It's no secret that landing government contracts is a different ballgame compared to traditional contracting. At the same time, landing a government contract can mean big money for you and your company.
You just need to learn how to operate in new waters.
If you learn to maneuver government contracting, it's a big pool to pull from. The United States governments spends$250 billion each year in construction and just about every building needs a company that can do flooring.
Today we're going to give some advice for landing government flooring contracts to help you get ahead of the competition.
Winning a government contract isn't always easy but it can pay big dividends and is far less intimidating than it may first seem. The trick is to come prepared, come confident, and be ready to answer any and all of Uncle Sam's questions.
Find Government Flooring Contracts
The first step to landing a flooring contract with the government is to find one in the first place. At least on that front, the government has made your job relatively easy.
The United States government has set upbeta.sam.gov, a website where all government contracting opportunities are gathered together in an easy-to-use tool. By typing "flooring" or similar terms into their search tool, you can find contracts relevant to you. Just remember to sort by the date a given opportunity was last updated, as outdated opportunities are not always removed in a timely fashion.
If you want to land one of these contracts, you'll have toregister with SAM(which is done via the same site contracts are found). SAM registration is free and replaces the old Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system the United States government used in the past.
Know How to Pitch Yourself
Once you've found some contracts you can deliver on, it's time to throw your hat into the ring. This is where many small business owners get intimidated. You may well be competing with hundreds or even thousands of companies big and small for a given contract.
As a small company, you must know what you can deliver that bigger companies cannot. Smaller companies are often more nimble and customer-focused than larger ones. While that's not a bad starting place, you'll want as much as you can manage to help you stand out from the crowd.
The government sets aside contract opportunities for many types of businesses including:
Those run by women and various traditionally disadvantaged groups
Those run by service-connected disabled veterans
Businesses operating in underprivileged areas
In fact, the government even tries to make sure some portion of its business goes to smaller companies, so even if your company doesn't fit any of the above labels, you won't always be competing with the big players.
Just remember that, no matter what, you still need to sell yourself as the best in whatever crowd you're competing against. Why should the government choose you over that competition?
If you're unsure where to start with a pitch, we've gotadvice for youon our blog. Remember to be confident, thorough, honest, and fair.
Back Up Your Claims
If you're trying to land a flooring contract with the government, you can't be all talk. Even the best, most well-organized pitch will only land you in hot water if you're not prepared to back it up.
Learn how to give accurate estimates for cost and material needs, both for your sake and the sake of the organization you're working with. A bad estimate can come off as you cheating the system to land a contract or skim government money. A very bad estimate may even land you in legal trouble.
Make sure your organizational bureaucracy is tight and efficient. Make sure your tools and other machines are all ready to go. Make sure your employees are well-trained, especially if they're going to have to follow unusual security measures that may well carry strict legal penalties if they're not followed.
Onfloor Technologies offer a variety of machines, tools, and replacement parts on our online store. There you can find concrete grinders, polishers, industrial vacuums, and more!
First impressions are important. Get yourconcrete calculationsright. Keep things professional and leave every space cleaner than you found it.
If you land a government contract and want to land more, your operation should seem smooth from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. If you slip up in front of the wrong person, it could make landing your next contract, at least with the same organization, much harder.
Networking Always Beats Cold Calls
Fair or not, it's always a good idea to make yourself known to the organizations you intend to contract with, especially their decision-makers.
As much as we like to pretend the government contract process is impartial, nothing ever is. Somebody somewhere always decides who gets the work and it's rare that someone can ignore positive feelings for particular candidates they've talked and worked with.
Thevalue in networkingisn't just in making good with the powers that be either. Going to government-run events can be a big help. It allows you to meet big-name contractors and various employees for the organizations you're hoping to work for.
Gain Unique Insights into Government Contracting
As you network, you will learn valuable insider tips and information, such as what the culture is like in different government organizations and what sort of features they value in their contractors.
This information is otherwise often hard to glean from online sources. Contract postings or organization websites aren't going to teach you the "inside baseball" type tips you can learn talking to people involved in government work.
Develop Positive Relationships with Big Players
You can also develop positive relationships with members of the government and other contractors. Even if you don't land particular contracts, these new allies can sometimes pass along other info and opportunities you may be interested in.
These relationships may even land you surprise subcontracting work since not everyone contracting is in direct competition. Many big contractors may land construction contracts, only to subcontract different elements of the work (such as flooring) to other companies.
Avoid Laser Focusing on Your Niche
It would be understandable to focus only on one's particular niche when networking since that's the sort of work your company is seeking out. What bears remembering is many is what we mentioned above about large companies subcontracting out various parts of construction projects.
This is why you shouldn't only focus on flooring contractors. Anyone related to construction can be a major ally in landing future work and otherwise acquiring useful tricks in landing government work.
Need Machines? We Can Help!
We hope the above advice has made landing government flooring contracts a less mysterious, intimidating process. The trick is to keep at it and not get intimidated by what can sometimes seem like steep competition. Your company always has something your competition can't offer; you just need to find what that is.
If you're interested in some of our machines, we'd love to help you find the one you'll be most happy with. In fact, you can evenrequest a demo, allowing you to get your hands on one of our models before you make a commitment.
We've also made an effort to reduce the stress of maintenance. We know it can be a major pain sourcing a particular part if you experience a breakdown. That's why we offer a solution; check out themaintenance kitswe have on offer to help get your machines working again if you experience an issue!
Onfloor Technologies is dedicated to our clientele and want to make sure you're happy with our products before you even decide to buy! We understand industrial machinery is a big investment and one not made lightly.