How To Do Business With The Government



Small businesses 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 Government now.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration

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.

  • General Services Administration

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 contracts.

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


Super Majority
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 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 subcategories.

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.

Small Business
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 relationship.

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 small firms.

Prime Contract
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 businesses.

Joint Venture
In the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, an agreement between a certified 8(a) firm and a mentor firm to perform a specific federal contract.

Intermediary Organization
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 corporations.

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 Council (CAAC).

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.

Defense Contractor
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.

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 program.

Contracting Officer
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 issues.

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
HUB Zone
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
Teaming partners
SADBUsBrief smartly!
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 that!
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 of Commerce


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)

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 prevail because
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)?



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