Before you dismiss the very thought of becoming a government contractor as unnecessary, packed-full of hassle and more trouble than it’s worth, it is worth noting the US government procured over $300 billion dollars worth of products and services last year alone. $300 BILLION. That makes them the biggest buyer on the planet.
Of course, boosting your business isn’t the only benefit of tapping up old Uncle Sam for some work. There is the fact the US government makes its needs known publicly, typically buys in big volumes over long periods of time, sets apart a portion of its contracts for women-owned businesses and allows you to stamp that federal seal of approval all over your company.
The big question is how on earth are you meant to get an invite to the party and nibble away at a piece of this billion-dollar procurement pie? Well, here are some tips to help you:
Know Who To Call
Every single federal agency out there has a small-business specialist and it is up to you to contact them. That means doing some research, identifying who this specialist is and setting up a meeting where you bring their favorite chocolates.
Don’t Sell To The Specialist
This would only be a waste of your time and their patience. This is because this specialist is just a resource – a middle-person – who will work hard to put you in contact with the right person in the right agency that you can start selling to.
Tick The Right Boxes
Landing a piece of the federal pie requires more than you just having a service or product that aligns with their needs. You also have to prove you are reliable, trustworthy, control unclassified information within your company, registered with the central contractor registration and certified by a state or national entity. That is just the tip of the iceberg but it gives you an idea of what is needed.
Change Your Approach
Selling to a federal agency is not like selling to a private client, which is why you may need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. What we are saying is, don’t be too aggressive with your sales tactics. You can’t pressure Uncle Sam into anything, which means your attempts may be seen as a deterrent more than anything else.
Know Your Abilities
If you want a government contract to survive the test of time and become a big earner then you are going to need to prove yourself with your first task. The US government will look at your past performances more than anything else. So if you bite off more than you can chew on the first go then you may find you get shut out the next time you knock on the door. Start small and prove yourself. That is your best bet.
If you want to get your foot into that door then you need to know what they need, what they want and what they are looking for. This could even be something they don’t realize they need or want. So do your homework and then prove that you can make their lives easier.