Learning to win government contracts is a monumental task, yet there are businesses that are thriving because of them. There are many benefits to having a contract with local, state or federal government agencies. Some of the key benefits of doing business with the government include:
- Stability: having a contract with the government can provide a measure of stability for small businesses. Governments tend to not change vendors frequently, making longer-term strategic planning easier when a small business has a contract with the government.
- Legitimacy: small businesses that have government contracts are often perceived to be more stable and successful than many of their peers. This can make it easier for them to win new customers.
- Assured payment: governments usually pay their bills on time. This facilitates financial planning and enhances cash flow.
As a small or medium business what can you do to ensure that you can beat the competition and win government contracts? Here are a few tips that you can help your business win government contracts:
- Identify the kind of products to sell at specific agencies. One of the essentials of entering government deals is identifying what you need to offer despite your business having multiple products or services. If you want to win government contracts, then you need to understand what your customer wants. Like selling to any other customers, you need to answer specific needs. Focusing on specific needs of government agencies you are to deal with can have great benefits as you can provide answer to what they want and deliver solutions to their pressing concerns
- Start small. The problem with many businesses that enter the federal bidding process and lose, is they want to start big but come assessment time, they cannot deliver. Before you set out to win government contracts at a high dollar level, you should consider starting small. It’s better to start with small contracts and establish a few wins, as this can establish a start of a good relationship with the government agency. Your past performance can also be a good indicator that you can deliver.
- Have a targeted approach. Bid out on 2 or 3 subject matters where you have expertise rather than doing 15 or more projects that are all over the place. If you want to win government contracts, then you need to stay tightly focused.
- Speak with the contracting officer. There are point persons in all federal agencies. You can often consult with them and get ideas about getting into the bidding process. They can also direct you to the proper person who can give you valuable insights.
- Provide quality not just competitive price. There are businesses with competitive prices yet fail to qualify because the offer lacks quality. Government buyers don’t always choose the lowest price. Instead, they often look at overall value. If you want to win government contracts, make sure to offer a higher overall value than your competitors.
- Make sure all documents required are complete. Governmental purchasing processes are highly regulated. Governments also have very strict paperwork completion requirements. If you want to win government contracts, be certain to complete all the forms and submit all requested information. Don’t overlook anything.
- Demo your stuff. There are times when you need to strut your stuff so that your customers know what you can deliver or if your offer is worthwhile. Often, demonstrating what you can offer creates the biggest difference in winning and losing a contract. If there are opportunities to demonstrate your product or service, always grab them.
- Cultivate relationships. Having networks like business partners, liaison officers, or other point persons can help boost the likelihood that your business will win government contracts.
- Have someone on your team play devil’s advocate. Every proposal can be shut down and the best defense is to cover all fields. It’s good to have someone who will play the role of a devil’s advocate so that you know what holes to fill in and what part of your proposal needs focus. To win government contracts, you need to be certain that all potential downsides are addressed before you submit your proposal.
- Get Registered. Before you can win government contracts, you must be sure to comply with all registration requirements. Before bidding on contracts, make sure you are registered with key agencies including:
- Dun and Bradstreet – you must have a valid DUNS number
- System for Award Management (SAM) – you must have a valid SAM registration
Having a government contract can set your small business on a strong path towards sustained growth and success. To find and win government contract opportunities with the federal government, you can use the FedBizOpps website. Once you find an opportunity that’s right for you, following these tips can help your business win government contracts and grow. Looking for help in winning government contracts? Contact me today and find out how I can help you win government contracts and grow your business!