Bidding on your first government contract can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to know how and where to start, and what steps need to be taken for success. While the process behind bidding may be long and daunting it can also be transformative for your business. With that in mind we tapped our Government Buying experts for their thoughts on the best ways to effectively bid on government contracts.
Researching available opportunities is the best place to start. As a business there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. What products and service do you have to offer, and who are the agencies you are interested in targeting? Once you have answered these questions look through your Links account to identify bidding opportunities that are relevant to your business. For your own detailed list of federal jobs, visit the Federal Business Opportunities page. This can help you gain an understanding of who you’ll be targeting, which will vary by government entity.
Government entities are looking to work with reputable and trustworthy suppliers. As part of the vetting process they will look into your history and past performances. If you don’t have any past projects, you may be overlooked for more experienced companies. Try starting small, building your reputation and trust along the way. This will also help ensure you will have the capability to deliver as necessary, protecting your credibility and setting you up for bigger and better bids in the future.
Be persistent and patient in your bidding. You most likely will not win the first time or even the second time you bid, and that’s ok. The experiences you gain during each bidding opportunity are invaluable and provide building blocks for future success. Each failed bid will assist you in understanding what it takes for you to win the next contracting bid. Research the winning bid and see what you can capitalize on next time.
There’s still something to be said for real human to human interactions in the world of business. Even though much of this business is conducted online, you can’t replace the importance of personal relationships. It’s important to keep in mind that large entities like the federal government are run by actual people. Consult the agency’s procurement office website to see if there is a posting of vendor office hours and make an appointment to visit and meet these procurement professionals.
By following these simple steps, you can put yourself in a better position when bidding on government. Remember there is no magic wand or a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to bidding on government contracts. You need to be patient and take advantage of the tools available to you.
Proposal writing can be the hardest part of breaking into the world of public procurement. Every agency has a unique need and details are of the utmost importance. Often times you the supplier are not staffed with a full-time proposal writer leaving you to struggle with the chore.Read More