How to Win Government Contracts: Selling to the World’s Largest Customer

How to Win Government Contracts: Selling to the World’s Largest Customer

This week we’re exploring a singular alternative to show the world’s largest purchaser of products and companies right into a buyer of yours.

That’s proper, we’re speaking about promoting to the federal government.

There’s nothing like having a shopper that may actually print the cash!

However there’s lots of confusion and misunderstandings round getting authorities contracts so I’ve enlisted some knowledgeable assist to assist us learn to do it the appropriate approach.

Retired Lt Col Ricky Howard of spent years on the buying aspect for the U.S. Division of Protection and now helps small companies like yours get their foot within the door.

Tune in to The Aspect Hustle Present interview to listen to:

  • why there are such a lot of profitable alternatives with authorities contracts
  • Ricky’s suggestions and finest practices for profitable contracts
  • how one can additionally win contracts performing as matchmaker or partnering with different enterprise homeowners

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The Alternatives in Authorities Contracting

“It’s an incredible alternative that the majority small companies don’t find out about or don’t strive. Or, in the event that they do strive they’re actually undecided the place to start out,” Ricky mentioned.

The federal government is the only greatest purchaser of products and companies on the earth, Ricky defined.

Moreover, Ricky mentioned that the federal government is remitted by legislation to purchase from small companies — at the least 23% of their spending.

To offer you an concept of what that appears like in {dollars}, Ricky mentioned that the federal government spent round $154 billion simply on small enterprise contracts final 12 months alone.

And it’s not only for heavy equipment and protection provides. There’s a big quantity of potential for small companies of all types to get a slice of the pie.

Absolutely anything that goes into the infrastructure of a city the place army personnel are primarily based must be sourced.

From leisure actions to constructing and sustaining workplace buildings, the scope is extremely broad.

Ricky additionally mentioned it’s a good time to pitch contracts to the federal government proper now. Lower than 1% of small companies are actively promoting to the federal government, and that quantity has been reducing lately.

Discovering Out if the Authorities Is Shopping for What You’re Promoting

“Within the public sector, all the data is public,” Ricky mentioned.

Ricky mentioned it couldn’t be simpler to seek out out who’s doing the spending and what’s being purchased than in terms of the federal government.

If you wish to discover out if the federal government is shopping for what you’re promoting, Ricky recommends getting began by visiting


To make use of the search function on USASpending to seek out out if there’s a demand on your companies, Ricky gave the next suggestions for instance:

  • Go to “Award Search” and pull down the menu, then choose “Superior Search”
  • Choose a variety protecting the final three years for essentially the most related knowledge. That’ll be “FY 2023,” “FY 2022,” and “FY 2021”
  • Kind your area of interest or service into the “North American Business Classification System (NAICS)” field to seek out out what your authorities code is. For instance, in case your kind “Portray” into the NAICS field it’ll present you the code for portray is “238320”
  • Now you can seek for contracts awarded to small companies providing portray companies. Ricky carried out this search and will see round $253 million was spent on portray over the previous three years, and the DoD was answerable for round $175 million of that.

That is only a fast instance, there’s much more you are able to do with the superior search filters accessible.

For those who spend a while digging into the information you’ll have the ability to see the kinds of contracts on a extra granular degree.

Registering to Promote to the Authorities

When you’ve discovered that the federal government is awarding contracts to companies just like yours, the subsequent step is to go to

That is the place the federal government repository of all federal contracting data is saved.

You possibly can lookup solicitation data on particular contracts, in addition to register your enterprise to promote to the federal government.

Ricky mentioned the method of registering your enterprise is self-explanatory, however count on it to take per week or two for all of the approvals to undergo.

Taking part in Matchmaker or Being a Subcontractor

For those who don’t have a enterprise or provide a service your self, you would act as a intermediary or matchmaker.

That is known as being a authorities contract “integrator.” Ricky mentioned being an integrator is a well-liked enterprise mannequin that works effectively.

You is also a subcontractor and work with a bigger prime contractor. This lets you put in a joint bid on a mission and work with one other enterprise.

This can be a good option to be awarded contracts which were put aside for particular enterprise kinds of demographics that solely one in every of you possibly can bid on.

There are some guidelines round how a lot work the prime contractor has to do on a mission, however it’s one other mannequin that works effectively.

Bidding Technique

Ricky defined that in the event you dive in and begin writing proposals and bidding on contracts, your odds of profitable are going to be very low.

To extend your odds, Ricky advises that as a substitute of filtering for requests for quotes on jobs, you filter on “requests for data” or “sources sought.”

These requests are the federal government making an attempt to determine tips on how to resolve an issue earlier than placing a solicitation collectively.

To create a request for data, you’ll must put collectively a number of pages of knowledge answering questions, and recommending options as per the proposal.

The good thing about doing that is that you simply’re making contact earlier than the solicitation has come out.

You’re placing your organization title on the market as somebody that may do the work and explaining why you’re excellent for the contract when it’s created.

You’ll usually have the choice to request a gathering in particular person when filling out a request for data. That is one thing Ricky recommends doing as a approach of introducing your enterprise.

Bidding Greatest Practices and Suggestions

Whenever you see a solicitation that you simply need to put in a bid for, some suggestions Ricky shared are:

  • Don’t add something that isn’t requested for within the proposal, it’ll solely work in opposition to you. Your bid goes to be scored primarily based on how effectively you adopted the directions.
  • Take a look at comparable contracts which have already been awarded to get an concept of how a lot to bid. You need to use to see for the way a lot Common Companies Administration (GSA) contracts are being awarded.
  • Don’t be shy to answer and ask what the funds appears like. Ricky mentioned most companies will likely be prepared to let you know what their funds is and that’ll assist offer you a ballpark determine.

For those who’re struggling to place collectively your first proposal, Ricky mentioned yow will discover somebody on Upwork with expertise writing proposals.

Seeing how a proposal is written up by somebody with expertise and a monitor document of profitable bids goes to be an enormous assist.

Examples of Shoppers Profitable Contracts

Ricky shared a few examples of his purchasers who’ve gained authorities contracts just lately.

One was a girl who strikes furnishings for a residing. She gained a few contracts at $16k/ea transferring workplace furnishings.

One other was a girl who ran a helpdesk service. From reaching out to the places of work and utilizing requests for data, Ricky was in a position to see that the federal government was transitioning from its legacy helpdesk system to a brand new system that helped individuals with disabilities.

His shopper was in a position to faucet into that want to maneuver from one particular kind of helpdesk system to a different. For the previous two years, she has billed round $1 million a 12 months.

What’s Subsequent?

“I’m enthusiastic about rising the variety of small companies promoting to the federal government,” Ricky instructed me.

Ricky has just lately put collectively a certification program as a part of his academy that takes college students by the steps of profitable authorities contracts.

If you wish to study extra and enroll in Ricky’s coaching program, he’s created a coupon code for Aspect Hustle present listeners that’ll offer you 1-month free.

Head over to and kind “THESIDEHUSTLESHOW” within the coupon field to assert your free month.

Ricky’s #1 Tip for Aspect Hustle Nation

It’s a marathon, not a dash.”

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