Government contracts are lucrative; they can lead to many other opportunities and a reliable income stream for small and large businesses. Here are some tips for securing and maintaining a government contract.
Know the Company Inside and Out
It is essential that the contract applied for is thoroughly understood. This means that the person presenting the bid needs to know everything about company policies in a wide variety of areas such as hiring practices, environmental protocol, past projects, safety, etc. Government agencies also want a good contact at the company. This person needs to be available promptly to answer questions or facilitate the project. Government agencies do not want to be put on hold or wait for days for the business to get back to them.
Bid on a Small Contract Before a Large One
Gaining a small government contract and providing good service is an excellent way to earn larger ones further down the road. A smaller project allows the company to establish themselves as reputable and gain the experience needed to do well on larger and more involved contracts, or branch out into another government sector. If the business starts out trying to bid on large projects, then it is competing against companies that have more experience acquiring and fulfilling these types of projects.
Know what Advantages the Business has
In an effort to offer more opportunities to disadvantaged groups there are some special considerations the business can use to its advantage when applying for a government contract. If the business is owned by a woman, a service-connected disabled veteran, or ethnic minority, this can make it easier to secure a contract. There are various opportunities specifically set aside for small businesses as well.
Regularly Check Government Data Bases for Contracts
As soon as contracts become available they are listed on government websites. Websites can be checked every few days for the best options in competition.
Paperwork doesn’t mean Stress
Securing a government contract and fulfilling involves a lot of paper work. Although much of this can be done using online methods, it can still take some time. Help is available, and after the business is awarded a couple of contracts, negotiating the application process becomes easier. Contracting with the United States requires registering at the Central Contractor Registration Database.
Establish Good Working Relationships
Going the extra mile to maintain good relations with the government agency your business connects to can lead to more opportunities in the future. Bob Bratt of DLA Piper knows the value of this, as he has been a leader in maintaining government contracts. In his previous job he was responsible for maintaining relationships with more than 2000 contractors and employees for Unisys. During his tenure there he increased the revenue Unisys received from US Department of Justice contracts from $10 million to $60 million.