Last year, the federal government purchased nearly $100 billion worth of goods and services from small businesses through prime contracting procurements, according to the Small Business Administration. That's nearly 25 percent of the $400 billion overall federal marketplace. Thousands of small businesses across the country have been winning contracts for years, but many others find the entry process overwhelmingly complicated and confusing. Without help, they are missing out on incredibly lucrative opportunities for their goods and services.
There’s an old joke you may have heard about consultants: “They borrow your watch just to tell you the time.” Obviously, we don’t agree, and we want to show you just how valuable our consultants can be to your business. After all, if contracting with the Federal Government was a simple process, our services wouldn’t be necessary.
So, why would a company hire a consultant’s help instead of just figuring it out on their own? Here are a few reasons at the top of the long list:
When contracting with the Government, there’s no room for error. There are set industry practices and standards that are highly detailed, specific, and potentially difficult to understand. Consultants know the unwritten rules for proposal submissions. Small mistakes can cost you a bid, which wastes your time, energy, and money.
Consultants know how to get ahead of the Government’s aggressive auditing system, and they can make sure you’re fully compliant with gov requirements and regulations so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
They clearly outline confusing processes such as registering as contractor, writing proposals, and winning bids
The US Government requires proof that your accounting practices are consistent with general ledger accounting before you’re able to win contracts. This is called “adequate accounting”, and our consultants can walk you through it.
We explain which business costs are allowable and which are not. Trying to get reimbursed for an unallowable cost you a job opportunity, or worse, cause you to be penalized.
Our consultants are well-versed in common mistakes businesses make when submitting proposals and establishing government partnerships, so they can make sure you avoid costly errors.
They can help you plan your future by creating road maps tailored specifically to your business.
Our consultants have a wealth of Federal Government experience, connections, and relationships.
We can assess your current and potential market opportunity and help you understand which opportunities your company is qualified to bid on as well as how to set competitive pricing for potential opportunities.
They offer an unbiased and out-of-the-box perspective, which is particularly valuable when assessing emotionally charged issues such as company culture, processes, and structure.
By allowing a consultant to fill you in on gaps in your knowledge base, you avoid wasting time and manpower on trial and error, relying instead on proven strategies. This allows your employees to continue working within their zones of genius.
Hiring a consultant can save you money in the long run. This short-term investment pays off big-time without the added costs of hiring additional employees. It’s a low-risk, high-reward relationship.
This list is just a handful of ways that an experienced consultant can help your company successfully enter the Federal Marketplace. When it comes to contracting with the government, a DIY approach isn’t necessarily your best option. Hiring a short-term partner to help you navigate the process could be the key to your success.
Check out our Services page to learn more about what our consultants can bring to the table.
* Written by Kelly Johnson, Contracts Dept. at Focusing Forward, November 2022.