In these difficult economic times, your small business is looking for any way to bring in business. Government contracts can be a fertile ground for this – however, it does require some legwork in order for it to be a success.
First of all, do your homework – the Small Business Administration outlines the policies and procedures for obtaining contracts with the federal government. Additionally, Florida based National Center for Small Business Information has courses available on how to properly bid for government contracts.
Be aware that federal governmet guidelines generally require an open-bidding process.
Any small business interested in obtaining business contracts with the federal government should register with the Central Contractor Registry, which allows for automatic payment if you are chosen for a contract. Also, the CCR provides a great opportunity for you to showcase your products and services and any special skill you have to a government purchasing agent.
Another invaluable thing to do is to network and partner with other companies. Some contracts are required to be given to businesses owned by veterans, women and minorities. Many small businesses get their start in teaming up with another business for a federal government contract.
Last but not least, do not expect to receive a big windfall from doing business with the government. Many contracts limit a firm’s profit to 15%. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, it’s nothing like the infamous stories like $400 toilet seats and $1500 hammers we hear about in the media.