Often the most difficult part of doing business with the federal government is obtaining that first contract. There seems to be a catch-22 embedded into the system where the government wants contractors with experience, but how do you gain experience if you can’t win a contract? The government has recognized this difficulty and has developed a number of resources for small government contractors to assist them in those early years. The following is a list of websites that companies can use as resources to help in the procurement process.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are staffed with counselors experienced in government contracting and provide a wide range of services, including classes and seminars, individual counseling and easy access to bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts. This site offers numerous government contracting resources, some that are free of charge, which will assist companies in finding and winning procurement opportunities.
Getting on a GSA schedule is a good way to market your company to the federal government. The federal government procures approximately $50 billion in goods and services from GSA schedules each year. The GSA website offers “getting on schedule” guidance for contractors new to the industry.
SBA has created a series of free online contracting courses designed to help prospective and existing small businesses understand the basics about contracting with government agencies. The trainings include contractor designations such as the Women Owned Small Business Program and Veteran Owned Small Business Program. Other trainings offer guidance on how to sell to the government and a guide to winning contracts.
If your Company is looking to propose on contracts that require facility clearance, the Defense Security Service offers a checklist for how to obtain that clearance.
GovernmentExecutive.com is a government business news daily website. Government contractors can utilize the site to track what is happening at the various federal agencies with which they have contracts and to track new procurement opportunities and changes in compliance.
Visit govcon360.com for updates on the government contactor community. Also located on the site are various tools and reference materials that will help your company stay compliant with the latest regulations. While you are there, feel free to check out the various consulting and accounting services offered.