Landing Your First Federal Contract

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A federal contract could be a huge break for a small business, so how can you get your business considered?

Start by registering in the System for Award Management, according to Pam Baker at Small Business Computing. Small Business Administration certification as a small business, veteran owned, small disadvantaged business, or woman-owned small business will help your chances.

Study FedBizOpps.gov and USAspending.gov to see where the opportunities are. Federal agencies also have an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization that you can contact to see what their spending plans are. An agency’s Office of Small Business Utilization can also be a big help. Look for micro-purchases under $25,000 and credit card purchases under $3,000 to get your foot in the door and gain some experience.

For an added advantage, discount your price, but don’t promise more than you can deliver. Summarize your qualifications and value proposition clearly. And partner with another small business to fill any gaps in your qualifications and increase your odds of winning.

You’re not likely to win on your first attempt, but after a few tries and some time, the odds increase.

Adapted from The Essential Small Business Guide to Federal Contracts at Small Business Computing.

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