Recently, the federal government revised its rules to do business with the contractors, making it easier for small businesses to compete with the big giants and win bids.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, the federal government buys about a hundred billion dollars of products and services from small enterprises. Thanks to the government’s new rules and regulations—the federal agencies are to award more percentage of their contracts to the small businesses in 2013.
If you are an owner of small business and interested in doing business with the U.S. government, there are a few things, which you need to know.
Large vs. Small
The new program, which is initiated by the GSA, is anticipated to steer between six hundred fifty million dollars and one billion dollars in federal IT purchases away from the standard coterie of industry giants and toward more innovative, aggressive, and smaller vendors over next 5 years.
One of the important tasks of the U.S. President in 2013 was to sign a number of rules, which are going to help the small companies compete with the industry giants. The new regulations have put the federal agencies under great pressure to set and meet the contracting goals for the firms that fall under the government’s definition of ‘small’
To aid hold the agency leader’s feet to the fire, the U.S. President’s new provisions mainly require an agency’s performance in contracting with small companies to play a significant part in senior official’s bonuses, performance evaluations, and promotions.
If the new rules work as expected, the government may start to meet its small business contracting goal that is presently set at 23% of all the procurement spending throughout the government.
Other goals of new contracting provisions are:
• Empowering small business advocates
• Cracking down on the fraud
• Helping the smaller companies compete
• Improving cost-savings and efficiencies; and
• Creating jobs
The new federal laws:
• Streamline the buying method for all the federal agencies
• Assist small technology companies to win the federal contracts
• Force the Small Business Administration to draft innovative and more flexible definitions of ‘small businesses in different industries.
• Dispiritthe agencies from the usual practice of grouping smaller projects together into huge programs, which only giant companies can handle
• Ease the limitations on small companies, which want to collaborate on bids for big contracts
The first and foremost step for small businesses looking to get access to the federal contracts is to study the prospects. Matching your strong points to procurement appeals is going to put you in the right ballpark to win the federal business. Then, qualify and establish your business for federal contracting opportunities. You will not be able to win any contract unless you are going to be acknowledged as a player. Finally, you should give your best efforts and time for bidding on the contracts that need your services/products.
Offer something that is more valuable
The most common method that one thinks of when they think about defeating their competition is to offer a better product or a more valuable service. This is always good, the customer returns earlier and will rather tell positive about your case.
Of course, the customer will also prefer your product or service to that of the competitor. Yet this is something that people often focus too much on in my opinion.
It is very good to work on the value of your product or service and would always continue to do so, but keep in mind that it is very dependent on your company and the market you are in is what is most important to you to do.
Be honest with yourself, if you cannot really make your product or service significantly better than your competitors, then it’s not wise to keep all your time and energy focused on this part of your business.
As said before, it really depends on the market you are in.
For example, if you look at energy suppliers or internet providers, you see that almost the only method for them is to offer more value by making their services cheaper.
Things like customer service etc make a difference, but ultimately a small difference. Electricity remains current, the internet remains the internet.
The reason why the market leaders in these areas are market leaders is not that they deliver more value; it is because they do their marketing better.
If you have a company where the product or service does make a difference, it is usually useful to keep the quality high.
Aim for a smaller target group
If you fight exactly the same customers with ten other companies, you can in many cases get more customers by focusing on fewer customers.
Just as an example:
If there are ten companies fighting together for 1000 customers, a company will have an average of 100 customers.
If you discover a special group (300 of 1000 e.g.) customers in those 1000 customers that have a specific need, you can get more than your 100 customers by focusing very much on these 300 possible customers instead of the full 1000.
You can make yourself the specialist in this area and ensure that almost all 300 customers come to you. Of course, you do miss the chance that you are wiping all ten competitors off the card and get all 1000 customers yourself, but the chance that would happen was a lot smaller. If all goes well, you now understand that specializing yourself or “marketing” on a smaller but more specific target group can yield you more.