Your guide to federal contracts

Female owner of a small business standing inside a textile factory

Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the federal government reached its goal of awarding 23% of contracts to small businesses for the first time in eight years. Of the $83.1 billion spent with small businesses, 4.32% was awarded to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) – up from 4% in 2012 and 3.98% in 2011 – but still short of the 5% goal in place through the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program.

The journey to meeting the 5% goal for WOSBs has been a challenging one, but it has sparked the creation of programs and resources to help women business owners get their fair share of government business. One program that is helping women in the procurement arena is  ChallengeHER – a joint initiative by the SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express OPEN. The program, created in… Continue reading →

American currency against an USA flag backdrop.A few weeks ago, President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill into law, providing funding for the majority of the federal government through the next fiscal year. This means that a number of government agencies have contracts ready to be filled and that 2015 is a great year for small businesses to get acquainted with the world of government contracting. Read More

Business ProblemsWhen small businesses are considering entering the federal marketplace, often the Small Business Administration and experienced contractors will suggest they go the route of becoming a subcontractor to a prime. Subcontracting can be a great way for business owners to learn about the common ins and outs of government contracting while working alongside another company that can offer advice and expertise. Read More

Mitigating risk is an important part of my company’s brand. When we are planning their projects, our clients expect us to look at every little details that could possibly go wrong and ensure that we deliver on time, on budget and without any hiccups. Of course, the bigger the project, the greater the risk.

However, we became so focused on looking out for our clients and their risks that we failed to look out for ourselves. Read More

Having a valuable network is key to success in the world of procurement, as many opportunities stem from strong relationships that were built over time. If you are networking in order to grow your business, you need to do more than purely meet and greet at another wine and cheese party. In order to really get value, you need to develop a good strategy and think deliberately about the types of contacts you have and those that you need to advance your business. How can they serve your growth?

Having a well-rounded network should include individuals and organizations in these four categories: Industry, Customers, Competition and Nonprofits. Read More


Portrait of a thoughtful asian man sitting in office, with his colleagues in backgroundWhat is past performance and why should you care? In the world of procurement, it is one of the most critical evaluation factors for businesses. Past performance is a key factor in how a company can successfully build its brand. In both the commercial and government marketplaces, potential customers looking to hire someone always want to know two things above all else: what have you done and who have you done it for? Specifically, have you performed the kind of work that I need done and have you done it for someone similar to me? Are you capable and competent? In the government sector, and most of the commercial world too, you tell your story by providing what is called past performance documentation. Read More

imagesFor most of us, summer offers an opportunity to kick back and relax. But for small business contractors, the summer months are a busy time spent wrapping up before the end of the government fiscal year on September 30. In fact, Deltek reports that more than 30 percent of all government spending occurs in Q4. During the end of the fiscal year, agencies that have not met their small business and socio-economic contracting goals will be looking to find qualified small business vendors. This provides a great opportunity for small business owners to market their goods and services to the government and secure a contract before year’s end. Read More



congress-150x150The federal government purchases everything from spaceships to paperclips and has a goal to award 23 percent of their prime contracts to small businesses. For the first time since 2005, the government met that goal — awarding 23.39% ($83.1 billion) to small business owners in 2013. More agencies than ever before achieved an A+ or A rating for their work in meeting their small business and socio-economic contracting goals.

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As the government’s fiscal year nears its end, federal agencies that had been spending conservatively are now flush with “sweep-up money” and looking to fill their product and service wishlists. For small-business suppliers, now is the time to revisit federal buyers and see if their needs align with your items. Experienced government contractor Dona Storey offers selling tips for suppliers.

As the federal government is in its fiscal fourth-quarter spending spree that ends Sept. 30, there may be opportunities that will significantly increase revenues and allow small businesses to scale up. In fact, as Deltek reports, more than 30 percent of annual federal government spending occurs in its fiscal fourth quarter, as many agencies that had been spending conservatively are eager to use the last of their funds for the year.

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Multi-Ethnic Hands Holding Dollar Signs With Flag Of USA For The Background.As an entrepreneur always looking to scale up my business, I’m constantly considering new markets and evaluating my customer base to see where there are gaps that can lead to opportunities. That’s the very reason why I got involved in government contracting and now advise other business owners to explore this market. Becoming a successful contractor in the federal marketplace can be a great way to open up new streams of revenue that can diversify your existing business. Read More

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