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Learn How to Successfully Bid on Government Contracts

bid on government contracts

The federal government offers a wealth of opportunities for small businesses through government contracts. While the competition may seem daunting, there are programs in place to support small business contractors and connect them with lucrative contracting opportunities.

Partnering with government agencies, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a crucial role in facilitating access to these opportunities. Special contracts called set-asides are reserved specifically for small businesses, further increasing their chances of success in the federal marketplace.

If you’re a small business looking to tap into the potential revenue and customer base of government contracts, read on to learn how to find and bid on these opportunities successfully.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bidding on government contracts can be highly lucrative for small businesses in the federal marketplace.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with government agencies to connect small businesses with contracting opportunities.
  • Special contracts called set-asides are specifically reserved for small businesses.
  • Utilize platforms such as SubNet, DSBS, Contract Opportunities, and Forecast of Contracting Opportunities to find government contract opportunities.

The Benefits of Government Contracts for Small Businesses

Small businesses play a crucial role in the economy, and government contracts offer numerous benefits for their growth and success. By securing government contracts, small businesses can tap into a significant source of revenue and expand their potential customer base.

One of the key advantages of government contracts is the fact that the U.S. government is the largest buyer of products and services. At least 23% of federal contracting dollars are set aside for small businesses, providing a substantial opportunity for revenue generation. These contracts can provide a reliable income stream and stability for small businesses, opening up avenues for expansion and future growth.

Government contracts also offer small businesses access to a vast potential customer base. Working with government agencies not only provides credibility and recognition but also establishes valuable connections within the industry. Successful contracts can lead to additional opportunities and long-term partnerships, further enhancing a small business’s reputation and market presence.

Table: Benefits of Government Contracts for Small Businesses

Benefits Explanation
Revenue Generation Government contracts provide a reliable source of income for small businesses, contributing to their financial stability and growth.
Potential Customer Base The U.S. government is the largest buyer of products and services, offering small businesses access to a vast pool of potential customers.
Industry Connections Working with government agencies enables small businesses to establish valuable connections and partnerships within the industry.

In conclusion, government contracts offer significant advantages for small businesses. From revenue generation to expanding their customer base and establishing industry connections, these contracts can be a game-changer for small businesses looking to thrive in the government contracting industry.

How to Find Government Contracts for Bid

Small businesses have several avenues to seek out government contracts. Subcontracting is a way to work with government agencies indirectly, and it can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities. Small businesses can also utilize bid-matching services offered by Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) to find contracts that align with their skills and expertise. Additionally, businesses can search for contracts on platforms such as SAM.gov, which is the official database of federal contracting opportunities, or utilize the SBA’s SubNet database for subcontracting opportunities.

Subcontracting is an effective strategy for small businesses looking to enter the government contracting industry. By partnering with prime contractors who have existing contracts with government agencies, small businesses can gain valuable experience and establish relationships within the industry. This can open doors to future contracting opportunities and help businesses grow their capabilities.

Bid-Matching Services

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) offer bid-matching services to help small businesses find government contracts that align with their expertise. PTACs provide personalized assistance, helping businesses navigate the complex contracting process and identify relevant opportunities. These services can save time and effort by connecting businesses directly with contracting opportunities that match their capabilities.

Utilizing SAM.gov and SubNet

SAM.gov is the official database of federal contracting opportunities. Small businesses can search for contracts on this platform based on various criteria such as industry, location, and contract type. The database provides detailed information on each opportunity, including contract specifications and contact information for the contracting officer. Additionally, the Small Business Administration’s SubNet database is a valuable resource for subcontracting opportunities. It allows small businesses to search for prime contractors who are seeking subcontractors for their government contracts.

In conclusion, small businesses have multiple resources available to find government contracts for bid. By exploring subcontracting opportunities, utilizing bid-matching services, and leveraging online platforms such as SAM.gov and SubNet, small businesses can access a wide range of contracting opportunities. These avenues can help businesses establish a foothold in the government contracting industry and pave the way for long-term success.

How to Successfully Bid on a Government Contract

When it comes to bidding on government contracts, small businesses need to approach the process strategically. Conducting thorough market research is crucial to understanding the federal contracting market and identifying opportunities that align with the business’s capabilities. By focusing on contracts that play to their strengths and expertise, small businesses can increase their chances of success.

