I recently came across this great set of tips for small businesses wishing to market to the federal government. This particular list came from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Office of Small Business Programs – but should be read by ALL small businesses trying to market to ANY federal agency!
Some Things Every Small Business Should Do:
- Become familiar with the rules – the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations)
- Learn what a specific federal office buys BEFORE you market to them
- Map your capabilities to specific requirements – not general qualifications or your small business certifications
- Get a CAGE Code and a DUNS number. Register in SAM.gov and the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search
- Provide value for a fair and reasonable price.
And Things To Avoid:
- Don’t assume that you won’t qualify for a contract. Ask questions – submit a quote
- Don’t think it is easy to win a government contract
- Don’t market to every federal agency – find your niche
- Don’t expect that the government has a contract waiting for you
- Don’t overstate your capabilities, or take on too much too soon
- Don’t send large, non-specific marketing emails (A simple one-page Capability Statement is the best way to introduce yourself)
- Don’t rely on your socio-economic status (Lead with your Capabilities, NOT your Small Business Set-Aside status!)
- Don’t disappoint a federal customer once you have an award
- Don’t forget to learn about federal contracts BEFORE you get one!