Know The Right People
It is very important that you and your company play your cards right. Getting a government contract is all about who you know and the right timing. It is important for you to know an official in the department who will give you inside information about any upcoming government bid opportunities. Generally, government contracts are supposed to be given to the lowest bidder. But in reality, this does not always happen.
As a contractor, you can also use the help of a third party to gain knowledge about an upcoming bid opportunity. Use whatever personal contacts you can to get pre-bid information.
Send Bids On Time
Government agencies issue a formal document inviting contractors to bid on projects and purchases. These are called Request for Proposals (RFPs). It is important to make a bid at the earliest opportunity. Most experienced contractors are aware about possible projects before the RFP is issued, and thus have an advantage and enough time to prepare a good bid.
So, where does one find RFPs? You can look for notices in government bureaus, local newspapers and trade publications. There are also a variety of services that announce RFPs to the public. If you are new to government contracting, you can look for RFPs online and prepare your bid within the prescribed 30 days. Some, like fedbizops.com are free, while some others are fee-based.
Be A People Person
It is important that you build relationships with government officials in the department where you want to win contract work. It is essential to remember that they are the key to acquiring the bid. Do not hesitate to communicate with these government officials – that is what they are there for. They are there to make you understand the bid documents and to make sure that they are in accordance to what is required by the government. Government officials also conduct several meetings with contractors to discuss various issues and to clarify certain details. If the government official does not hold these meetings, it is in your best interest to get in touch with them.
Do not try to secure a bid by giving officials expensive gifts or taking them to your country club for dinner. These are certain restrictions you have to adhere to when dealing with government officials, and one of these is that they are not allowed to accept certain gifts. But certainly be sure to nurture and establish cordial relationships.
Take Action And Be Proactive!
It is important that once you have decided to make a bid for a government contract, that you prepare your company for the bid. Match your skills to what is wanted and needed. If you have decided to make a bid, it means you are aware that you have something the government is looking for. Be prepared to take on the job. You should also be aware that for you to be eligible to sell to the federal government, you have to be listed in the Central Contractor Registration directory. Make sure you have a website that is updated and gives sufficient information about your business’s products and services. Very often government officials look up the Internet to find products and services they require.
If you follow the guidelines above, you can ensure that you land a lucrative government contract and tap into this growing market.