Everything You Need To Know About Securing Government Contracts For Your BusinessBy SCORE
May 26 2021, Published 4:55 a.m. ET
What is one thing to know about getting government contracts?
To help you better understand government contracts, we asked contracting experts and business leaders for their best advice. From cybersecurity training to ensuring worker safety, there are several things that you should know that may help you better understand government contracts.
Here are seven things to know about getting government contracts:
- Get Compliant Cyber Security Training
- Build Critical Relationships
- Register on System for Award Management
- Design Services Just for the Government
- Ensure Worker Safety
- Peruse the Possibilities
- Get Onto FedBid
Get Compliant Cyber Security Training
As a part of HB-3834, state and local government employees are required to complete a Department of Information Resources (DIR) approved cybersecurity awareness training program on an annual basis. If your organization is seeking government contracts, be aware that most government agencies require contractors and vendors to be HB-3834 compliant. Even if you don’t get the government contract you were hoping for, completing a DIR-approved cybersecurity training program can benefit your business.
-Nick Santora, Curricula
Build Critical Relationships
Most government agencies have budget cycles that run on very specific timelines. Even when the need is discovered and secured, getting your product or service to those agencies takes more time than other deals. Build relationships early with your ideal customers, identify timelines appropriate for initial discovery, bidding on the project, and secure the contract. There are a lot more steps to go through, but when you earn those relationships, it’s worth it.
-Blake Murphey, American Pipeline Solutions
Register on System for Award Management
Businesses should be prepared to go through a rigid qualification process for both time and resources. However, the first and most important step is to register on System for Award Management (SAM) to find contracting opportunities with the government and start bidding. As a Japanese industrial solutions provider operating in the US, we’ve had our fair turn of bids. Be prepared to invest upwards of $120,000, depending on the size of the contract you are eyeing.
-Ryan Shallenberger, SEKISUI
Design Services Just for the Government
Produce a product or service specifically for the government. For example, a consulting agency like ours may consider offering a SAFe for Government class, where attendees gain the knowledge to be a Lean-Agile Change Agent to lead the SAFe Transformation inside a government agency. Because the class addresses key issues for government, like legacy governance, contracting, and organizational barriers, people reviewing the course are more likely to attend because the course is just for them. If you want government contracts, you need to know how to solve and address key issues the government is facing.
-Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC
Ensure Worker Safety
Often outsourced work from governments includes working in the field. Typical examples are path guidance at airports, guarding a door at a railway station, or simply checking parking tickets within a particular area. If the government RFP includes such work, workers often end up being placed alone or in pairs at a workplace. Even if two workers are working at the same workplace, often one worker needs to handle a work situation in proximity and leave reduced safety as a side effect. This can strongly affect your chances of winning government-connected contracts. Governments need to take special protection of workers in their service. No government official is keen to justify the selection of a (now) appeared unreliable vendor. You want to mitigate these risks and stand out in a positive way by addressing the questions of lone worker safety. Save yourself and the person shortlisting vendor’s headaches.
-Hays Bailey, SHEQSY
Peruse the Possibilities
When most folks think of government contracts, they think of fields like construction or defense. However, the US government lists over 30,000 opportunities that span a variety of different industries. Do not assume that just because you are a small business or a provider of an out-of-the-ordinary service, there is no chance to score a contract. For instance, my company TeamBuilding has hosted virtual team building events for multiple government branches. The proposal process required finesse, and the technical aspects needed adjustment to adhere to security standards; however, we were able to partner with official agencies even though our industry is not one you might instantly associate with governmental contracts. It never hurts to consider the possibilities and check listings.
-Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
Get Onto FedBid
The first thing any business owner or contractor needs to do if they’re interested in getting involved with government contracts is to create an account through FedBid. It’s a full-service online marketplace that has been shown to improve how governments and educational institutions purchase the goods and services they require to run their organizations. Depending on the type of work that best applies to your company, the platform gives access to opportunities from various federal agencies such as NASA, TDAE, and the VA Healthcare Administration, among others. Also, keep in mind that you have to be consistent in submitting bids at regular intervals so that they don’t forget about your company.
-Altay Gursel, Metriculum
This was written by Brett Farmiloe and originated on SCORE.