Governments — whether federal, state or local –make great clients for your cloud communications solutions. They’re well-funded, reliable and spend an enormous sum of money — the U.S. federal government alone awarded more than $500 billion in contracts in 2017.
The successful procurement of government contracts is one of the most effective ways to promote growth, especially if your company qualifies as a small business vendor – which your LLC might. That’s largely because there are certain rules governing the awarding of governments contracts that level the playing field. One example: By law, 23% of all federal contracts must be awarded to small businesses.
Five steps to improve your odds winning with the public sector
Find the right opportunities
Success in any business venture requires keen identification of opportunities as they develop — and government contracts are no different. To do this, access to contract listings is needed. We can help you with or if you want to start research yourself, the U.S. federal government’s online clearinghouse lists tens of thousands of contracting opportunities at any given time. This online portal is updated constantly, therefore I recommend checking daily.
Cities and states also operate similar contract clearinghouses, so consider checking the state and municipal websites within your operating region for more information about local contract postings. Often these clearinghouses offer email alerts where you can register for specific types of opportunities that match your business model. I am happy to help you find your local lead providers.
Narrow down your search
Having tens or hundreds of thousands of opportunities can be a blessing and a curse if you don’t know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Broadvoice’s PSP will help you focus on what’s truly relevant to your business. If you want to go it alone though, try this exercise:
- Identify what your business does best and the advantages it can offer to government agencies
- Review various government agencies and departments to identify their specific goals. Doing this will help you understand what each agency or department is seeking, and whether you’re a good fit. Budgets for each of these agencies and departments are listed on the federal Office of Management and Budget’s
One more key tip: Some agencies and departments fail to meet their mandated small business contract targets. By reviewing the Federal Procurement Data website, you can identify which departments and agencies are lagging — and potentially spot a great opportunity to help them catch up.
Find out if your company qualifies for “set aside” contracts
If your agency or LLC is owned by a woman, veteran or minority, you may have access to special “set aside” contracts awarded to small businesses considered to be competitively disadvantaged.
To qualify, you’ll need to complete the certification process. For Small Business Administration (SBA) contracts, this also means securing certification through an approved third-party certifier. This process is rigorous; an investigation may be initiated into your day-to-day business operations, your leadership structure, finances etc. Phone calls, emails, texts and financial records all may be evaluated, so it’s important to be prepared.
Register to bid
To do business with the federal government, you’ll first need to register by visiting the System for Award Management website (this also helps you on a state level although it is not a requirement). You also can use this site to gain insight into your industry since you can see how many of your competitors already are bidding for contracts.
To improve your odds of winning contracts when you’re new to the process, consider subcontracting with a larger firm that has experience in government contracting. This is a great way to become more familiar with the process before you go it alone.
Attend workshops and events
The SBA regularly hosts events designed to help startups or small businesses, and the contracting process is a frequent topic of discussion. Find other relevant government events through various online portals. Attending these events can help you become well-versed in the contracting process. Plus, you’ll make personal connections with influencers and industry experts. You also may visit sites that are focused on specific industries, including the rapidly growing government IT contracting market.
Government contracting can play a role in growing your cloud communications sales. By following the advice outlined above, you’ll be in great position to find early success when identifying and bidding on these contracts with Broadvoice. I am here to help you through the RFP process and will partner with you to win every deal.