Great Federal Sales – Start Small, Win Big
Choosing a direction for your business is a task riddled with do’s and don’ts. Trademasters has had the great opportunity to be able to navigate the do’s and don’ts, which has led to the successful business it is today. One such opportunity presented itself during the long economic downturn. It was this downturn that served as the catalyst for a change in the company’s direction and decision to pursue Federal sales. Government agencies have a Small Business utilization goal of 23% (over $96 billion) and for our industry, “small” means revenues below $15 million a year. That’s a good amount of money set aside just for business looking to take the next step. For Trademasters, the decision to develop and pursue business from the Federal Government proved to be a launch pad for growth.
The U.S. Government has many vehicles for purchasing services, many have a large amount of red tape to go through, others not so much, one such vehicle is micro-purchases. Micro-purchases are individual items under $2,500. They do not require competitive bids or quotes and agencies can simply pay using a government purchase card or credit card, without involving the full procurement process. Seventy percent of all government purchases are micro-purchases under $3,000; this represents more than $19 billion. This is a great way to get started in government contracting.
To take advantage of the governments’ Small Business utilization goals you must first declare yourself a small business and introduce your company to Federal government agency offices, dedicated to helping small business utilization goals. The contacts information may change, but you can google “small business utilization” and the name of the agency. There is even a Federal Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization that can help guide you. Take advantage, you won’t regret it. To get a better idea of what is available in your area you can visit USASpending.gov and search for awards by state or visit FedBizOpps.gov.
Developing a business plan that allows you to understand the risk, develop a budget, project revenue and create a large book of commercial and government contracts is a major step in creating a new profit center that can supplement company revenues during off-peak periods and allow for investments in other areas of your business. Investing time in training and learning how to bid-on and win contracts will prove to be invaluable. Numerous government agencies provide free seminars and classes to teach small business how to apply for and win contracts with the federal government. This is one of the very few clients that you will ever come across, that will teach you how to do business with them.
Federal clients deserve superior service and excellence in contracting. It’s your job to make them look good and it’s the relationships that we build with these clients that become the glue that hold it all together. Once you have become comfortable working on smaller government jobs and established yourself as a trusted source to the government, the doors to bigger and better projects will open for you. All you have to do is take the first step, make federal sales a part of your business, then start small and WIN BIG.
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