How A Government Contracting Agency Can Help Your Business
Hiring a government contracting agency is a great way to help enhance your chances of winning government contracts. They can help you find government contracts and government contract opportunities that match your company’s needs and services while also helping you correctly market these services.
However, before hiring a government contracting agency to help with your marketing and advertising needs, it is important to understand the basics of government contracting. Knowing this will help you be better prepared to work with these agencies. This blog post will provide some basic information about government contracting that will help you better interact with government contractors and be better equipped to win these contracts in the future.
Working with a Government Contracting Agency 101
Every year, the federal government offers billions of dollars in contracts to businesses to meet the demands and needs of government agencies. And having a government contracting agency on your side is a great way to ensure your business is awarded the contracts you want!
Awarding government contracts is a complex process, and businesses of all sizes can compete for them. Small businesses are an important part of the government contracting marketplace, and they account for more than 50 percent of federal contract dollars obligated each year. With all of these contracts up for grabs, there are a few things that you should know in order to set yourself up for success.
Understanding the Terminology
When you first begin working with a government contracting agency for your marketing and advertising needs, things may look a bit like alphabet soup. This is because there are tons of acronyms and abbreviations that can become confusing if you aren’t fluent in the terminology involved in government contracting. Some of the basic terms that you should know include:
- SBA or Small Business Administration: A small business is an independently owned for-profit firm that meets the necessary requirements laid out in the Small Business Administration.
- NAICS or North American Industrial Classification Standard: This term refers to a standard procedure that is used by federal agencies to classify businesses in order to collect, analyze and publish statistical data.
- HUBZone or The Historically Underutilized Business Zone Certification Program: This program reserves federal contracts for small businesses located in specific communities to compete for. These companies must apply to the HUBZone program through the small business administration.
- FAS or Federal Acquisition Service: This is the federal government’s buying and procurement department.
- CO or Contracting Officer: An agency official that is trusted by a federal organization to administer, enter into, or terminate contracts.
- FAR or Federal Acquisition Regulation: This is a list of regulations for government procurement.
Having an understanding of these terms and other related terms will help you better understand and work with your government contracting agency.
So what needs to be done first? The fact of the matter is you can’t just jump right into a federal contract without laying some groundwork first. In order to be able to qualify for any government opportunity, your business needs to be registered to SAM. The System for Award Management (SAM) is the government’s primary registrant database and it houses data on government contractors, recipients of government funding, and other entities.
Your business will also need to be registered in Dun & Bradstreet’s CCR. The Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is a repository for information on companies that contract with government agencies.
The next step is to look into the government programs that are most applicable for your agency’s marketing and advertising needs, as well as those that you think would be the easiest to win if they become available.
There are lots of different government contracting opportunities out there, but it takes time and effort in order to fully understand the government marketplace and find the right opportunities for your company. Your government contracting agency will be able to assist you in finding the best contracts to bid on and the contracts that you have the best chance of winning.
Deciding on the Best Acquisition Tool
There are several government acquisition tools that you can use to develop your government contract. While your government contracting agency knows all about these tools, understanding them yourself is important too! Some of these tools include:
FAR Subpart 15.501(a): This is the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, which means that all acquisitions under this amount will follow simplified procedures for contracting with federal agencies.
FAR Part 13: The Federal Supply Schedule program allows government buyers to purchase goods and services from pre-approved commercial sellers.
FAR Part 12: This allows agencies to buy goods and services by issuing task or delivery orders against existing government contracts.
GSA Advantage!: The General Services Administration’s (GSA) e-commerce portal offers a variety of products and services for government buyers and government contractors.
GSA schedules: GSA Schedules are a group of pre-negotiated, multiple award supplies and services contracts that can be used by government agencies to purchase commercial goods or services without having to conduct a further competition among vendors.
SINs (System for Award Management): This is the government’s main contracting database and it houses data on government contractors, recipients of government funding, and other entities.
Once you have decided on the best acquisition tool for your needs, your government contracting agency will help you develop a proposal that meets all the requirements for submission.
The government contracting process can be lengthy, so it is important to start early. It’s also important that you have a good understanding of what the government expects in a proposal and how they award contracts.
Your government contracting agency will work with you every step of the way through contract acquisition- from helping you develop your proposal to submitting it to government agencies.
One of the most important things to remember about government contracting is that you will need a government contractor’s license in order to win contracts and conduct business with all government agencies. Your government contracting agency can make sure your company has the proper licenses, registrations, certifications, and accreditation so that you are fully qualified for federal government contracting.
Taking the Next Step with a Government Contracting Agency
If you’re looking to get into government contracting, it is important to understand the basics. By working with a government contracting agency, you can expect expert advice and support every step of the way in order to make the process easier for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business win government contracts!