The federal government is a massive organization, and from the perspective of an ordinary person, we can see that they have practically everything they need. However, we had no idea that they were looking for bids from companies to assist them with their needs. They generate a large number of government contracts for anyone to bid on as a result of this difficulty.
Many small businesses are awaiting government contract opportunities in the hopes of potentially expanding their business. Yet, many small business owners are still hesitant to take the chance to bid due to the high risk involved.
If you are one of the small business owners who are interested to bid and working with the government agencies to be one of their independent prime contractors, keep reading until the end because this article will provide you with some basic terminologies, contract categories, and recommendations on how to win government contracts.
What is the difference between partner and contractor?
A partnership is a business association formed by two or more people who go into business together. Partnerships are governed by state laws and legal implications. Some states permit different types of partnerships, such as limited partnerships, though these agreements must be registered in order to be formed.
Partnerships are built on trust and care, which leads to continuous delivery and true alignment with your goals as an individual and as a company. Partners don’t just come in for the day and leave; they take the time to understand where your business is going.
On the other hand, a government contractor is a private corporation that manufactures items and provides services to government organizations. Contractors are hired by government contracting officers after obtaining open-bid contracts.
In other words, a prime contractor or a contractor is someone who is required to participate in projects or contract opportunities. They might be a supplier, borrower, lender, buyer, vendor, and so on.
So what is the difference between a partnership and a contractor?
Their distinction is based on their involvement in any existing project or contract. Contractors simply do their work and everything specified in the contract and then go at the end of the day, forgetting about the project you worked on together. While working together, the partners take genuine ownership and interest in the project and treat it as if it were their own business.
In government contracting, whether you are a partner or a contractor, the project results still belong to the government agency with which you worked, and you will most likely not gain any acknowledgment from it. However, this could still help your small business develop more connections and recognition in the future, making it easier to big and win government open opportunities.
Can anyone get a government contract?
You can bid and obtain a government contract whether you are a large or small business. Government contracts will be straightforward to bid on and win once you understand how the bidding process, registration process, requirements, and other things to do in government contracting. But, before you can submit a proposal or bid to a government agency, you must first be added to its bidding or government contractors list.
Large corporations seek prospective clients and government contracts for millions of dollars. These huge firms tend to bid for the federal marketplace, but also have an interest in national and municipal agreements. Small businesses, on the other hand, bid for small contracting opportunities that meet their business credentials and scope of work. Small businesses, with fewer resources, tend to seek out state and more regional contracts.
Another thing to keep in mind while bidding on a contract is that you will be obliged to pay applicable taxes, especially if the services you provide are for public buildings or projects. The prevailing wages are set by local, state, and federal government bodies based on regional union wages.
What is the easiest government contract to get?
The government agencies spend more than $500 billion each year on contracts and need everything from pens up to machinery. These contracts are divided into three categories: goods, services, research, and technical assistance.
Government agencies may be looking for everything from paper clips, bolts, and nuts to aircraft and machinery at any particular time, depending on their demands. The secret to winning bids on goods contracts is to ensure that you have precisely what the government agency and contracting officer is seeking.
You may believe that the government already has several sectors with full-time employees and does not require any more assistance from other small businesses or organizations. However, the truth is that federal agencies are attempting to hire small businesses that provide services such as consulting services, lab testing, and other service-based duties.
A demonstration and proof that the business has the capacity to perform the essential service are frequently required by agencies looking for services. You are more likely to bid and win these types of contracts if your business meets their standards.
Research and Technical Assistance
These contracts are comparable to service-based contracts, although they are more specialized in specific industries. One good example is scientific research or the evaluation of legal documents required by government bodies.
This sort of contract is beneficial to small business owners that work in highly specialized fields. You can be on the bidding list for this type of contract if your company has a strong portfolio, a searchable database on their list, and/or a collection of testimonials from clients with whom you’ve worked. Taking advantage of successfully obtaining a contract can improve your company’s revenue and reputation in the industry you are in, as well as future government contracting prospects.
Government contracts are simple to bid if you determine the dos and don’ts, submission process, and understand the fundamentals of government contracting. When working for significant customers such as government organizations, keep in mind that your company’s reputation and credibility are on the line. As a result, make sure you have the bravery and determination to deal with their credentials and demands.
How to get government contracts?
Register your business
You must first register your business with the system of award management to be considered for government contracting opportunities. System of Award Management (SAM) is a US federal government agency’s official website that store searchable databases of businesses interested in government contracts. Your company must be registered as a government provider of this platform and be up-to-date.
Acquire DUNS Number
Dun & Bradstreet’s (DB) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS Number), is a nine-digit number used to identify a small business, corporation, or company immediately. Throughout the life of the business, DUNs numbers are unchanged. It is also used to trace companies and their global financial dealings. By using the DUNS Request Service Platform you can purchase a DUNS number online.
Get a NAICS code
Small businesses need a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) designation most of the time. This code is for classifying enterprises and collecting U.S. economic statistics. You need this code to register and apply for federal contracts in your business. NAICS also helps the government classify the industry of your company easily.
Please note that if your agency is active in several industries, multiple NAICS numbers may need to be obtained and reported. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers, consultation for additional information about the NAICS code.
Check your EIN
Other small businesses prefer to use the social security number of their owners to manage their firm, however, the Government demands the Employee Identification Numbers (EIN) of their contractors. You may go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for assistance in obtaining an Employee Identification Number and receive it for free. You are now ready to look for federal contracts once you have completed this list of prerequisites.
Where to find government contracts?
SAM.gov is the official U.S. government website for searching open contracts. On this website you may review opportunities, also see past performance evaluations and previously awarded offers, which can give you an idea for your proposals to prepare.
In order to identify contract opportunities, contract data reports, support lists, etc, a list of previous federal business opportunities databases (FedbizOpps website) is presented on the website conveniently.
Contractors with big government contracts are offering chances for subcontracting opportunities and listing them on SubNet. The SBA maintains a searchable Subnet database, which highlights the companies with major contracts with the government’s potential subcontracting opportunities.
SubNet possibilities are a wonderful base to find subcontracting opportunities or if you are just looking for expertise in how agencies and companies operate together with government contracts. The Small Business Administration Subcontracting Network, or SubNet, connects small businesses to their website for contractual possibilities.
General Services Administration (GSA)
U.S General Services Administration (GSA) is a government institution responsible for connecting government purchasers with contractors. Obtaining a contract with the GSA is referred to as “getting onto the GSA Schedules.”
GSA Schedule, commonly known as the Federal Supply Schedule and Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), is a type of long-term bid for goods and services. This also accounts for a sizable portion of all government management spending. Every year, billions of dollars in purchases are documented in this database.
Is the government contracting for you and your business?
Government contracting is a big task, time-consuming, and takes a lot of effort and commitment. So to answer this question you need to determine if you are ready to take the jump, and willing to make all the necessary requirements, bids, qualifications, and preparation to certainly win the contract. Do not be discouraged when passing through hardships because if you process your preparation correctly your business will surely be part of the great and never-ending business opportunity. Things might get overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, everything will fall into place.