Get a Contract with the US Government

Getting a contract with the U.S. government can be a little tricky, but the process, paperwork and effort can pay off. As well as being an official government registered company, it will build your reputation.

So what is involved?

First, know what you want

As mentioned on [] there are over 31,300 contract opportunities. To know what to look for, know your company. Search based on what you do, not what you might be able to offer.

This will assist in helping you find the right opportunities, and also improve your chances of success in landing those valuable contracts.

Playing with the big boys

Entering in the world of government contracts, you might enter into a game of bureaucracy, even if you’re more customer-focused, and open to change.

But there are many ways to turn this to your advantage. The government formally sets aside opportunities for women, members of economically or socially disadvantaged groups, service-connected disabled veterans, and businesses located in certain underprivileged geographic areas. (Of course, there are a lot of restrictions; see each program for more details.)

Outside of these criteria, the government sets asides about 25% of its contracts for small businesses. It is hard to know if that is the reality, but it is the goal.

Love your paperwork

Running your business, you might get frustrated with doing lots of paperwork. That is a reality and with experience, it will get easier and easier to do.

First, register with the Central Contractors Registration database []

The CCR tool can provide a lot of insight as it lets you see the amount of competition in your industry. It can also help you see how to improve your positioning, as well as potential subcontracting opportunities.

Another potential way of getting federal work is via the subcontracting route. You can check out Suppliers Connect [] for potential subcontracting jobs for 16 major contractors. These include AT&T, Bank of America, Facebook, IBM, John Deere, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Kelloggs, UPS, and others.

Create government relationships

Get to know your government representatives. Find out who are putting the contracts out, who they are working with, and how partners are selected. You can meet them through events, internal small business programs run by big businesses etc.

For each contract there will be documented requirements. Critically you will need a DUNS number [] as well as meeting specific certification or regulatory requirements. Getting these done in advance will make the process quicker when you are ready to apply.

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