Stand out in a crowd!
How to Get Government Contracts? Create Competitive Advantages!
The secret to how to get government contracts is differentiation. You must differentiate your proposal from the other bidders. Many people believe that is impossible to differentiate your proposal from other bidders. However, you can easily stand out stand out in a pack to create competitive advantages over your competitors by competing in niche markets, pursuing corporate credentials and awards, and focusing on your best employee–YOU! That’s how to get government contracts!
3 Things You Need to Do to Get Government Contracts
#1 Specialize in Niche Offerings to Get Government Contracts
Providing a niche offering can help you stand out.
“This company specializes in XXXXX. It’s the only thing they do.”
These are typically the last words that a senior executive states before selecting a small business partner on their bid team. When an RFP requires a somewhat different or unique service, bidding companies will specifically seek companies that specialize in that field.
Government Contracting Academy’s Founder, Randy Wimmer, launched a successful startup that focused on the niche offering of Operations Research & Systems Analysis (ORSA). That’s how he got his first government contract. He had only six competitors getting his government contract, supporting DLA’s Office of Operations Research & Resource Analysis. After leveraging this niche offering to get his first government contract and penetrating this lucrative market, he later expanded his service offerings across several horizontal markets.
Don’t worry that providing a niche offering may exclude you from higher volume service offerings. You must select the offerings and markets that provide you the best probability of success and not the largest number of bid opportunities.
Don’t fish from the same pier as everybody else.
Instead, crawl under the low hanging tree limbs away from the multitudes of fair-weather anglers. Cast your line where you frequently get it snagged in the trees or on rocks. Your line may not be in the water as much as if you just dropped it from the pier, but your chances of catching a fish greatly improved.
Government Contracting Academy will help you identify niche markets that can help you differentiate from the pack to help you get a government contract.
#2 Build Your Credibility to Get Government Contracts Through Corporate Awards and Credentials
Even as a 1-person company, you can obtain corporate awards and credentials that will help your proposal standout to get government contracts!
Simply stated, you should pursue any type of corporate recognition. Corporate awards send a success message to your customers, potential partners and employees. Everybody wants to belong to a winning team. And, more importantly, these “differentiators” peppered throughout your proposals give the evaluation team a warm, fuzzy feeling that you’re a low risk bidder.
Proving Your Credibility and Trustworthiness
If you nominate your small business for a “Best Place to Work” award with your local Better Business Bureau or attain a corporate certification like CMMI(Level III) Appraisal, then it will be worth its weight in gold! Here’s why. You will cite that award in various sections of every proposal you write for years to come because it is an irrefutable “proof point”. Here’s how.
You’re bidding on an opportunity where your potential customer hated his last contractor’s high employee turnover rate. You know this, so you include your company’s impressive efforts to retain your employees by making them happy. So far, everything you state has been unsubstantiated “fluff” that every bidder says. Then, you drop your “Best Place to Work” award, proving just how effective your Employee Retention Program is. Proposal evaluation boards consider “claimed success” and third-party confirmation of success as two completely different things!
Don’t worry that you may not qualify for corporate awards and credentials as a small business.
In fact, many awards are much easier to attain when you’re small. For example, selection to INC Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies List truly resonates with the Federal Government contracting community. And, I think you’ll agree that it is infinitely easier to make this list as an ultra-small company since selection is determined by percent growth over three years. Let’s face it, Growing from $200K to $20M in annual revenue is a lot easier than growing from $20M to $2B.
With industry “insider” knowledge, you will learn the best awards and credentials to pursue to gain a competitive edge as a government contractor!
#3 Your qualifications and employee programs will help you get government contracts!
Here’s why. Two of the governments highest priorities when making an award are:
Obtaining Quality Contractor Employees, and
Retaining Quality Contractor Employees
Be Your Own Best Employee!
Don’t worry if your resume needs some work…Help is only as far away as your internet-accessible computer!
As you start out bidding on government contracts, you will likely be your first employee. In nearly every bid, at least one person will need to be “proposed” as a “key person” to represent the bidder. As a 1-person company, you’re usually proposing yourself as your “key person” and will need to submit a resume. As such, your credentials should stand out! If they don’t, then don’t worry. You can quickly and cheaply make your resume stand out to help you get government contracts. And no, you won’t have to enroll in college to pursue advanced degrees! In fact, as long as you meet the bare minimum education and experience requirements, industry-specific training can make your resume stand-out even better! Training certificate programs can be pursued and obtained for just a few dollars on websites, such as Coursera.org.
Another way to enhance and shape your personal perspective is by attaining professional certifications. In many regards, professional certifications provide a better validation of your expertise than education. A professional certification is typically administered by the profession’s leading society of experts in the field and is based upon an established and current body of knowledge.
When you obtain a professional certification, your industry’s leading organization is confirming that you are a highly competent professional. That is a lot more convincing than just saying you sat through a bunch of classes. Here’s why. You must have a CPA certification to be an accountant. Otherwise, you just studied accounting in college.
And, don’t worry if you didn’t go to Harvard, MIT or Stanford. A resume with a Harvard degree will not score as well a resume with Southwestern Middle State College for the Intellectually Challenged, assuming that they also have an entry-level professional certification!
Employee Retention & Training Programs Matter!
How to get government contracts may be as simple as being a good employer and providing your prospective employees with professional training benefits. What most small business owners don’t realize is that many benefits providers will add-on various “on-line” professional training opportunities for free! This frequently overlooked “perk” can be a major game-changer on your proposals! When presented properly, these programs will read like they are written in gold! What government customer doesn’t want to hear how you provide FREE professional training to your prospective employees? It helps them improve their performance and is more likely to retain them on their contract!
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About Randy Wimmer
Randy’s first Federal Government contracting company was launched from his home after his kids went to bed. He later sold it for 8-figures. With nearly thirty years either in or supporting the Federal Government, Randy is the ultimate “industry insider,” having owned multiple successful contracting companies.