interested in learning How to Do Business with the Federal Government need to review
the resources listed below to get a better sense of doing business in this
unique government marketplace.
You must be registered to do business if you are not
Register with the
The resource page
For Small Business Owners.
has important information that can help your company for
contracting opportunities. It will help you understand the basics of
selling to the government, show you how to get started and pursue
opportunities, and provide resources that will give you the knowledge
and skills you need to help you succeed.
GSA Schedules: Find detailed information about GSA
Schedules. Vendors interested in becoming GSA Schedule contractors should
review the Getting on Schedule page, in order to understand the process
involved in obtaining a GSA Schedule contract. The Center for Acquisition
Excellence offers an online training course, "How to Become a Contractor --
GSA Schedules Program," which provides valuable information for all
prospective Schedule contractors. The GSA Schedules Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQs) provide a variety of information regarding the GSA
Schedules Program and the use of GSA Schedule contracts.
GSA Subcontracting Directory: Large business prime
contractors receiving federal contracts valued at over $1 million for
construction, $550,000 for all other contracts, are required to establish
plans and goals for subcontracting with small business firms (Small Business
Act, as amended by Public Law 95-507). GSA has a directory of contractors
with subcontracting plans and goals. Companies are listed alphabetically by
name within each of the eleven GSA regions. Each listing contains the
company's name, products or services, address, and the name and telephone
number of the small business contact within the company, in that order.
Officies of Small
Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
According to the Federal OSDBU Directors
Interagency Council, "The OSDBU is tasked with ensuring that each Federal
agency and their large prime vendors comply with federal laws, regulations,
and policies to include small business concerns as sources for goods and
services as prime contractors and subcontractors. Some Federal Departments
and entities may have offices in their organizations that are not designated
as OSDBU but have similar responsibilities. The goal of the OSBDU
and each of these offices is to advocate for and manage the small business
utilization programs for their organization."
Here are links to each OSDBU office in the
federal government. The OSDBU pages will have such information as doing
business with each agency or department, opportunities for small business
contracting, outreach events, programs and how to set up an appointment with
an OSDBU representative.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) form a nationwide network
of procurement professionals dedicated to providing you - at little or no
cost -- an understanding of the requirements of government contracting, and
the know-how to obtain and perform federal, state, and local government
See "Government Contracting Assistance" for more specific information on the
types of help
that PTACs provide.
SBE Council's February 18, 2017
Growth Without Barriers Webcast
A successful CEO discusses how he navigated the federal procurement process,
and found opportunities to provide solutions to the government.
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Protecting small business, promoting entrepreneurship
A super majority is the percentage of votes above a simple majority
(51%) required to make decisions on behalf of the firm.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
An NAICS code is the Standard Industrial Classification number listed in the
Standard Industrial Classification Manual which is published by the Office
of Management and Budget. The NAICS Manual is available at your local
library or on the Internet site http://www.osha.gov/oshstats. NAICS codes
are used by the Federal Government to identify and classify specific
categories of business activity that represent the primary line of business
of a firm. SBA size standards are based on NAICS codes.
A contract between a prime contractor and a subcontractor to furnish
supplies or services for the performance of a prime contract or subcontract.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code
A code representing a category within the Standard Industrial
Classification System administered by the Statistical Policy Division of the
U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The system was established to classify
all industries in the US economy. A two-digit code designates each major
industry group, which is coupled with a second two-digit code representing
Small Disadvantaged Business Concern
A small business concern that is at least 51 percent owned by one or
more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. This
can include a publicly owned business that has at least 51 percent of its
stock unconditionally owned by one or more socially and economically
disadvantaged individuals and whose management and daily business is
controlled by one or more such individuals.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Contract
A type of contract designed to foster technological innovation by small
businesses with 500 or fewer employees. The SBIR contract program provides
for a three-phased approach to research and development projects:
technological feasibility and concept development; the primary research
effort; and the conversion of the technology to a commercial application.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
SBDCs offer a broad spectrum of business information and guidance as
well as assistance in preparing loan applications.
A business smaller than a given size as measured by its employment,
business receipts, or business assets.
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a 12,400-member
volunteer association sponsored by the SBA. SCORE matches volunteer
business-management counselors with present prospective small business
owners in need of expert advice.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
A document outlining a government agency’s requirements and the criteria
for the evaluation of offers.
A firm in a developmental stage that aspires to increasing its
capabilities through a mutually beneficial business-to-business
SBA’s Procurement Marketing Access Network, or PRO-Net, is a “virtual”
one-stop procurement shop. The database offers an electronic search engine
for contracting officers and serves as a marketing tool for small businesses
that register with the system. It contains the profiles of thousands of
A contract awarded directly by the Federal government.
A mutually beneficial business-to-business relationship based on trust
and commitment and that enhances the capabilities of both parties.
One-Stop Capital Shops (OSCSs)
OSCSs are the SBA’s contribution to the Empowerment Zones/Enterprise
Communities Program, an interagency initiative that provides resources to
economically distressed communities. The shops provide a full range of SBA
lending and technical assistance programs.
Contracting through the use of either competitive or
other-than-competitive proposals and discussions. Any contract awarded
without using sealed bidding procedures is a negotiated contract.
A business, usually large, or other organization that has created a
specialized program to advance strategic relationships with small
In the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, an agreement between a certified 8(a)
firm and a mentor firm to perform a specific federal contract.
