Expanding your small business through government contracts can be a lucrative endeavor, offering a stable income source backed by the reliability and financial capacity of the US government. However, breaking into the government contracting game can be challenging. If you’re looking to enter this sector successfully, here are some essential tips to consider.
Registering with SAM
To work with the government, you must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). This database is crucial for bidding on and fulfilling government contracts. While registration on SAM is free, it’s highly recommended to seek professional assistance to ensure accurate completion of the necessary information and formatting of the mandatory notarized letter. Professional guidance can help you avoid errors, rejections, delays, and potential fines, expediting your entry into the world of government contracting.
Finding Opportunities to Bid On
Once you’re registered on SAM, you can start bidding on contracts. Familiarize yourself with Beta SAM, the federal government’s bidding system. Beta SAM functions as a search portal exclusively for US government contracts. Understanding how to search for and bid on contracts through Beta SAM is essential for identifying suitable opportunities for your business.
Subcontracting with Other Businesses
Gaining direct contracts as a general contractor with the government can be challenging without a past performance history. Overcome this obstacle by starting with subcontracting opportunities. The government has small business set-asides, allocating a portion of their contracting budget to working with small businesses. By subcontracting with prime contractors on larger contracts, you contribute to fulfilling these set-asides and establish a past performance rating on Beta SAM. Subcontracting provides valuable industry exposure and paves the way for future larger contracts.
Building Relationships with Officers
Networking plays a crucial role in the government sector, just as it does in any business endeavor. Invest time and effort in building relationships with contracting officers from various government agencies and prime contractors who can provide subcontracting opportunities. Attend relevant meetings and conventions to connect with key individuals and grow your presence in the government contracting arena.
Ensuring Compliance with Accounting
Government agencies have stringent compliance requirements for contractors’ accounting practices and financial reporting. Familiarize yourself with the accounting standards set by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to ensure compliance from the outset. Complying with these requirements is vital even before bidding on government contracts.
For guidance on getting started with your first government contract or to ensure DCAA-compliant accounting services, reach out to Peter Witts CPA. Our specialization in working with government contractors equips us with the knowledge and experience necessary for your successful career in government contracting.