Government contracting is an excellent way to scale and grow your business. And, getting a government contract may not be as difficult as you think. In order to ensure transparency, equity, and competitive pricing all local, state and federal agencies use a competitive process to award government contracts. Request for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Qualifications (RFQs), and Invitation to Bid (ITBs) are used to objectively evaluate the qualifications and pricing of vendors interested providing goods and services to the government or vying for concessionaire opportunities at government facilities like parks and airports. Here are five tactics you can use to gain a competitive edge for your business.
1) Make Sure You Are In the Know.
The first step is to identify the government agencies you may want to do business with (there are over 30 different local governments in Miami-Dade alone) and contact their respective procurement departments. Most will require you to register in their system as a vendor. Once registered, you will then receive notifications whenever there is a new bid opportunity.
2) Thoroughly Read the RFP.
A thorough review of the bid package is essential in making sure you understand everything that must be provided. If any required information is missing, then the response can be deemed unresponsive and may be disqualified. And of course, be sure to submit on time. Submission deadlines are strictly enforced. Being late by just a few minutes may disqualify your bid.
3) Get Certified.
If your business is minority-owned, women-owned, or a small business, it may be eligible for certification. Most RFPs provide additional points in their scoring metrics for minority certified businesses. And, most government agencies have targets to provide a certain number of contracts to minority certified businesses. Getting certified can provide your business a competitive advantage.
4) Be Honest with Your Numbers.
You’ll want to think carefully about the numbers you quote in your pricing proposal. Service RFPs typically require a minimum annual guaranteed rent and/or how much of a percentage of gross revenue. When providing goods, you will have to quote a minimum cost. Quoting the highest annual guaranteed rent or the lowest possible price may seem like the best strategy, but you need to be realistic. If you are unable to deliver at those prices, you will be setting yourself up for failure, not only on that contract, but since RFPs ask for prior experience, your inability to perform will also affect your ability to get further government contracts.
5) Be Ready to Present.
After the submissions have been reviewed and graded, bidders with the highest scores are typically asked to provide an oral presentation to the team of evaluators, or to another board within the government agency. Thus, having a well-prepared presentation is critical. This is the opportunity to seal the deal if you are the highest scorer or an opportunity to edge out the highest scorer.
If your business is ready to dive into the world of government contracting, get in touch Ser & Associates. Our law firm routinely assists companies in the pursuit of government contracts. Our knowledge, insight, and expertise in preparing, presenting, and negotiating government contracts will give your business an edge in the selection process. Call us today at 305-222-7282.
For more information on government contracting, be sure to check out the Ser & Associates Entrepreneur Workshop video “How to Grow Your Business Through Government Contracting & Minority Certification” and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn to learn more about how we can assist you and your business!