Becoming a federal contractor comes with many benefits – not only will it help grow your business, but you’ll become a provider for one of the biggest clients in the country. From providing general construction services to selling janitorial equipment, any company can have the federal government as their client. It’s by law for the U.S government to purchase a portion of goods and services from small businesses.
However, it’s not as simple as any other business contract. There are many steps to go through before you land a government gig, and we’re here to guide you through it.
1. Obtain a DUNS number.
This DUNS number is like a 9-digit identification number for your business. You can’t land any government contracts without it. It’s completely free, and you can receive your number within one business day when you register through Dun and Bradstreet.
2. Find your NAICs code.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has a series of codes that identify the kind of service or product you provide. It’ll allow you to apply to specific contracts relevant to your business.
3. Sign up on SAM (System for Awards Management).
You need to register with SAM to receive any contract and payment from the government. This U.S government website contains a list of businesses that are looking to work with the government. Registration is free, and the process is relatively simple.
4. Eligibility for SBA (Small Business Administration) certificate.
SBA offers a series of federal contracts that are specific to a particular group of people. For example, they have a Women-Owned Small Business and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program where those qualify to access particular contracts.
5. Find opportunities on FedBizOpps, GSA, and Subcontracts.
Once you’ve done all the registration and research, it’s time to start finding some opportunities and possible contracts. Here are a few sources you can use to land your first gig:
a) FedBizOpps: This is one of the main sites to view open opportunities and make
bids with federal agencies. The majority of contracts available on the site are over
$25,000. You can also personally reach out to posting agencies to view upcoming
b) GSA (Government Services Administration) - This is a platform that gives
government agencies access to businesses that sell commercial products and
supplies. Once these contracts get the green light, federal clients can purchase
directly from these businesses.
c) Subcontracting opportunities also exist, and there’s a vast number of listings
for them. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door with government contracting.
There’s a lot of time and effort that is expended when pursuing a government
contracting gig. But you don’t have to do it alone; you can always find assistance.
While there are many steps to go through and things to consider, the benefits and
stellar opportunity that presents itself when working with the government is worth
By Andrea D. Wilson