Strategic Consulting Solutions, Inc.

4 Questions to Ask Before Bidding on Government Contracts

With over $500 billion awarded to contractors annually, Federal Government contracting is a lucrative market. However, for those new to the world of government contracting, the process of pursuing contracts may seem daunting. Selling to the government is different than selling to the private sector — there are numerous rules and regulations businesses must comply with in order to receive a contract award. If you are thinking of breaking into the government contracting market, make certain you ask these four questions, before you get started:

1. Is My Business Eligible?

In order to be eligible to pursue a government contracting opportunity, your business must meet specific eligibility requirements. The government prefers companies that have been in business for at least two years. Also, your products need to be commercially available and compliant with the Trade Agreements Act — that is, the end product must be manufactured or substantially altered within the United States or a “designated country” with which the government has a trade agreement. In addition, your business must be able to demonstrate financial stability and a strong reputation in your industry. For more information on GSA Schedule Contract eligibility, reference this page.

2. Does My Business Fit One or Multiple of the Socio-Economic Indicators?

The government differentiates contractors based on several socio-economic factors. If your business fits in any of the following profiles, the government may be more likely to consider it for contracting opportunities:

  • Small business
  • Woman-owned business
  • Veteran-owned business
  • Service disabled veteran owned small business
  • Minority owned small business
  • SBA certified as doing business in a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone

You can read more about the government’s socio-economic programs here.

3. Does My Business Have a Good Track Record?

In recent years, the government has been placing more emphasis on a business’s past performance when choosing contractors. Before making a debut into the government contracting world, make sure your business has an exemplary track record of timely delivery and reliable goods. Possessing a highly qualified team is also of importance. In order to put your business’s best foot forward in the contracting world, you must be able to show proof of past success.

4. Are My Books and Financial Statements Ready to be Audited?

The government wants to ensure that your business will be a low-risk choice. Contracting with the Federal Government grants the DCAA permission to audit your accounting system according to rigid federal standards; therefore, it is imperative to be prepared for a full review of your accounting system. The auditing process can be intense — luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you prepare. For more information about the DCAA auditing process, including detailed checklists, visit the DCAA website. Should you need more information about how to prepare, feel free to reach out to us here at Strategic Consulting Solutions.

Contracting with the Federal Government for the first time can be quite different from what you are accustomed to. It is not something to jump into without adequate preparation — it requires patience and strategic planning. These are just a few of the many questions and boxes to check off before beginning the process, but it is a great place to start. Good luck on your future government contracting endeavors!

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