Did you know that, according to Entrepreneur, the federal government awards contracts worth $500 billion every year? You might also not know that the law requires the government to send at least 23% of these contracts -- nearly one in four -- to small businesses, a category which the vast majority of businesses falls under. In fact, of the some 26.5 million U.S. businesses, a staggering 95% have less than 500 employees, qualifying them as a small business, according to the Small Business Administration.
If that's the case, then why did Government Executive report that large companies get $83 billion in government contracts tailored to small businesses in the last year?
The truth is that large companies have more resources than small business. But if you use the right strategy, you can claim what the government originally intended for your small business. So if you're running a small business and want to start bidding on government contracts and learning about government contract pricing, you need to follow these four rules.
Register Your Business
The Small Business Administration has a guide for owners who want to register their small business and bid on federal government contracts. First, a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is required before a business owner can begin bidding on government contracts. To do so, owners must register on the federal online System for Award Management, and can then search through bid opportunities to locate any contracts that might be ideal.
Serve as a Subcontractor
One way a business can attain government work without risking fierce competition is to serve as a subcontractor. Small businesses can locate subcontracting opportunities from prime contractors, and thus have the ability to learn about the process while gaining the income that comes from government contracting.
Gain a Competitive Edge
In any field, the more positive attributes that contribute to your unique business, the better. This is especially important in government contracting, as it can influence government contract pricing. Many government agencies are now encouraged to do business with minority- or female-owned business, so owners of companies that meet those criteria should emphasize that in their paperwork.
Salespeople who actively seek out referrals earn almost five times more than those who don't, and the same is true for your business. If you don't seek out people who can teach you about proposal pricing and government contracting, then you're not going to have very good chances.
Following these rules will not only help you learn about the process, it will help your business grow in the future.