The ability to grow and thrive in the public sphere is evergreen but also takes some work to learn to navigate as contract award dollars are growing, and so too is the competition to win it. So, what are you doing to maximize your ability to succeed?

We are starting off this year with some tips to help you set achievable goals and build a plan to exceed your expectations!

Government contracting is a huge industry, but it’s also a small world. Knowing the right people is a benefit that far outweighs any resources, so being engaged and present, meeting people, earning trust, and solidifying relationships is a certain way to find the pathways to success. But it takes time. People naturally gravitate toward doing business with who they know, like, and trust. Attending events, joining organizations that support your industry or certification designation, and engaging in specific agency events can benefit your social network, opening doors that you may not know even existed.


Do you truly know who your buyers are?

Business Development is very important to your growth. It relies on not only marketing what you do well to each of your buyers, but pinpointing with accuracy who will actually buy from you. The first step is to update your capabilities statement to ensure quality marketing of what you do to those who need your goods/services.

There are also resources available to you for free to do your market research and identify who is buying what you’re selling, the frequency, the amount they are paying, previous award winners, and all the supporting information you need to narrow your focus. Websites like Federal Procurement Data System provide these details, and with some careful research, you can have at your fingertips a list of who to start courting with your ability to assist their mission.

Additionally, find your tribe, ask for advice, and seek Business Development coaching programs that can serve this need to learn. Our recommendation is either outsourcing your business development needs to a contracted company or individual, and we are happy to give references for those that are currently and successfully assisting our clients, or you can join organizations like the American Small Business Coalition (ASBC) to access programs that can teach you and your team how to do this for yourself.

Do you qualify for an SBA certification program?

If you fit specific criteria, there are several contracting assistance programs through the SBA that provide access to exclusive set-aside and sole-source opportunities designated for businesses certified under said programs. Offered are:


  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDBs) Program and for the more experienced, sociologically and economically disadvantaged businesses, the 8(a) Business Development Program, commonly known as the “8(a) program.” As of September 30, 2023, the SBA has increased federal contracting awards to SDBs to 12%, up from 10.5% in FY 2020.
  • Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program specifically for small businesses with at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens. In 2022, WOSBs accounted for 4.6% of federal contracts ($26 B), below the 5% target. You can learn more about the WOSB certification process by clicking here and find additional resources through Women Impacting Public Policy, a national, nonpartisan organization advocating for women entrepreneurs who impact our industry.
  • HUBZone Program for businesses in historically underutilized business (HUB) zones. HUBZones had a record-breaking $16.3B in federal contract awards in FY 2022, the most ever awarded to this category in the program’s history.
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Program (SDVOSB) aims to improve prime and subcontracting opportunities for veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. SDVOSB, also referred to as SDV, exceeded its 3% goal, reaching 6% in federal contracting awards for FY 2022. The National Veteran Small Business Coalition is a great resource for more information on this program.

Please note the organizations and websites are listed to learn more about the support they provide and details of legislative advocacy on behalf of these businesses on a national level.

If you strive for 2024 to be your best year yet, knowing the resources available to you is a great start! We proudly support all the above organizations and the businesses that make up their membership. If you would like additional information and recommendations, we are always happy to share our network.