Posted on: 3/4/2016
Finding New Opportunities
Finding and bidding on government contracts can be a frustrating journey. If a majority of your company’s revenue is based on federal contracts, then finding AND winning those awards quickly and efficiently is vital.
If you are new to the world of government contracting, you’ll first want to make sure you are listed on the Central Contract Registry (www.ccr.gov). If you’re not listed here, then you won’t be able to bid on opportunities. Next, get subscriptions with sites like Fed Biz Opps and GovWin. There are also other sites out there that don’t require a subscription like Seaport-E.
This part can be complicated if you choose to manually search each of these individual sites on a regular basis and record data in – lets say – an Excel spreadsheet. It can literally be a full-time job to manually log all the data for each contract your company wants to pursue. An easier and more efficient method would be to subscribe to one of the newest software solutions that are now available and automate – not only the RFP retrieval process from multiple sources – but also updates documents as the issuing agencies change them. Additionally, some software solutions even track workflows and assignments for each proposal.
ProDash was developed with this automation process in mind. ProDash automatically pulls RFPs from all the trusted sites mentioned above, and uses filters of your choice - NAICS codes, contract values, keywords – to ensure those opportunities are the best fit for your company. All you have to do is enter this information in one time and the system will automate this daily function for you.
Pursuing and Winning Awards
Once you have the RFPs rolling in, the next step is to efficiently pursue and win those awards. Before selecting contracts to pursue, always consider whether or not winning the award fits into your strategic business goals and if you have the proper resources to meet proposed deadlines for the RFP submission. Additionally, think about your financial resources. Government contracts typically pay in arrears – meaning you must finish certain milestones to get reimbursed for your time. This means you will have to have a reserve prepared to cover costs until those government payments start coming in.
Another question to ask yourself is whether or not you should bid as a prime contractor or a subcontractor. Often times bidding as a sub will give you the relevant experience you need to bid on larger, prime contract opportunities in the future. Additionally, bidding as a sub can be beneficial in that larger contractors are often looking for subs that fit a certain “set aside” category – like “Women-Owned Small Business, Veteran-Owned Small Business, etc.” that may give them the edge in winning a contract. You may provide them with that edge and become their preferred partner in future bids.
After selecting the contract you want to bid for, thoroughly read all accompanying documents. Be sure to write down any questions you have and find a proper contact person for the contract to answer those questions. Typically there is a deadline to seek clarifications.
A lot of time goes into completing and submitting a bid to the government. There can be dozens (if not more) tasks that need to be accomplished throughout the timeline of putting together an RFP response. Software like ProDash provide a great tool for this as well – tasks for each RFP auto-populate and get assigned to different team members through the platform.
There are a many steps involved with pursuing government awards, but if done correctly and efficiently, you are well on your way to increasing profits for your company. Do you have questions about the process or any added tips? Would you like to get a demo of the ProDash software? Comment below and let us know! We’re here for you!