The United States government is the largest customer in the world. They buy millions of dollars in services and products every year.
Landing an IT government contract can be a huge boost for your business. But it’s not about grabbing for any government contract you can find. You need to make sure it’s the right opportunity for you.
Today we’re breaking down the process of selling IT services to the government and how you can land a lucrative information technology government contract.
Guide To Selling IT Services To The Government
The U.S. government doesn’t have the in-house personnel or resources to handle their massive workload. They use contractors to achieve their objectives. Many government agencies actually set aside a portion of their budgets specifically for small business contractors.
There are a lot of logistics, paperwork and qualifications businesses need to meet to land a government contract. But it’s not as clear cut as you’d think.
If you’re blindly applying to every government contract you see, stop. It’s not going to work and it’s a waste of your time and resources. Selling IT services to the government is a blend of strategy, logistics and networking. Here’s how to get started.
Find the right opportunity. At of this moment, there are over 33,000 active federal opportunities. That does not mean there are 33,000 opportunities for your business. While government contracts sound like an instant win for your business, if it’s not the right opportunity it can be a stressful, costly time suck if your IT firm isn’t equipped to handle it.
Before you pursue a single contract, identify the opportunities your business is equipped to take on. It’s a competitive environment. Many companies sell exclusively to the government and there are thousands of companies vying for business contracts.
Know your company, your offerings and exactly what you’re capable of taking on. You’ll find that eliminates a lot of the 33,000 opportunities very quickly.
Handle the red tape. It’s a painful but necessary process. If you want to work with the government, you need to get comfy with copious amounts of paperwork really quick.
To start, you need to register as a federal contractor. You also need to make sure you qualify as a small business to be considered for government contracts. The Small Business Administration is a stellar resource for the steps it takes to qualify, register and apply for government contracts.
Prove your expertise. The government is spending U.S. taxpayer dollars. They’re risk adverse and won’t gamble on a company that doesn’t have a strong track record of reliable service. Make sure your track record is impeccable and have proof to back it up.
Collaborate. Relationships matter. If it’s your first government contract, you don’t need to jump in headfirst. Many companies with large government contracts will subcontract work. It’s a great way to dip your toes in the water and get more experience in selling IT services to the government.
Network. It’s clichéd advice for a reason. Networking works. And not enough IT businesses do it. Filling out paperwork and cold calling will get your application submitted, but it won’t help you when you’re selling IT services to the government.
Identify two to three government agencies you want to work with. Attend events they hold, meet the decision makers — it will get you much further than constantly refreshing your application page. Once you build the relationships, your operation will be top of mind when an opportunity comes around.
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