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How to Successfully Pursue Government Contracts

Accounting Support • Sep 15, 2021
Since the founding of the United States of America, the federal government has hired private companies and contractors to do work for them. From building roads to designing

Since the founding of the United States of America, the federal government has hired private companies and contractors to do work for them. From building roads to designing websites, the federal government spends billions of dollars on federal contracts every year.

The good news is that it's simple for local construction companies to bid on federal contracts. However, there is massive competition surrounding government contracts. For this reason, it's important to be aware of the nuances of pursuing government contractors. Below, you'll learn everything there is to know about getting a government contract. 

Prepare Before You Apply

Before you apply for a government contract, it's best to first get your house in order. Many business owners wonder where they can find and access government contracts. To start applying, you'll need to register your business with the Central Contractor Registration database.

To sign up, you'll need to list basic information about your business and the services you provide. Once you sign up, you'll need to manage your account once a year in case certain information changes. Once you're finished signing up, you should complete the Online Representations and Certifications Application next. 

After completing these preparation steps, you'll expedite the bidding process by having most of the required documentation. 

Network with The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

When you're just getting started, finding government contracts can seem confusing and difficult. However, the SBA helps contractors and local businesses by providing a variety of resources about government contracts. You can access SBA's website to learn more about finding government contractors and applying for helpful programs. 

For example, if your construction company earns anywhere between $14 million to $35 million every year, your business will receive the chance to bid on contracts against other companies of the same size.

Develop a Strategy for Hunting Contracts

In order to win a government contract, you'll need to be aggressive. You can't simply wait for the federal government to contact you with open competition notices. Instead, you'll need to create a strategy for hunting government contractors and following up with these correspondences. 

An effective government contract strategy will depend on how well you manually find new opportunities. For example, let's say that you've heard down the grapevine that a new military base will be built in your vicinity. Don't wait for the federal contract to emerge. 

Instead, find out who will be in charge of the procurement or construction contract. Then, meet with them face-to-face to pitch your company and win the contract. Following this method will give you an advantage over dozens of construction companies that possess similar resources as you. 

Make Sure to Read the Terms and Conditions of Every Contract

The federal government's underwriting for their contracts is very precise and strict. It goes without saying that the government is very clear on what they're looking for. Therefore, understanding the terms and conditions of a project before applying is key. 

For example, let's say that you win a particular government contract. Later, you're unclear about the terms of payment and run into a dispute with the federal government. Reading the terms and conditions before bidding would have saved you time and money in this instance. 

Always Follow the Rules

Before bidding, it's also important to follow the rules outlined in the federal government's request for proposal (RFP). Again, the federal government is very clear on the specifications of their projects. You don't want to waste time creating an exceptional bid, only for it to be rejected because you missed a pre-bid meeting. 

It would also sting to know that your competitor won a bid that you missed out on because you didn't pay attention to its requirements. 

Follow the Contract Format

The most dreaded part of bidding for a government contract is formatting the proposal. Securing a government contract hinges on how well you follow directions. With that said, the federal government expects you to turn in a uniform proposal with the time frame, structure, and order they request. 

This is required since the government processes hundreds of proposals for their projects. The SBA provides free proposal writing resources if you're seriously interested in bidding for federal contracts. 

Set an Appropriate Price in Your Proposal

Make no mistake in believing that the federal government is a piggy bank. The government, much like a business, will always side with a contractor or business that provides reasonable rates. When setting rates for a project, make sure they're reasonable, while allowing you to earn a high-profit potential. 

The best way for your bid to stand out is to minimize your overhead costs and add more value. This way, the federal government is more likely to take a chance on your proposal. It's also worth mentioning that your rates should be fair, regardless of the dollar amount of a U.S. government project. 

Reach Out Directly to Agencies

A great way to target profitable government projects is to locate specific federal agencies. For example, you could target the U.S. military when they plan expansion projects on U.S. soil. By following this method, you can build a reputation with your construction company with particular federal agencies. 

You can connect with key decision-makers with specific government agencies during industry events and procurement conferences. Even if a contract isn't available, you can establish your company's name as a competitor for future contracts. Besides, it couldn't hurt to network with government officials on the behalf of your business. 

Use a Bid Matching Service

If you lack the time to hunt for government contractors, you can try using a bid matching service instead. This is one of the most efficient ways to find government contracts. There are some online, affordable solutions to connect you with profitable government contracts within your reach. 

Need Help With Payroll Reporting?

Before securing any government contracts, it's important to understand if your certified payroll reporting system is efficient.

When accepting government contracts, you'll need to submit federal reports to prove that you are paying fair wages (prevailing wages) to all employees. In certain locations, companies will need to submit state and municipal forms as well. Certified payroll reports must be submitted on a weekly basis. Failure to comply with these government regulations or filing incorrectly could result in hefty penalties or the inability to bid on future government contracts.

If your certified payroll reporting system is outdated and time-consuming to use, you'll need to make a change. Contact us today to learn more about our painless reporting system. 

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