Would you like to tap into the almost $400 billion dollar Federal spending annually? With just a little effort, you can become a government contractor. Doing business with local, state or federal governments allows small businesses to compete on a level playing field across industries, professions and specialties.
Log on to FedBizOpps to see what I mean. I think you’d be very surprised at the types of proposals available for bid.
Here in Connecticut, there are many business-friendly initiatives to tap into. Those include the BizNet Connection which is a listing hub of all state procurement opportunities. Every state operates a bit differently, so be sure to research your state’s requirements. (Tip: when searching online for your state’s website, it usually follows this architecture: http://www.YOURSTATEABBREVIATION.org.)
But, before participating in the government procurement process there are some requirements to be fulfilled, such as:
1. NAICS Code – This code is used by the Government to classify your business once registered. It stands for the North American Industry Classification System and you can find out more about it and determine your code here at the US Census Bureau website.
2. D-U-N-S Number – This nine digit code is related to your physical location. Don’t worry! You can get D-U-N-S number as a home-based business. For more information about this requirement, visit this page for everything you need to know.
3. Register with the System for Award Management – Also known simply as SAM, this is how your business will get into the Government procurement supply chain. Once registered, you’ll create an account so you can stay informed of all opportunities that might be a good fit for your small business.
Of course, you should be aware that none of this will happen quickly. If you want to be a B2G entity, you must accept that the Federal and State Government sales cycle is slow and mostly contract oriented so learning the procedures can be time consuming.
However, at the local and municipal level, things can happen quickly. Three years ago I was tapped by the Mayor’s office to do a workshop. After filling out some forms I was in. That led to getting on their approved vendor list, which led to more opportunities for training and networking. For one of those, the Mayor’s Small Business Development Office purchased a dozen copies of my book to give to the small businesses that registered for an event.
Is this right for your small business? Do your research and see. It’s not right for everyone, but if you decide to pursue these lucrative opportunities, you can start small with your city or town and then expand to state and federal government procurement contracts.