February 24, 2021

A Road Map for Success

Grow It

No one launches a business intending to fail.

| 7/20/2020

Veterans, Take Note!
Contrary to popular belief, veteran-owned businesses do not receive preferential treatment with regard to government contracts; they must compete just like any other business and they land the job because they’ve done their homework, not because of their military service.

A mere 3% of government contracts are set aside specifically for veteran-owned businesses compared to 23% for all small businesses.

And the bidding process is a level playing field with one exception: If a veteran-owned business goes up against a non-veteran-owned business for a VA contract and all things are otherwise equal, the vet will likely get the job.

 

Explore new avenues for expansion.

Growing your business doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to increase space or staff. It could be the time has come to expand into an area of business you hadn’t previously considered, such as government contracting and/or exporting.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING

Good news: every level of government must buy goods and services. Even better news: Florida currently ranks among the top 10 U.S. states for procurement of government contracts. No doubt about it, there’s a market for government contracting and the rewards can be substantial, but is this a good choice for you?

It can be … but only if you know how to navigate the system, have the necessary infrastructure in place and understand how the procurement process works.

Landing a government contract on any level — federal, state, county, municipal — is not like pitching your product to a civilian buyer. A flashy brochure won’t cut it. Government agencies want to be assured that your business is capable of giving them what they need, when they need it and for the right price. To succeed in this highly competitive arena, you must understand exactly what you’re bidding on and then provide a corporate capability statement as evidence that your company can deliver it.

Government contracting can be tricky. So if this is your first time at it, don’t try to go it alone. Connect with an SBDC procurement specialist who can walk you through the process.

SELLING TO THE U.S.

Landing a federal government contract takes time and effort. To position your firm for success, take these steps:

  • Evaluate Understand what, when and how much government agencies buy of the product or service you offer.
  • Plan Target government agencies and prime contractors that buy what you offer; develop a plan to reach them.
  • Register Complete the required/mandatory government database registrations including: System for Award Management (SAM) and Dynamic Small Business Search.
  • Prepare Develop a corporate capability statement; create government-focused collateral and e-marketing resources; secure preferred small business certifications such as: 8(a), Woman-Owned Small Business, HUBZone, Veteran-Owned and applicable state and local certifications.
  • Pursue Be aggressive. Monitor computerized Bid Matching Services (daily searches and email alerts). Identify opportunities through government bid boards, posting databases and networking. Obtain a GSA Schedule contract, if applicable.
  • Achieve Develop a government-accepted accounting system and be ready to handle possible contract audits, reports and modifications.
  • Ask for Help Procurement specialists at the Florida SBDC Network stand ready to help small businesses pursue government contracting opportunities at all levels.

SELLING TO FLORIDA

One avenue to expansion is as close as your computer. MyFloridaMarketPlace, a division of the Florida Department of Management Services, has some 15,000 registered buyers who issue, on average, 5,000 purchase orders each month at three levels:

  • Term Contracts
  • Informal Purchases Less than $35,000. No requirement for competitive bidding.
  • Formal Purchases Greater than $35,000; require competitive bidding.
  • Determine which level best matches your business abilities, then register online as a vendor. For details, visit dms.myflorida.com/business_operations/state_purchasing/.

Tags: Florida Small Business, A Road Map for Success

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