Tips for Landing Government Contracts and Snagging Part of an Annual $500 Billion Pie
Special Adviser to the Director & Deputy Chief Of Staff for Management/US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - AdvisoryCloudTM
Even in the face of a polarized political climate, frenetic, whip-lash policy changes from one Administration to the next (and even within any given Administration), recent budget cuts in most cabinet-level departments aside from the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security, ongoing trade tensions with China, and unforeseen daily events, it is important to remember that the federal government spends more than $500 billion annually on contracts for goods and services, with more than a fifth of those dollars ($100 billion) awarded to small businesses.
So, what do the key elements of successfully crafting great proposals and more importantly, landing government contracts and snagging a piece of that $500 billion pie entail?
Here are a few key ideas to keep in mind, namely:
- Know the rules & familiarize yourself with what selling goods and services to the federal government involves, which is different than private industry; these resources can help:
- Learn How the Federal Government Buys from Small Businesses
- SBA’s guide to Getting Started in Government Contracting
- Government Contracting 101 – This three on-demand, self-paced courses are part of SBA’s Government Contracting Classroom and are a quick way to get to know the landscape.
- Understand what the government is buying; you can glean insights into each department’s and agency’s budget from OMB's web site; here, you can learn about the government’s needs, gaps, pain points, policy priorities, and the types of goods and services it seeks.
- Assess which departments and agencies are meeting their small – business quotas and which aren’t, using the Federal Procurement Data System.
- Attend as many industry events as possible; usually, the private sector hosts these industry events, but government procurement officials regularly attend; GovEvents can provide a helpful list of such events.
- Lastly, utilize the SBA for tips, training, and networking events, and utilize your existing government network to partner with those who can help guide you through this process.