Ever thought about doing business with the Federal Government?
If you are like many small businesses, the thought of doing so seem unimaginable. Not to mention the hoops you must take to get started with your business. Let me tell you, the process that you must take might be long and daunting, but well worth it. Why? The largest consumer of goods and services is the world the U.S. government.
Even more exciting is that over $500 billion is set aside for small businesses. There are huge opportunities for businesses that are interested in taking their work to the next level with government contracts. So, what do you need to do next?
Here is a guide to follow to do business with the government.
5 Steps to do Business with the Federal Government
- Apply for your NAICS Codes: The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used by the Census Bureau to organize business establishments. Used by many business databases and other research tools that classify industries, this is a great first step to doing business with the government.
- Obtain a DUNS Number: Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is a specific nine digit identification number for each location of your business. It's free to register but mandatory to do so with the U.S. Federal government for grants or contracts.
- Register in the Central Contractor Registration System: The purpose of the Federal Contractor Registry is to address the needs of businesses looking to do business with federal, state, and local governments.
- Visit the SBA: The Small Business Administration is a major supporter of small businesses. The agency has distributed millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses.
- Ready... Set... Now Start Searching for Federal Procurement Opportunities: A free web-based portal called The Federal Business Opportunities (also called Fed Biz Ops or FBO) allows vendors to look over Federal Procurement Opportunities over $25,000.
Now that you are ready to get started, keep in mind that landing an opportunity won't happen overnight. In fact, it could take up to 24 months before you land your first contract. The key is to learn the process, make yourself known to the agencies that you are interested in doing business with, and be patient.