Organizations that play a fundamental role in encouraging, promoting,
and facilitating business-to-business linkages and mentor-protégé
partnerships. These can include both nonprofit and for-profit organizations:
chambers of commerce; trade associations; local, civic, and community
groups; state and local governments; academic institutions; and private
Full and Open Competition
With respect to a contract action, “full and open” competition means
that all responsible sources are permitted to compete.
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
The body of regulations which is the primary source of authority
governing the government procurement process. The FAR, which is published as
Chapter 1 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is prepared,
issued, and maintained under the joint auspices of the Secretary of Defense,
the Administrator of General Services Administration, and the Administrator
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Actual responsibility
for maintenance and revision of the FAR is vested jointly in the Defense
Acquisition Regulatory Council (DARC) and the Civilian Agency Acquisition
Fair and Reasonable Price
A price that is fair to both parties, considering the agreed-upon
conditions, promised quality, and timeliness of contract performance. “Fair
and reasonable” price is subject to statutory and regulatory limitations.
An accounting term used to describe the net investment of owners or
stockholders in a business. Under the accounting equation, equity also
represents the result of assets less liabilities.
Emerging Small Business
A small business concern whose size is no greater than 50 percent of the
numerical size standard applicable to the Standard Industrial Classification
code assigned to a contracting opportunity.
Electronic Data Interchange
Transmission of information between computers using highly standardized
electronic versions of common business documents.
Any person who enters into a contract with the United States for the
production of material or for the performance of services for the national
Defense Acquisition Regulatory Council (DARC)
A group composed of representatives from each Military department, the
Defense Logistics Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration and that is in charge of the Federal Acquisition Regulation
(FAR) on a joint basis with the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC).
Contractor Team Arrangement
An arrangement in which (a) two or more companies form a partnership or
joint venture to act as potential prime contractor; or (b) an agreement by a
potential prime contractor with one or more other companies to have them act
as its subcontractors under a specified government contract or acquisition
A person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate
contracts and make related determinations and findings.
Purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining supplies or
services from nonfederal sources. Contracting includes the description of
supplies and services required, the selection and solicitation of sources,
the preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract
administration. It does not include grants or cooperative agreements.
A mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish
supplies or services (including construction) and the buyer to pay for them.
Certified 8(a) Firm
A firm owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged
individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the Small
Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
Certificate of Competency
A certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating
that the holder is “responsible” (in terms of capability, competency,
capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, and tenacity) for the purpose of
receiving and performing a specific government contract.
Business Information Centers (BICs)
One-stop locations for information, education, and training designed to
help entrepreneurs start, operate, and grow their businesses. The centers
provide free on-site counseling, training courses, and workshops and have
resources for addressing a broad variety of business startup and development
Best and Final Offer
For negotiated procurements, a contractor’s final offer following the
conclusion of discussions.
Business concerns, organizations, or individuals that control each other
or that are controlled by a third party. Control may include shared
management or ownership; common use of facilities, equipment, and employees;
or family interest.
The acquiring of supplies or services by the federal government with
appropriated funds through purchase or lease.
Work is work Everyone is opportunity-driven at first Sell
what you are, what you have, what you have been Then Sell what you don’t
have You must focus at some point Reputation, performance allow you to hire
the best You are what your web site says you are
Pursue certification for competitive advantage
Service Disabled Veteran (SOB)
Increase competence via Mentor-Protégé program
Maintain quality at all cost!
Reputation and performance allow you to hire the best people
Past performance is critical to winning the next one
The key to getting in the door.
Meet anyone and everyone
Large primes Small primes
Introduce and get customer to talk (Shut up and listen.
Resist the temptation to give your brief)
Tailor brief to what he/she needs. Then find out what he/she needs and sell
Flexible Marketing Material.
People buy things from people they like, who enjoy the same activities, who
look, talk, dress like them.
Join organizations in your market NDIA, AFCEA, Navy League Rotary, Chamber
The important third leg.
Plan for no revenue for 2 years!
When to quit your Day Job?
Learn what you must do financially to play in the gov’t market
DCAA approved accounting system
Get an accountant who is familiar with government contracting
Withstand the pay cycle (see next slide)
Set up relationships with banks early Lines of credit – Do it early – Rear
View Mirror Syndrome
Most banks do not understand government services business or how the
govtworks/pays – Do you?
Try new, small banks that really need your business
Do everything you can to be paid as often and as quickly as possible!
Cash Flow is Crucial!
Negotiate with primes
Invoice every two weeks
Guaranteed % of work
Progress payments EFT Payment terms (net 10)
Negotiate with government too
Use DFAS WInS (Web Invoicing System) http://www.dfas.mil/ecedi/
What would YOU do?
After slogging for two years with no revenue, you win your first subcontract
of 10 employees, set to begin the next day. Assume average salary of
$50,000/yr ($24.03/hr), that for various reasons you work for two months
before you can invoice, it takes 1 month for your prime to get paid and ½
month for prime to pay you.I n those 3½ months you will pay employees
without receiving a dime on the contract. Further, you must set up payroll,
benefits, office space, supplies, furniture, you name it. You need about
double the payroll amount to cover all this. Where will you get $280,000
(after 2 yrs of no revenue)? 10 x $24.03/hr x 168hr/mo x 3.5mo = $141,346
Start With a Real Business Plan!
Ask Yourself Everyday
Unlike everyone else who does what I hope to do, I or my company will
What Objectives are we trying to achieve
Always ask this before each meeting
How will you know if you have achieved the purpose of the meeting (or day)
if you can’t state the objective(s)?