Four Ways Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Can Maximize Success with Government Bids
Of the nearly 29 million small businesses in the United States, 11% are owned by veterans, according to 2016 data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The number of veteran-owned small businesses (more than three million total) continues to climb as more men and women turn to entrepreneurship after their service. As the tech industry also continues to grow, veterans who own software companies can benefit from the increasing demand. This includes taking advantage of the world’s largest buyer: the U.S. government. In fact, the government spends roughly $400 billion on purchases from privately owned companies.
Here are four ways veteran-owned businesses can source and contract federal customers:
1. Become a GSA Schedules Contractor
GSA Schedules, also known as a GSA Multiple Award Schedules, are online contracting systems where federal customers find contractors who offer volume-discounted products and services. The GSA contractor benefits from long-term contracts and a streamlined delivery process, while the government receives discounts, shorter lead times and transparency. This is due to GSA vetting and approving each contractor to ensure quality control, regulatory compliance and the best possible rates. Getting on GSA Schedules is a rigorous process that can take 90+ days, but trainings are available.
2. Team with Prime Contractors Bidding on Government Contracts
Think of this as doubling down on the potential to sell to GSA – or to sell in lieu of being on GSA Schedules. Software companies can build a partnership with other contractors who need such technology to successfully fill an order. These orders are facilitated through an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, which supplies an indefinite product/service over a set timeframe. These contracts often span five or more years with a specified minimum quantity, so the process is streamlined and expedited to benefit all parties.
3. Directly Bid to the Government Due to Small Business Set-Aside
True to the name, small business set-asides are contract opportunities set aside exclusively for small businesses. They help small-business owners find, bid on and win contracts with government entities. In fact, any federal purchase of $3,500-$150,000 is automatically set aside, given there are at least two available small business with competitive prices, proven quality and quick delivery.
4. Monitor the Federal Business Opportunities Website
The Federal Business Opportunities website (also known as Fed Biz Opps or FBO) is the single resource to find government customers. It updates in real time to show thousands of available federal opportunities. It also features various filtering options to hone in on the most relevant solicitations. Business owners can register for free, which provides various benefits, including monitoring specific opportunities. It also allows business owners to join (and view) the list of interested vendors, who want more information regarding the opportunity.
The U.S. government is the largest buyer in the world. As a veteran-owned business, are you tapping in to that buying power? Performance Software, a veteran-owned business in its own right, can partner with you to maximize these opportunities while providing a top-notch product. Contact us to learn more.