There is a misconception we try to dispel in our government marketing seminars, and that is the idea that small business government contracts never happen. Many perceive government contracting to be so much of an “insider’s game” that smaller organizations simply have no chance to succeed.
This is not true. In fact, the Federal government offers several resources, programs, and opportunities aimed specifically at smaller organizations. While there are still challenges to be overcome, it is entirely possible for small groups to find levels of success while growing their own ability to steadily obtain more robust small business government contracts over time.
So, for those who are new to government contracting, or investigating the possibility, we offer a quick guide to some of the ways small business government contracts can happen, as well as some online resources to explore.
One of the single most common ways that smaller operations get their foot in the door is through partnerships with larger contractors. It is extremely common for large contractors to take on contracts which are beyond their internal capacity, and sub-contract out portions of the work to smaller groups.
These partnerships generally come in three flavors:
The other alternative, of course, is to simply wade into the fray and start looking to directly compete. Government orders come in all sizes, and often small orders from equally-small branch agencies will go overlooked by larger concerns looking for bigger contracts. This opens opportunities for small businesses to start making inroads at agencies. These small jobs also have the benefit of frequently being less political or focused on who-do-you-know networking.
The obvious first stop is FedBizOps, or FBO.gov, which is the central repository of all open opportunities in the system. There will generally be tens of thousands of contracts open at any given time, and a large number of them small. Find one that fits your niche, and you’re set.
For the forward-looking, there is also the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tool which allows advanced users to peek into the contracting system and see contracts which are not yet “live” but likely to become so soon. This can be invaluable for planning future strategies.
Asher Government Strategies offers training and seminars to help operations of all sizes succeed in their bids for Federal contracts. Contact us today to learn more about our highly successful training programs.