What’s the best way to grow a small business?
For a lot of entrepreneurs, the answer is to get more customers. And there’s nothing wrong with this strategy. Customer acquisition paired with customer retention is a winning combo for sustained business growth.
But what if you can land that one client or customer that could easily double or triple your sales? Of course, you’d do everything you can to win that account.
The good news is you don’t need to look far for that dream client. If you master the art of winning government contracts, you’re set. With the government as your client, you can have a piece of the $100+ billion awarded to small businesses considered as prime contracts.
That said, here are 5 tips that will help you get a government contract.
1. Register for Government Contracting
To be a vendor for the US government, you have to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number. You can get one for free by using the online DUNS Request Service.
You also need to get a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. If you don’t know which specific classification your business falls under, the SBA or Small Business Administration can help you out.
Finally, you have to register in the System for Award Management (SAM). This is what government agencies use to pick out potential vendors.
Pro tip: Make sure to craft a compelling SAM profile. Remember, it’s all about looking good and impressing a VIP client. Give it as much effort (or more) like you’re perfecting your LinkedIn company page.
2. Find Government Contracts for Bid
Once you’ve registered on SAM, don’t just wait for government agencies to award you a contract. Be proactive and look for government contracts for bid.
The best way to do that is to familiarize yourself with FBO.gov. Here, you can also check other small business government contracts, which you can use as a reference for preparing your proposals.
3. Learn How to Prepare a Government Contract Proposal
There’s nothing simple about government contract proposals. You have to be familiar with jargons like Request For Quotation (RFQ), Request For Proposal (RFP), Invitation For Bid (IFB), and so on.
If you’re intimidated by the whole thing, you can self-study using this SBA course. Or you can hire a company that specializes in responding to RFPs and grant requests.
4. Price Your Bid Right
You can look for the easiest government contracts to win all day long. But if you don’t know how to price your bid, you’ll either lose out to other bidders or win a contract but at the cost of your profit.
So if you’re thinking of offering the lowest bid, don’t. You have overhead costs to consider. Crunch the numbers and work out a bid that maximizes your profit but good enough for the government to choose.
5. Be Ready for Anything
Just as most employers conduct a background check on potential hires, the government also vets its vendors. If you’re serious about winning a government contract, it doesn’t hurt to think of yourself as someone applying for a government position.
That means you should be ready for anything, including a government background check. If you keep everything organized though and all your business financial statements and other documentation are good, you shouldn’t be too worried.
Ready to Win a Government Contract?
Now that you know some tips on how to get government contracts, you should start looking for opportunities that are a good fit for your business. But if you need more advice, your best bet is to check out SBA’s federal contracting page.
For more tips on growing your business, don’t forget to check out our blog. We also have tons of articles on entrepreneurship, marketing, customer service, and productivity.