New businesses within government contracting face many obstacles when attempting to win a contract bid or subcontract opportunity. Many factors come into play to even be included in the process. Past performance, the proper contract vehicle, and practical NAICS code assignment for your expertise and logical explanation of your service/product/performance all play a dominant role in whether or not your company will be chosen.
Of course, your fee weighs in heavily on access as well. Even though the lowest bidder wins a lot of the time, they can easily estimate their way out of the ability to perform. This is often the case if they don’t fully understand the necessary operating costs and how proper up-front funding can affect their capability of fulfilling all of the contract obligations and paying their employees.
Showcasing Your Work
Next to affordable financing, past performance is always top of the list of important factors when trying to win a government contract. But this process can present a chicken and the egg scenario because the performance history is essential. Sometimes it is hard to gain industry experience to qualify for this work. Larger companies and industry leaders tend to shy away from being the first to give a new company a shot.
So how are you supposed to compile the experience? Opportunities offered through SBIR programs and tech bridges are a necessary avenue to generate the past performance necessary and give you industry exposure to use to your benefit to gain future awards. These are ways to showcase what you can do and get your foot in the door.
Gaining Access to Contract Awards
Additionally, using the appropriate contract vehicle and registering with accurate NAICS code designation can assist in gaining access to contract awards. There is a lot of paperwork and processes, but once you are set up and in the system properly you will generate the presence necessary to be seen for what you can do for the contract rather than eliminate your chances because of incorrect designations.
These processes can be lengthy and may require you to seek expert help to be sure you’re doing everything correctly the first time. Once you have proper registration you can add to your capabilities statement to further the exposure of the benefit in choosing your company with respect to your expertise.
Preparing for the Future of Small Business
Small businesses represent the future in technology and innovation and are the catalyst for keeping us ahead of our enemies. Government agencies are expanding the opportunities to commercial entities because they recognize that the need for competition in the award process is at an all-time high. The harder we all are working to share the newest and best of what our country can offer both in serving and protecting, the better.
Sole source awards, small business allocations, 8(a) designation award contracts — all will benefit the United States furthering our capabilities to remain strong and above all, safe. These businesses need to know how to market their capabilities effectively, both so they can gain industry exposure and experience and put forth the innovations that will keep the United States ahead. It may be a long and winding road, but once you’re familiar with the terrain, the navigation is easier.