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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
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