The main concern for any small or medium-sized company is to find and retain customers. Many of them consider the federal government as their client, while others feel it is only a game of big companies. It is definitely not! Government approximately gives one-third of its total contracts to the small businesses. Even if the numbers seem low but it’s still worth millions!
How small business companies can get into this industry?
There are several steps to follow before entering into this industry:
- Update your business plan: It is important and can be considered as the first major step before getting into this industry to updating the business plan. This includes defining the business type, identifying the goals that your company can or may serve, qualifying and organizing the resources your company have and finally marketing your company. This can be considered as a resume of your company.
- NAICS code: It is necessary to identify the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. This serves the purpose of what type of products or services your company provides and help you target agencies accordingly.
- SBA Size Standard Tool: Using SBA Size Standard Tool to determine if your business qualifies for small business.
- Sign up for business identification.
- Register your company in Central Contractor Registry (CCR) in the System for Award Management (SAM)
- Submit Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA) through SAM.
- Get a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code which is automatically created when you apply for CCR.
- Start getting familiar with Federal Acquisition Register (FAR).
- Use websites like fbo.org (which will be transferred to beta.sam.gov by the end of 2019), fedconnect.net, iq.GovWin.com, etc. These are the websites where all the contracts posted by the government are visible and will help in getting business.
What are the benefits of making federal government agencies as a customer?
- US federal government agencies buy more products or services than any other customer in the world. They roughly spend about $500 billion every year buying from companies of all the sizes and small companies have approximately one-third of this amount for them.
- Any sized small business companies can sell goods or provide service to federal agencies. There are no such criteria for that. Even a single-person company can win a contract, obviously only if it satisfies all the requirements.
- The federal government makes sure to pay these small business companies on time. Usually, they take not more than 15 days after submitting the invoices by the companies.
Technologies helpful for this industry
- Websites: Different websites like fbo.gov, id.GovWin.com, beta.sam.gov (active from early 2020), etc. These are the platforms where one can find all the contracts released by the government.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool: This can be considered as the heart of this business. It is used to track every single opportunity the company has targeted. Making regular updates, recording every note or communication with a federal agency can be added to this CRM tool. There are several tools available in the market like Zoho CRM, HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, etc.
Companies have to keep in mind that this whole industry is a relationship-based market. Decision-makers do want to know from whom they are buying, why the services or products you provide are better or different from others and of course if you are budget-friendly. Delivering your services as needed and products on time always help you build strong and more profitable relationships and may increase your chances of winning more contracts.
Author: Prasanna Patil