Small businesses can benefit greatly by pursuing government contracts. In fact, the Small Business Association states that federal law mandates a minimum of 23 percent of such jobs be awarded to small business. That said, many government agencies struggle to meet these directives, so it is clearly an opportunity that small businesses in Annapolis could – and should – take advantage of.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Register your business
The first step in the process of landing a government contract is to throw your hat in the ring as a contender. You will need a D-U-N-S number in order to bid on proposals, but the good news is that it’s free and relatively straightforward.
2. Learn the rules
Landing a lucrative contract from a government agency is a little different than your typical customer acquisition process. They have their own specific rules and regulations as well as certain priorities—such as businesses run by women, minorities, veterans, and Native Americans—which can work to your advantage if you fall into such categories. If this is the case for you, make sure you are putting that information up front in all your correspondence.
The SBA provides a lot of learning resources to help you get up to speed when preparing to pursue a government contract. Some are very specific, some are more general, and some are specific to the program you might be interested in applying for. Check them out before jumping in and you’ll have a much better chance of understanding the needs you will have to fulfill.
3. Subcontract for companies that already have a government contract
Subcontracting is another way to get your foot in the door. Seek out larger business that are already working with the government and market your services to them. The SBA administrates a service called SubNet, which aims to help small businesses find appropriate subcontracting opportunities.
4. Do some research
Every year, the feds publish a list of scores that show how well their contracted businesses were able to meet their goals. If you discover businesses in your area that have fallen short of these goals, there may be an opportunity for you to pick up the ball where it was dropped.
5. Attend networking events
Every year, the federal government hosts a procurement conference in Washington, DC. These events give you an opportunity to pitch your services directly to government organizations who are ready to buy. You may even want to purchase a booth of your own to better showcase what you have to offer. Even if you are in the early stages of discovery, this conference could be very helpful as it offers educational seminars and will give you a much more comprehensive view of the contractor landscape.
If you are a small business operating in Annapolis, pursuing a government contract should be high on your list of ways to build your presence in 2018. And, if you are looking for a flexible office solution that helps you stay agile and cost-effective in this changing economy, My Annapolis Office has your back. Drop by for a tour and find out why we are Annapolis’ favorite executive office suite.