Becoming a government contractor can provide a good source of income for a small business person. Government agencies often make billions of dollars in purchases each year. The process a person follows to become a government contractor isn’t typically very difficult. Submitting paperwork and meeting with decision makers is usually a straight-forward process. It’s gaining the confidence of a government agency and securing the first opportunity that often turns out to be difficult.
A person who wants to become a government contractor needs something to sell. This can be a product, such as zippers or printing paper, or a service, such as window washing or commercial cleaning. Once an individual has something to sell, he can attempt to figure out which government agencies may be interested in buying it. With that information in mind, he can contact the small business specialist, or person with a similar title, at the agency he hopes to contract with.
Often, a person who wants to become a government contractor sets up a meeting with the government agency’s small business specialist. During this meeting, the prospective government contractor may learn whom he should contact to pitch his product or service, if it’s not the small business specialist himself. He can then contact the person in charge and work on demonstrating the reasons the government should contract with him.
Often, local and national governments post available contracts on their Web sites. In such a case, a person who wants to become a government contractor can bid on them. An aspiring government contractor usually submits a proposal and then waits to hear whether his bid was accepted. This can be a long wait, however, as some government agencies can take months to decide.
Sometimes a person who wants to become a government contractor improves his chances for success by partnering with another company. Together, the two businesses may have a better chance of securing a larger contract. Others may sign on with companies who have large government contracts, working as subcontractors. This allows them to earn money without having to be solely responsible for a large contract. Additionally, this may lead to future opportunities to work with the larger company.
Some governments earmark certain contracts for minorities and females. Often, minority- and woman-owned businesses have to seek special certification in order to win one of these contracts. Organizations that offer help for small businesses may point business owners in the right direction for such certification. Many even offer help with preparing proposals or learning about government contracts.