6 Simple Steps to Becoming a Government Vendor

Man walking on the street

RFI, RFQ, DBE, MBE… so many acronyms, plus lengthy and confusing documents. Why bother?

You should be interested in working with governments because it is good work and you’ll almost always be paid on time. Whether it is a village, county, state, or the federal government, landing your first contract can take extra time and persistence. The pay-off to your business will be well worth it.

Here are a number of steps to help you get started in becoming a government vendor:

  1. Identify your key audience

 Many services like FindRFP or Onvia will provide you with updates on government procurement opportunities. These services are not cheap and often they will overwhelm you with non-relevant information.

If you have never had a government contract, I would suggest starting local. Identify government bodies with which you are familiar and look to see if there are opportunities.

  1. Identify your product or service

Know the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code for your product or service. Many government product/service listings and future procurements are identified by NAICS. Check out the NAICS codes here.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the government’s contract language

In many RFPs and RFIs the issuer will include its proposed contract. Take the time to review the contract and confirm you will be able to agree to most of the terms. While some changes can be made after the award is announced, do not assume you can renegotiate everything.

  1. Look for subcontracting opportunities

Many contracts are very large and require multiple subcontracts. If you are new to the government marketplace, teaming up with an experienced team of professionals as a subcontractor is a great way to learn about the market and play your part in larger projects.

  1. Remarket your company

Government procurement officers and buyers are very different than corporate purchasers. Take the time to review your website, LinkedIn profiles and general marketing materials to ensure that the message is appropriate for government agencies.

  1. 1818 can help

Jordan Matyas has worked for government bodies reviewing proposals and knows what procurement officials are seeking. Now at 1818, Jordan has helped draft and strategize for hundreds of government opportunities. Creating a “government practice” for your company will not happen overnight, but with 1818 at your side, Jordan will guide you through the process and ensure your project, and your firm’s capabilities are cast in the best light to ensure your success.

Learn more about 1818’s government procurement services.


Jordan Matyas - 1818 Founder

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.