Before pursuing government contracting opportunities, first consider the investment in time and resources your company needs to enter the government marketplace. Asking yourself these questions will help you determine if government contracts are right for your business.
1. Are you an established business?
Government contractors are required to meet all criteria necessary to do business within their region, include abiding by all regulatory and licensing requirements. If you do not have a business license, you are not ready to sell to the government. Do you have sufficient financial resources and cash flow to handle current obligations as well as those you would encounter under a government contract? Insurance and, where required, surety bonding are essential if planning to do business with government agencies.
2. Do you have a business plan that includes government contracting?
Small businesses need to properly align their business plan to address the specifics of the government market.
3. Can you afford to sell to the government?
It can take longer to receive payment for government work — sometimes up to 30 to 45 days after the work is completed. Can you cover your overhead until the payment arrives?
4. Does your company have a history of sales?
If you do not have an established business with a history of sales, you are not ready to sell to the government.
5. Have you done the necessary market research to determine the government's demand for your product or service?
If you have met the above criteria, you should do proper market research and analysis to determine if the government buys your product or service. If so, which agencies or departments are you going to target your sales towards?
6. Is your company e-commerce capable? Do you have a website?
Having a website that supports e-comerce is an increasingly important factor in your ability to win and perform on contracts.