Procuring government contracts is a dream of many small business owners. Government contracts make it possible for you to scale your business beyond your local community. This certainly helps you increase your bottom line pretty nicely too. If you are wondering how to qualify for government contracts and register as a federal contractor, wonder no more. Here is what you need to do to start obtaining government contracts to bring your business to the next level.
1. Make Sure You Qualify
The first step to becoming a government contractor is to make sure you qualify as a small business. The government has different small business qualifications for different industries. Find out your industry’s classification code, specifically the North American Industry Classification code, referred to as the NAICS code. Then, use that code to find the standards you will need to meet in the Table of Small Business Size Standards. If you meet the qualifications for your industry, you can more on to the next step.
2. Request A DUNS Number
Once you know your small business qualifies for government contracts, request a D-U-N-S number. DUNS numbers, short for Dun & Bradsheet, are unique, 9-digit ID numbers assigned to each and every physical location of your small business. If you have more than one business location, you will need more than one Dun & Bradstreet number. This is required for businesses who wish to register with the federal government. Make sure you get it done.
3. Register With Government
Once you have your business D-U-N-S number, you will need to register with SAM. SAM is the federal government’s System of Award Management. You will need to self-certify your business on this platform in order to gain access to government bids. It is the primary database of government contractors. Business owners should use the SAM platform to register business size and socio-economic status, as well as fill out any additional information that may be required. Then, you can move on to the next step.
4. Get Past Performance Evaluations
Bidding for government contracts cannot be successful if you have no proof of the work you do. In fact, past performance evaluations are actually required for small business owners hoping to get on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule list. Regardless of whether they are required for contracts of interest to you, you should still complete this step. It will help you stand out and prove your track record of providing an excellent customer experience. Get your business rated by the Open Ratings Inc. Past Performance Evaluation. This will help you procure GSA schedules and contracts that you desire.
5. Start Bidding
Once you have completed the above steps, you are ready to start bidding on government contracts. Do not be surprised if your bids do not get accepted right away. There is tough competition out there. Search for government contracts using resources using GSA schedules. Then, start bidding on your projects. You can find major contracts in construction, transportation and industrial sectors. There are contracts looking for specialized services like environmentally friendly skip hire options too. This will require a little bit of luck and a lot of patience. Be prepared.
If you are a small business owner, getting a contract with the government can be really beneficial for your operation. But, applying for government contracts is a complicated process. Unfortunately, there is no LinkedIn strategy that can help you get government contracts more simply. You can easily get discouraged if you do not know how to navigate GSA schedules or the government contract bidding process. Follow the steps above to obtain government contracts for small business easily. Then, just be prepared to wait for the moment when one of your bids finally gets accepted.
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