Steps to Succeeding as a Government Contractor

John Lynch

Contributed by John Lynch, acquisition specialist at US Federal Contractor Registration

Recently, a former client of US Federal Contractor Registration received a $1 billion contract. That’s billion with a B. $1 billion. A small veteran-owned business who asked us to help him set up his System for Award Management Registration, teach him how to locate and bid on opportunities, and set up his veteran-owned small business registration won a $1 billion contract three years after becoming registered to work as a government contractor. This former client also received smaller contracts in the three years between us getting him set up to work for the government and receiving this $1 billion contract, and each contract helped position him for larger and larger opportunities.

Our more than 60,000 clients do what this former client did – they put in the time necessary to set themselves apart from their competition, market their business, make sure their required registration(s) and certification(s) were current and updated when necessary, and develop impeccable references and past performance.

I cannot promise that you’ll receive a $1 billion contract at any point during your career – but I promise you that you won’t if you don’t follow the proper steps to succeeding as a government contractor.

Step 1 – Have an accurate, valid, and current System for Award Management (SAM) Registration. The government requires businesses interested in receiving government contracts have a SAM Registration. The government even lets you complete this registration for free – but the government won’t help you do it. That’s a lot like telling you that there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow but not telling you where the rainbow is or where to find it. US Federal Contractor Registration tells you where the rainbow is, how to find it, and how to get your share of that federal pot of gold. Can you do it on your own? Sure, if you’re willing to spend the 20+ hours it takes to become familiar with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the changes the government incorporates each year, you can complete it on your own. But just like you likely pay an accountant to file your taxes each year, hiring an experienced and qualified third-party government registration firm to complete your registration just makes good business sense.

Step 2 – Have an accurate, valid, and current Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile. As a small business registers in the SAM, it also can complete a small business profile for the DSBS. The Small Business Administration maintains the DSBS, which is another tool contracting officers use to identify potential small business contractors for upcoming contracting opportunities. Small businesses can also use DSBS to identify other small businesses for teaming and joint venturing. However, the SBA won’t complete your DSBS for you. Think of your DSBS profile as your dating profile. Your chances of getting a date go up when you create a dating profile, and, similarly, your chances of winning a government contract go up when you have a DSBS profile.

Step 3 – Create a vendor profile. The vendor profile puts in one place the information a federal buyer and/or procurement officer needs to know about when reviewing a bid or considering awarding you a contract. This profile includes information about you and your company, the areas in which you’re available to work or provide your product(s) and/or service(s), and the benefit of having you complete the job or provide the service for the government. This vendor profile leads directly into Step 4 on your path to becoming a successful government contractor.

Step 4 – Develop a Capability Statement. Most federal opportunities require contractors to submit a capability statement along with any bid. Your capability statement includes information about your business, presented in a specific way, for use in the government sector. For example, your capability statement must identify your CAGE Code, which you have only when you have a valid SAM Registration. Don’t include your CAGE code on your capability statement, and a federal buyer likely will think you’re not eligible to receive a government contract and move on to the next bid in his or her pile. Your capability statement also must include your NAICS Codes, contact information, and references, each of which must include the type of work you performed and/or products you delivered for that individual or company. Developing a capability statement that will attract a procurement officer’s attention isn’t as simple as developing a resume (and, let’s be honest, resumes aren’t always the easiest to write). To return to our dating analogy, your capability statement tells a potential suitor just why he or she should date you.

Step 5 – Develop impeccable references. Your references (often called past performance) tells a buyer that you’ve completed the type of work (or provided the type of service and/or product) that you’re trying to convince the government to let you do. You should ask each of your former and current clients for a reference, and make sure you include at least two or three with each bid you make.

Why can’t you just complete your SAM Registration and bid on an opportunity? Because a small business owner interested in succeeding as a government contractor can’t show up still preparing to do business. You must be ready to go as soon as a procurement officer and/or federal agency issues a pre-solicitation, solicitation, Sources Sought Notice, and/or RFP/RFI, and following these steps will increase your chances of receiving a contract award.

US Federal Contractor Registration, the world’s largest third-party government registration firm, provides a 360-degree solution for small business owners interested in government contracting or already trying to succeed as a government contractor but failing to do so. We provide all of the services and products you need to succeed, from handling all of your registrations, certifications, and updates to providing you with training on how to develop and present contract-winning bids.

In other words, we make sure that the next time someone reviews your profile, they swipe right.

Don’t let another day go by without angling to get your fair share of available government contracts. Last year, our clients earned more than $2 billion in contracts, and our goal is to see our clients this year earn even more. Call me directly at 877-252-2700, ext. 711 to learn how we can help you succeed as a government contract.

US Federal Contractor Registration Acquisition Specialist John Lynch is a talented government contracting consultant that has the ability help businesses find a place in the federal marketplace. After years of experience and study, John has mastered advising business owners and representatives of the ‘ins and outs’ of government contracting. John’s expertise includes the Advanced Federal Procurement Data Search, USA Spending, BINCS, System for Award Management, Dynamic Small Business Search, SUBNet, and more. 

Filed under: Government Contracting TipsTagged with: , , , , , , , ,