Winning government business as a federal contractor starts with understanding how the process of government procurement works. If you’re a small company or new to the government contracting world, then we’d like to share a basic breakdown of the procurement process, which will help you find more opportunities for your business.
Before a request for proposal (RFP) is sent out, government agencies often spend time doing research on the types of companies available in the marketplace to serve their needs. During this planning stage, they’ll likely publish a notice, often called a request for information (RFI), which assists them in establishing an initial pool of potential candidates. This is a good time to let the agency know more about your company and what you can offer them, your competitive pricing, etc. This helps tremendously with building an initial relationship with that agency office and procurement officer.
Once they’ve passed the planning stage, agencies then put out the RFP. There are many websites that the government posts these bids to including FedBizOpps, GovWin or their own websites. We recommend finding a software that aggregates all the bids on these various websites into one spot to save you and your colleagues from scouring the web for opportunities, which can waste a significant amount of company time (and money). ProDash is one of the software options available today that provides this type of service, and we’re here to help you better compete with others in the marketplace!
Once you’ve put together a winning proposal (which should contain your absolute best price for services, as price is a deciding factor for many agencies), be sure to follow-up once the submission window is closed (there will be a designated point of contact on the RFP itself, only contact that individual).
Additionally, consider getting to know small business advocates at your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - they often have a person on staff that can reach out directly to a government procurement officer and make a recommendation on behalf of your business. If you don’t get the contract, you have a right to request a debriefing once the awardee is named. This will give you an opportunity to find out - directly from the source - how you might be more competitive the next time around.
If you’re having a hard time winning contracts, then consider partnering with another larger, proven government contractor on future RFPs. You may be in a good position to serve as a subcontractor to a larger company that regularly receives awards.
Do you have more questions about getting started in government contracting? You’ll want to start with the right software, and we’re here to help! Feel free to comment below and we’ll do our best to get you the answers you need. Or, get a free demonstration of our leading-edge software!