Linda Rawson provides an Introduction to Government Contracting. Welcome to the launch of GovConBiz!
Our mission is to educate and inform small business owners, to take their business to a new level. We can show you how to win business with the federal government.
Hello, I am Linda Rawson, Founder of GovConBiz. I am the founder of DynaGrace Enterprises. DynaGrace is an 8(a) graduate and an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business and has been in business since 2006.
Why am I different?
You can see the prime contractor awards that DynaGrace has won on a site called USASpending.gov. I am personally responsible for DynaGrace winning millions in federal government contracts and am excited to show you how to do the same.
The federal government awards over $500 billion in contracts every year. That is $1.2 billion every day – $52 million every hour – $860,000 every minute – and $14,000 every second! (https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/federal-government-achieves-small-business-contracting-goal-sixth-consecutive-year-record-breaking)
That is a lot of money, right? Whether you are a supplier, a contractor, or a service provider there is a lot of money to win especially as a Small Business.
Do ever wonder what it takes to compete and WIN in the world’s largest market? You may be wondering how you can get a piece of that action. So much paperwork!
Well, it is not easy, and it is not for the faint of heart, but it does have its advantages
The Advantages of Government Contracting
- Stability. DynaGrace was recession proof through the Covid-19 pandemic. We continued to get paid.
- Consistent Work. If you are doing an excellent job the government will want to do business with you again and again.
- Find More Opportunities. Government Contracting is an opportunity for your company to grow. You may have killed it in the commercial sector now do that in the government sector.
- Assured Payment. If you contracted with the government to do a job, and they said you did a great job. It may be awhile, but you will get paid.
- Increase Company Value. Your revenue goes up because of the substantial size of the contracts.
Advantages for Women and Minority Owned Businesses especially when there are percentages required for each of these socioeconomic statuses.
Steps to Get Started in Government Contracting
Your local state government has a method for you to incorporate. You will need to figure out what kind of corporate structure you should be whether LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp or Sole Proprietor. You lawyer can help with that.
- IRS Employee Identification Number (EIN)
During the incorporation process, your state will ask you to have an IRS Employee Identification Number. These are also easy to get but remember you don’t want to go back and modify the information. Make sure everything is correct.
- Get a Bank Account
A local credit union are fine to begin with. We are in a day and age of digital money.
- Find a NAICS/Niche
Start analyzing what you do. Your niche and pick a primary North American Industry Classification System code. Often a contracting officer will find you by this code.
- Duns & Bradstreet
Register in the Duns & Bradstreet system. Weird that it is a commercial system that feeds into a government system but for the time being this is how it is done.
You will need to get a notarized letter to appoint an Entity Administrator and send to Sam.gov.
You are now ready to register to do business with the Federal Government.
Get ready for more checklist processes like these. Government work is about perseverance and doing everything they say.
With all that help, where do I come in?
From my experience, PTAC, SBA and the Women’s Business Center can take you so far. They can help you get started. What they don’t help you with is the “then what.” Most advisors have never owned a business, especially a government contracting business.
There are special programs that can help you hit the ground running.
- Small Business Administration Socioeconomic Programs
- 8(a) development program is a 9 year training program. The government can direct awards to the companies with this status with NO competition.
- Living and working in a low income area affords advantages. There is a mpa of these areas on the SBA website. This category never meets their small business contracting goals.
- WOSB – If at least 51% of the company is owned by a woman then there are set-asides for these companies. Competition can be fierce and we are not certified with the same stringent rules as 8(a).
- SDVOSB – For veterans that are service disabled there are contract opportunities set aside for this group of businesses.
- EDWOSB – If the owner of the company makes less than $750,000 then the company qualifies as economically disadvantaged.
In the video you can see how much money was awarded to small business, their goals and the actual percentage that exceeded or was below the required goal set by the Small Business Administration and Congress.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are for firms with innovative ideas. Phase 1 is basically for you to present your idea and see if it can be accepted for further funding. The goal is to take your idea to commercial markets.
GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, offering billions of dollars’ worth of products, services, and facilities that federal agencies need to serve the public.
- Direct Labor is the amount you pay in salary.
- Fringe benefits include employer payroll taxes, 401(k) match, PTO, holiday, health, dental, disability and life insurance,.
- Overhead is the share of the facility costs, human resource, payroll.
- G&A is business development, travel in support of business development, business insurance, professional fees.
At this point maybe I have sparked an interest.
There are four things that make a successful government contracting business.
- Knowledge. The more you know the more you know. Knowledge and education by experts in every aspect of bidding, legal, accounting and life cycle management.
- Focus. You have to focus and be motivated because a WIN is no quick thing. It could be a year or more before you finally have that pot of gold. Refine your broad focus by determining what services and products you have to offer and will buy your product.
- Mentors. You will accelerate your business quicker with the service of a mentor. They are hard to find but once you have an experienced mentor you will stop making the mistakes that beginners make. Mentors that have been there and done that. They are not just talk. They have real experience.
- Strategy. Figure you who in the government buys what you sell. Figure out how to present to them. How to bid on their opportunities. Strategy to more your company forward. Wasting time on unnecessary avenues costs money and time.
I have given you the basics. Now…the thing for you to do is to determine if you want to get started in government contracting.
I did write a book.
The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts. You can find it here on Amazon -> https://amzn.to/338MceE
It is several years old now and I am getting ready to write a new book. I would love your opinion and you can book a free 15-minute call with me on GovConBiz.
I will close with a tidbit about entrepreneurism.
Start with passion. Be passionate about what you do, and the money will follow. I know that is so cliché. But true. The time passes whether you are pursuing what you want to do or working for another person or corporation. Life is short. ~Linda Rawson
Don’t forget to subscribe to get more tips and strategies. I have delayed long enough, and you will see a lot more content coming from me.
My passion in life is to teach and educate. If I make money along the way, then that is a wonderful thing too. The important thing is that you are given more opportunities by me sharing my knowledge and experience. ~Linda Rawson
Thank you for listening.
Linda Rawson, who is the founder of DynaGrace Enterprises (dynagrace.com), an 8(a) graduate and EDWOSB, contributed to the content of this blog. She is the founder of GovCon-Biz. For further information, please connect with Linda on LinkedIn, or contact her at (800) 676-0058 ext 101.
Please reach out to us at GovCon-Biz should you have any questions.