Each year, the Federal Government aims to meet their goal to award contracts for Women-Owned-Small-Businesses. Federal agencies are obliged to set aside a portion of contracts for small business set-asides, to boost their participation in government procurements. If you’re a women-owned business and looking to compete for prime contracts, the following tips will help you better understand the overall process.
System Award Management registration
To be able to compete for an opportunity that you’re interested, first, you must register your business in System for Award Management. Sign up to create a profile for your company by completing all the required steps. After doing this, Federal agencies can easily find your business when they’re interested to acquire services or products that you provide. This way you’ll be able to receive Request for Proposals and exploit your opportunities to become a Government contractor.
Check if you qualify as set-aside or self-certify
Check if your business qualifies as woman-owned- small-business or economically- disadvantaged woman-owned-small-business; otherwise, follow self-certifying procedures in the official site of Small Business Administration. There are federal contracts specially reserved for this category, while there are some other industries which are underrepresented. In all cases, if your business qualifies in a certain area, the set-aside qualification, could give you advantages when competing for prime contracts.
Get Bid Notifications
Obviously, the reason you’re here is to receive bid notifications for federal contract opportunities your interested to bid for. You need to sign up to get regular notices about RFPs released by different federal agencies of your industry requiring services or supplies relevant with your business.
Fill Your Opportunity Pipeline
Now that you’ve registered your business as WOSB, you’ll be able to easily identify business opportunities issued by the government and decide which ones you want to pursue. Fill your opportunity pipeline with contracts that suit your business strategy and long-term objectives. Assess your capabilities and make bid/no bid decision based on a realistic approach to your performance ability.
Attend Federal Contracting Events
Participating in Site Visits, Pre-Proposal Conferences and Industry days are very important for you. This way you’ll lay the foundations of a healthy relationship between you and the federal agency you’re trying to sell your products/services to. You’ll gain a broader knowledge of their needs, demands, and expectations. In addition, you’ll be able to observe the location where the performance will take place and have the chance to get answers about any uncertainty you might have regarding the solicitation you received.
Capture Winning Strategy
Once you’ve decided to bid on a certain solicitation, you need to develop a successful winning strategy. A well-planned capture management process will improve your chances to become a government partner. As a process, it comprises lots of steps, including lead management capabilities, market intelligence, pre-proposal planning, guide the proposal process with win themes and financial data, secure resources, etc.
An effective capture planning will ensure your resources so that your proposal development team can use to build a winning product.
Prepare Your Proposal
Everything you’ve done until now will serve you in the most important step of your competing process. Proposal development for federal contracts can be a daunting task. It’s a complex procedure that requires expertise and competent proposal writers with extensive technical writing skills.
Use the information gathered from your intelligence; implement your win themes to demonstrate the benefits that Government will have by acquiring your services/products; develop a persuasive solution; be compliant and address each section of RFP solicitation as instructed; be careful with the format, style and design; and ultimately, review your proposal draft to make sure that decision-makers will give you the marks you are looking forward to!