’s best and final offer. If a price is deemed unreasonable or unrealistic, discussions will take place to adjust it.
4. Execute the Contract
If you reach this step, the good news is that you have been awarded a government contract. This opens up a world of opportunity and your company may be eligible for follow-on contracts.
Meeting the due dates called out in the government contract is imperative. For follow-on work, the government heavily weighs past performance.
A Recap of How to Secure and Fulfill a Government Contract
The government is a great customer for the American business owner. The feds never go out of business and are flush with cash.
To win a government contract, it is important that you put together a strong proposal. Make sure to address all of the government’s requirements.
If you enjoyed this article about government contracts, check out our small business blog for similar content.