Simplifying Government Contracting in the US and Canada
Government Contracting in the US and Canada is a lucrative opportunity alright! The US Federal government is the single largest consumer in the world and awards contracts worth $500 every year. 23% of these yearly contracts, which amounts to almost $125 billion, are legally required to be given to small business companies. In Canada as well, the Federal expenses in procuring goods and services amount to more than $20 billion. That’s a whole lot of money and opportunity that you, as a small business owner, can tap into. Let’s get you there!
These governments have laid out strict guidelines, rigid eligibility criterion and qualification processes to become a government contractor. It needn’t be that complicated though. Here is simplifying government contracting in the US and Canada for you.
In the USA, the Federal government has laid out firm guidelines as to what qualifies as a small business. Check out the Northern American Industry Classification Code (NAICS). Then reference it to the Table of Small Business Size Standards to know if you qualify as a small business.
You can also check out buyandsell.gc.ca, Canada’s procurement portal for federal suppliers and buyers.
Get your DUNS number
In the US, it is mandatory to get a Dun & Bradstreet number. You will need to get one for each of the physical business locations of your firm before you can register as a federal contractor.
Get your business registered
Get your firm registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and complete your business profile. This step will automatically enter your firm in the Dynamic Small Business Search database. Your business profile in this database will be an excellent marketing opportunity when government agencies search for businesses that qualify a particular requirement.
In Canada, you will need to register with the Supplier Registration Information database through the portal buyandsell.gc.ca and create your profile. This will generate your Procurement Business number, which is crucial to receiving federal payments. You also need to get registered on the ProServices supply arrangement, under Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
Now that you have completed all due processes, you can move on to searching for suitable contracts. Here are a few links:
- SUB-Net database for subcontracting opportunities from prime contractors
- Federal Business Opportunities for contracts with a value of more than $25,000
- GSA schedules – a database that lists government-wide long-term contracts.
- Small Business Set-asides
- Federal Procurement Data System
- The Federal Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- Supplier Registration Information – the federal database
- gc.ca – mostly for goods than services
Jump right in
Once these steps are complete, its time to respond to the Government’s Request for Proposals and Quotes (RFP & RFQ) and Invitation for Bid through the FedBizOpps portal in the US.
You can check out various free courses offered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). These are specifically designed and to cater to small businesses owned by women, veterans, etc. You can find out more on how to register, prepare proposals etc through this.
Once you win a bid and bag that contract, give it your best shot to make it a success. This will form a solid base on which you can further build and strengthen your future federal contracts with the government.
You should keep in mind that Government Contracting in the US and Canada is an entirely different ball game. It is completely different to commercial business and needs a different knowledge and approach. The Small Business Advisory Group enables small business owners like you to prepare, bid and successfully win Government Contracts. We partner with you in your every step to make you a successful Federal Contractor. You can head on over to our Government Contracting page to check out more. Better still, give us a call and ask for Alex.