Wondering how to get contracts? When your business has contractual relationships with other businesses, vendors, and clients, it is easier to project the revenue and build a successful strategy. Obtaining those contracts can be challenging, but there are a number of ways to pursue valuable business contracts.

How to Get Government Contracts

Many businesses seek to secure contractual relationships with the United States government. The various agencies and departments purchase a number of services and products from U.S.-based businesses. The government has approximately $500 billion in contracts on an annual basis, and laws require that nearly 25 percent of those contracts are formed with small businesses. In order to get a share, you will need to learn how to navigate the process of obtaining a government contract for your small business.

The first step in the process is registering your business through the System for Award Management (SAM) system. Include your company's total annual revenue within the database and use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code when you register. The NAICS code is available in the United States Census Index. When you register your business on the SAM system, you will also need to include your company's total annual revenue, which should be calculated recently.

The field of government contracting is very competitive, especially for smaller companies. Although federal laws require government agencies to provide contract opportunities to small businesses in the U.S., many businesses will bid for those contracts.

One of the main advantages of securing a government contract is the constant flow of business. The various departments will purchase services and goods on a monthly basis, consistently throughout the year. The government will even continue to make purchases during recessions, when your business could otherwise suffer due to cutbacks. When you are able to get a government contract, the potential improves to grow your business more rapidly.

The Bidding Process

Many different types of contracts are available between the government and small businesses, so it's important to review the information available to know the ones for which your business might want to bid. You can make sure your business meets the qualifications to contract with the government by taking the prequalification quiz on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.

Use online resources to start the bidding process, such as:

  • USASpending.gov
  • FedBizOpps
  • OSDBU.gov
  • The GSA Schedules Program
  • SUB-Net

Each resource has information about contract opportunities in various industries, so search until you find the one that suits your business. Contractors can use FedBizOpps to find available contracts with values of $25,000 or more. It is similar to a job board, but designed for those seeking contracts with the federal government.

The next step is preparing the bids for contracts on opportunities that apply to what your business offers. Price is one of the key factors when government officials review the bids, so your rates must be competitive. However, you don't want to lose money in an attempt to secure a contract, so make sure the pricing in your bid will still allow your business to turn a profit.

Pricing your goods or services for a government contract bid is one of the most challenging aspects of the process, but it does become easier as you continue to draft and submit bids. You can also review the “Interested Vendors” list in the notices section of the website to learn more about potential competitors. Reviewing the competition can help you narrow down pricing to stay competitive.

After you have prepared your bid, follow the directions found in the solicitation package to submit it. Before you submit, you must be absolutely certain that your business is able to fulfill every aspect included in it. This includes any logistical and financial details, as well as pricing for goods and services. If you aren't able to fulfill a bid that the government has selected, you could face legal implications and your company's reputation would suffer.

How to Get Contract Work

In addition to using the online resources, you should also make sure that plenty of information about your services is available to potential clients. Share a detailed description of your company's services and come up with a list of potential individuals and companies that could use what your business offers.

If you need help understanding how to get contracts, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.