To win a government contract, you have to research and take advantage of the available resources. One can use several databases to find a federal contract to bid on. At times, the government agencies also use multiple databases to get hold of small businesses for their upcoming contracts. A business contractor can use Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) in order to find government contracts to work with. Once a contractor registers their business on the System for Award Management (SAM), their database gets reflected on the profile. This makes your profile comprehensive and helps you to get government contracts for your business. Public agencies can also use SAM to advertise all their upcoming contracts.
Best practices to win government contracts
1. Management of contracts
Every contractor has a pipeline to track their contracts. It is always advisable to keep a minimum number of contracts to avoid mismanagement. Every time a new contract is added to the pipeline, another one must be deleted. It is better to keep a few contracts in order so that one may closely monitor them. Thus, having a selection criterion is always recommended.
2. Choose your target audience
Even after a well-managed pipeline, contractors have to scrutinize their target audience. Many a time, government contractors who are new to this field or who are less successful in this field try to maximize their target approach by taking in as many contracts as they can. This not only makes their pipeline unorganized but also does not help them to win government contracts. So, in order to win government contracts, one must select the audience cautiously and conservatively.
The new and small contractors must work in a team or ally with a team having similar business culture. This will help them to reduce the risk of losing contracts as well as give them experience and lessen the workload. Initially, teaming up was not favorable and most government agencies preferred monolithic prime contractors. But now the tables have turned and the even largest contractors are teaming up for better results to win government contracts.
Today, most contractors hire a contrarian so that they are accountable to the audience. To win a government contract – having a contrarian is equally important to having managers and preparing proposals. These contrarians challenge the conventional wisdom and will sharpen your team. They ask questions to prove your points and are beneficial to the team. They ensure every claim be substantiated.
5. Take it, to win it
Every time an RFP is published, contractors must be prepared to win the contract. Scrutinize every opportunity you get. Analyze it well so that you know whether you can win it or not. In order to do so, one must learn the customer's demands and understand what the customer is trying to address. Always remember to talk to your customer before signing any contracts.
6. Maintain a balance
When an RFP is issued, a capture manager needs to meet the customer in person to prepare a solid base. The capture manager must be aware of the price points and the customer’s goal. Once the base is ready, the proposal manager comes in. Now, if the proposal manager makes any kind of changes to the base and decides to go for a fresh approach, they might lose the contractor. Here, it is very important to maintain momentum to win a government contract. Thus, it is advisable that a capture manager stays involved in the whole process.
7. Written agreements
Many a time, whenever works are allotted to the subcontractors they are often not in any written agreement. This leads to a disguised workforce and efforts not being recognized. As a result, the subcontractors do not get any leverage with the main contractor. Thus, written agreements play a pivotal role in maintaining records of the workforce.
In order to win a contract, your company must have a feature that is unique to others. Something which is out of or different will tend to increase your chances of getting to win a government contract.
Therefore, these are some of the best strategies to win a government contract. It is very important to first understand your client's needs and then proceed to analyze the project.