Federal construction contracts can provide your company with a steady source for new projects and revenue. Finding the right contracts to bid on is the first challenge you’ll face once you decide to become an official government contractor. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to locate potential contracts if you know where to look.
There are several outlets you can use to locate government contracts, including the following popular platforms:
The System for Award Management, or SAM, is a federal website where all contracts over $25,000 must be advertised. It is the official U.S. government website for those that “make, receive and manage federal awards.” This makes it the perfect place to look for contracting opportunities. You can also find up-to-date information about wage determinations and reports on acquisition awards. While you can get a great deal of information without having an account, you’ll want to create an official account if you plan on bidding on contracts.
SubNet is a database of subcontracting opportunities kept by the Small Business Administration. The goal of the website is to help small businesses locate contracting opportunities. This is a great starting point if you want to be a subcontractor for an established prime contractor that is already doing government work. You don’t need to create an account to use the site, simply click on the map and start your search.
Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)
This website is used by government agencies that are actively looking for contractors for upcoming contracts. As a small business, you can make yourself visible to these agencies so you may be considered for contracting opportunities. The profile you create on SAM is actually shared on DSBS, so make sure that it is comprehensive and complete. This will give you a better presence so that your company stands out to those searching for contractors to bid on projects.
Set-aside contracts and contracting assistance
The government aims to help small businesses win federal contracts through contracting assistance programs and set-aside contracts. Smaller companies, including women-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, may be able to pursue set-aside contracts. These are special contracts with limited competition to allow certain smaller companies a chance at winning the bid. With a few exceptions, these contracts are under $150,000. Some set-aside contracts are open to any qualifying small business, but some are only open to businesses that participate in SBA assistance programs.
Last but not least, the federal government itself has special programs in place to help small businesses win at least 23% of all federal contracting dollars each year. This can give small companies an edge over larger, more established businesses. Read all about these programs to see if you can use them to kick off your government contracting career.
The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.