Selective bidding is another key factor in successful government contract bidding. Rather than pursuing every available contract, small businesses should carefully evaluate each opportunity and choose those that are the best fit. This approach allows businesses to allocate their resources more effectively and increase the likelihood of winning contracts.

Once a small business has identified a suitable contract to bid on, it’s important to thoroughly review the Request for Proposal (RFP) document. Paying close attention to key sections such as supplies or services, description or specifications, and evaluation criteria ensures that the bid proposal meets the specific requirements and stands out among competitors. Following the instructions provided in the RFP is essential to avoid potential proposal elimination.

Table: Key Elements of a Request for Proposal (RFP) Document

Section Description
Supplies or Services Details about the goods or services required for the contract
Description/Specifications/Statement of Work Specific instructions and expectations for the project
Instructions/Conditions/Notices to Offerors Guidelines on how to submit proposals and any additional requirements
Evaluation Criteria Factors that will be considered when selecting the winning bid

A well-crafted and comprehensive bid proposal is the key to winning government contracts. By conducting thorough market research, selectively bidding on suitable contracts, and following the instructions outlined in the RFP, small businesses can position themselves for success in the government contracting industry.

Tips for a Successful Government Contract Proposal

When crafting a successful government contract proposal, it’s crucial to approach it with careful planning and attention to detail. Follow these tips to increase your chances of winning that sought-after contract:

Create a Clear Proposal Outline

Before diving into writing the proposal, create a well-structured outline. This will help you maintain focus and ensure that all the necessary information is included. Organize your outline based on the sections outlined in the Request For Proposal (RFP) document, making it easier for evaluators to find the information they are looking for.

Address Project Goals

When writing your proposal, it’s essential to clearly address the project goals specified in the RFP document. Outline how your business will meet and exceed these goals, highlighting your unique capabilities and expertise. This will demonstrate to the evaluators that you understand their requirements and are the right fit for the job.

Implement Effective Pricing Strategies

Pricing can play a crucial role in securing a government contract. Consider your pricing strategies carefully, taking into account factors such as your costs, market standards, and competition. It may be necessary to be flexible with your pricing initially to gain experience and build relationships with the agency. Just ensure that your proposed rates are reasonable and align with industry standards.

Follow Instructions to the Letter

One of the most important aspects of a successful proposal is following the instructions stated in the RFP document. Pay close attention to the specific requirements, formatting guidelines, and submission instructions. Failure to adhere to these instructions could lead to technicalities that result in your proposal being eliminated. Take the time to double-check and ensure that every detail is in line with what is requested.

By following these tips and taking a meticulous approach, you can significantly enhance your chances of submitting a winning government contract proposal. Remember, attention to detail, clear communication, and compliance with instructions are key to success in the highly competitive government contracting industry.


What are the benefits of government contracts for small businesses?

Government contracts provide a significant source of revenue for small businesses, with at least 23% of federal contracting dollars set aside for them. They offer a vast potential customer base and can contribute to growth and expansion.

How can small businesses find government contracts to bid on?

Small businesses can find government contracts through various avenues, such as subcontracting with government agencies indirectly or utilizing bid-matching services offered by Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs). Platforms like SAM.gov and the SBA’s SubNet database also provide opportunities to search for contracts.

What should small businesses consider before bidding on government contracts?

Before bidding, small businesses should ensure they fulfill all necessary requirements to be recognized as a government contractor. Thorough market research is crucial to understand the federal contracting market and craft relevant bid proposals. It’s important to selectively bid on contracts that align with their strengths and expertise and thoroughly review the Request For Proposal (RFP) document.

How can small businesses create a successful government contract proposal?

Small businesses should create an outline before writing the proposal to maintain focus and include all necessary information. The proposal should address the project goals outlined in the RFP document and incorporate appropriate pricing strategies. Following the specified instructions in the RFP is crucial to avoid technicalities that could lead to proposal elimination.

What are some tips for a successful government contract proposal?

In addition to creating an outline and addressing project goals, small businesses should be willing to accept lower rates initially to gain experience and build agency connections. Thoroughly researching and following the instructions in the RFP, as well as paying attention to key sections like supplies/services, description/specifications/statement of work, instructions/conditions/notices to offerors, and evaluation criteria, is essential.

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