Four Priorities for Women-Owned Businesses Contracting with the U.S. Government
For small, women-owned, and minority-owned companies, consider government contracting as a way to expand your existing business. If you're wanting to break into the market of supplying federal and state needs, here are four items to review during your pre-planning process.
1) Get your Certifications in order.
When you are applying for certification, you'll want to have the following information available: your FEIN (Federal Employee Identification Number) and DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System), as well as the NAICS code for your primary product or service. It's also helpful to have your state or city licenses ready-to-go, as well as your articles of incorporation and bank account information all handy.
2) Review Federal Business Opportunities.
Federal business opportunities are listed at http://fbo.gov/ and updated on a regular basis - you may search by date, set-aside code, state/territory, or type of opportunity. It's a timely and centralized resource to see the kinds of RFP's that are available for you to bid on.
3) Network with bigger and more established companies.
A set-aside means that certain contracts must set aside a certain portion of monies awarded to women-owned, emerging small business, or economically disadvantaged small woman-owned businesses, and more. Consider teaming up with a bigger or more well-known company and going in on projects together.
4) Continuous education.
Learn as much as you can about federal government contract training seminars. There are a number of all-inclusive educational conferences where you can meet other business owners and be exposed to current trends and recent news within the world of federal contracting.
Keep your certifications up-to-date, review existing opportunities, network with other companies, and always invest in your own education and training, and you'll be well on your way to establishing a company that serves your state or local government.