Government Contracting Steps To Take

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Join us for a FREE online Q&A about Government Contracting for Small Business

When? May 17, 2022 @ 10am

Today’s blog, part 2 of Government Contracting for Small Business, will help you understand the steps you need to take to get a government contract.

It’s not too late to get more information!  Click HERE to find out more!

 

How can I get a government contract?

With the time it takes to secure an award, it may be several years before profits offset the investment spent in obtaining contracts. Utilizing the knowledge of a professional at Paris SBDC or the SBA is a good way to navigate obtaining government contracts and save time.

  • Start small: Once you have identified the products and services an agency is looking for, it is best to start small.
  • Develop a track record with smaller agencies and local awards. Going for big dollar awards at the federal level may put your company in over its head while trying to meet the deadlines and production levels required.
    • Remember, the government tends to go with what they know or are familiar with. Early development can help get your foot in the door to bigger opportunities through creating reliability and recognition.
  • Focus your approach: There may be eight or ten areas where you feel your company can apply for an award. Work on two or three possible contracts where your business excels in quality, not just competitive pricing.

 

How to prepare your proposal for a government contract:

On the SAM.gov site there are three types of proposals:

  • Request for Quotation (RFQ): While typically used for a more simplified government contract of $150,000 or less, the information requirement may be greater. The SAM.Gov site offers advice for RFQ’s.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP): This applies to larger, negotiated acquisitions. There can be some give and take as the process unfolds until the government agency and prospective vendor come to mutually agreed pricing and terms.
  • Invitation for Bid (IFB): This is a sealed solicitation for government procured contracts.

Keep in mind, there is no negotiation, and the submitted proposal is considered final. The price point is often the difference seen between the qualified bidders. A few more things to do before you submit your proposal:

  • Get your paperwork in order: With strict guidelines and regulations, having complete, accurate paperwork is paramount to winning an award. Don’t second guess, ask questions if necessary and above all, leave nothing out.
  • Build relationships: An agency liaison or point of contact may help build company awareness.
    • Connect with agency decision makers through procurement conferences, industry events and contract matchmaking events.
    • Connect with a bid matching service. More than three hundred local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) offices serve the country. Find one near you at APTAC. You can also obtain a private service for a more detailed approach to procurement matching.

 

What are the easiest government contracts to get?

A one-person business owner with little track record is not likely to be awarded a government contract. If you are starting small, consider contracting with a larger company that already has work with the government.  While most contracts tend to go to those with a foot in the door, subcontracting with a winning bidder is a way to gain necessary experience, building that all-important track record and move up the rankings.

With that in mind, there are some government projects that are too small and often overlooked. Check the SAM.Gov site for janitorial, plumbing trades, and even painting procurements. Word has it, if you work hard, even at a loss with the goal of bigger contracts, you can get a foothold to greater awards even at this level.

 

What is a GSA vendor and how do I get one?

A GSA or General Services Administration approved vendor are qualified companies that go through the GSA schedule acquisition process.  Follow the earlier step listed here to gain a SAM.gov registration number. Next:

  • Check your eligibility
  • Be prepared to provide three contractor performance assessment reports or 3-5 customer references.
  • Provide complete statements of work and projects for similar projects.
  • Products must be Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliant, from an approved TAA country.
  • Business must have fair and reasonable pricing.
  • Verify that you are not disbarred on the SAM.gov site.

Once you meet these qualifications, contact a GSA consultant, and start the Multiple Award Schedule Offer Process.

 

Don’t forget to get more information!

Gregory James, of UTA Cross Timbers Procurement Center gave an online Q&A addressing general questions on:

• Government set asides
• Minority owned business
• 8a certification
• Government bid process
• Criteria with Cross Timbers
For more information from the experts in government contracting, please contact Gregory James, of UTA Cross Timbers Procurement Center!
Want even more information?  Check out our resource center for more on Government Contracting!

For additional information on government contracting, how they work, the steps to take, or how to get a government contract, please contact us at the Small Business Development Center – SBDC – Serving Paris area:  Lamar, Hunt, Hopkins, Delta, and Red River counties.