Doing business with the federal government or a state government is really no different from doing business with any other customer. It may sound intimidating to consider doing business with the government, however, what they are looking for is the same as everyone else.
The government pumps billions of dollars into the economy by doing business with both large and small businesses. The government actually has a goal to award 23% of all business to small businesses. One tip for those looking to get in on doing business with the federal government is to know when it’s an opportune time to bid. The federal government’s fiscal year ends in September. This means the last quarter to make the small business goal is prime bidding time. In awarding contracts to small businesses, the government does give some preference to certain businesses. These might be owned by minorities, women or veterans. You can check to see if your business qualifies for this preference.
The government will expect your company to be financially stable and have a reputable standing. Negative reviews from other customers or problems paying bills will end your chances of a contract. When submitting a bid to a government agency, don’t over charge for your product or service. You will bid yourself right out of a contract. They need to keep costs reasonable, after all, they do have to answer to the taxpayers. You’ve probably heard about the astronomical costs of things the government has bought like $10 bolts or $1000 toilets. Forget about that, keep your bid reasonable. It’s also a good idea not to cast a wide net to many government agencies. It will go better for your company if you choose a department, research their mission, and understand why they need your product or service. Contact anyone you know in a government agency to answer questions and point you in the right direction.
Government agencies expect professionalism. If you are invited to an interview or meeting to discuss your bid, dress appropriately. Even if it’s Friday, do not go casual. Be respectful and look like the professional you are. Always accept the invitation to have a face-to-face with a government representative. This means your company has made an impression and there is interest in your product or service.
Any federal or state government agency is looking to do business with a reliable, honest company. Do your homework, deliver a good product or service and there is no reason why you won’t have a good working relationship with the government for many years to come.