Government Contracts– A Great Way to Increase Your Business Presence
The Stimulus funds that the government has issued have provided the opportunity for many businesses to increase their presence in the marketplace, as well as provide some great work that may not have been available previously! Government contract work is very exciting and challenging, however, before a business decides to become a government contractor, some careful analysis and consideration of the work required is in order.
We will assume that you are already registered in the Central Contract Registry (CCR), have your DUNS number, as well as know your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code when you consider bidding for a government contract. Being registered at the local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is beneficial as well. Go to www.dla.mil/db/procurem.htm to find the location and phone number of your PTAC Center. The PTAC center is funded by a combination of local and Department of Defense funds and provides assistance to you with attempting to secure a government contract. The PTAC staff cannot actually do the work for you, however, they are able to provide insight and counsel on the many varied nuances of government contracting.
One of the key points in reviewing a government solicitation is to be real sure of exactly what is being required, as well as having a real clear understanding of what your particular business capabilities are BEFORE you elect to submit a bid.
We strongly suggest that you review the solicitation at least 4 times before you elect to do anything. Our experience is that each time that you review the solicitation, you will discover another factor or element that was not clear the previous review time. We also suggest that you have several of your key employees review the solicitation to identify any areas where questions may arise as well as develop a clear understanding of the task that you are being requested to perform. This may seem like an arduous method of solicitation review, however, in the initial stages of government contract work, this is the one way in which to insure that you not only understand what is being requested, but also what tasks your firm will have to perform in order to satisfactorily complete the contract.
In many cases, it may be most beneficial to have a firm such as ours review your final submission before you submit it to the government agency. Our review, commonly called a “Red Team” review, will analyze all facets of the solicitation and how your response addresses and answers the solicitation requirements. A Red Team review is designed to identify any discrepancies or omissions that are required by the government agency, but you forgot to include in your bid proposal.
Having a real clear understanding of your cost structure is another salient component of government contracting. Depending upon the government agency and the type of solicitation, you may be requested to only provide a “lump sum” bid for labor, materials, construction, general and administrative expenses, overhead and profit. Not knowing or fully understanding any one of these elements can spell disaster before you ever begin performing the contract work. If you don’t understand all of these elements, now is the time to understand how each element is integrated into your overall business structure, irrespective of whether or not you elect to pursue government contracting.
Government contracting can be a very profitable and successful way to increase your overall business presence and marketshare. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We can help you become a successful government contractor.