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Winning Government Contracts: Top Strategies

how to win government contracts

Government contracts can be a lucrative opportunity for trade construction businesses. However, navigating the complex world of government contracting requires careful planning and strategic execution. In this article, we will discuss essential tips and strategies to help you secure government contracts successfully.

First and foremost, it is crucial to stay informed about government contracting opportunities. Subcontractors should regularly check resources like SubNet, the Directory of Federal Government Prime Contractors, USASpending.gov, and SAM.gov for subcontracting opportunities. These platforms provide valuable information on available contracts and allow you to tailor your approach.

In order to stand out from the competition, it is essential to create a profile at SAM.gov with a comprehensive capabilities statement. This statement highlights your expertise, experience, and unique selling points, increasing your chances of being selected for government contracts.

When bidding on government contracts, it is important to be selective and set competitive prices. Government contracts are often awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully analyze and assess the requirements outlined in the request for proposal (RFP) before preparing your bid.

Furthermore, government contracts must meet regulatory requirements, such as The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. Familiarize yourself with these regulations and ensure compliance to avoid any potential issues during the bidding and execution stages of the project.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regularly check resources like SubNet, the Directory of Federal Government Prime Contractors, USASpending.gov, and SAM.gov for subcontracting opportunities.
  • Create a profile at SAM.gov with a comprehensive capabilities statement to showcase your expertise.
  • Be selective in bidding and set competitive prices.
  • Thoroughly analyze and address the specific needs outlined in the RFP.
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, such as The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts.

Finding Government Contracts

To successfully secure government contracts, construction trade contractors need to effectively navigate the process of finding and bidding on projects. This section will explore key strategies and resources for finding government contracts, understanding the government procurement process, and meeting the contract award criteria.

Utilize Key Resources

When searching for government contracts, it’s essential to leverage reliable resources that provide comprehensive information on available opportunities. Here are some valuable resources that construction trade contractors can utilize:

  • SubNet: A database that provides access to subcontracting opportunities and prime contractors working with the federal government.
  • USASpending.gov: A website that allows contractors to search and analyze federal contract spending data.
  • SAM.gov: The official U.S. government system for award management, where contractors can create a profile and explore available opportunities.
  • Directory of Federal Government Prime Contractors: A directory that lists prime contractors currently working with the federal government.

By utilizing these resources, construction trade contractors can access information on subcontracting opportunities, federal contracts, and prime contractors, enabling them to find and pursue relevant projects.

Creating a Strong Profile

To increase the chances of winning government contracts, construction trade contractors should create a compelling profile on SAM.gov. This includes developing a strong capabilities statement that highlights their expertise, qualifications, and past performance.

A powerful capabilities statement serves as a marketing tool that showcases the contractor’s unique strengths and aligns them with the needs of government agencies. It should be concise, clear, and tailored to the specific target audience.

Bidding on Contracts

Government contracts are typically awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder who meets the contract award criteria. To increase their chances of success, construction trade contractors should focus on bidding on projects that align with their strengths and expertise.

Understanding the different types of solicitations, such as Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Quotes (RFQs), and Invitation for Bids (IFBs), is crucial. Contractors should thoroughly analyze and address the requirements outlined in an RFP or any other solicitation document to craft a compelling bid.

Effectively navigating the government procurement process requires meticulous attention to detail and timely submission of bids. Contractors should stay organized and ensure that all bid documents are thoroughly completed and submitted before the deadline.

Contract Award Criteria

Contract Award Criteria Description
Price The contractor’s proposed price for the project.
Technical Capability The contractor’s ability to meet the project’s technical requirements.
Past Performance The contractor’s track record of successful completion of similar projects.
Compliance The contractor’s ability to comply with all applicable regulations and contractual obligations.

The contract award criteria play a crucial role in the evaluation and selection process. Contractors must demonstrate their competence, reliability, and adherence to regulations to secure government contracts.

By utilizing key resources, creating a strong profile, strategically bidding on projects, and meeting the contract award criteria, construction trade contractors can enhance their chances of successfully finding and securing government contracts.

Winning Government Contract Bids

Winning a government contract bid requires strategic planning, meticulous attention to detail, and a comprehensive understanding of the procurement process. Subcontractors must effectively navigate various stages, from reviewing procurement notices to preparing a winning proposal. To increase your chances of success, follow these key strategies:

  1. Thoroughly review and understand the proposal requirements: Carefully analyze the request for proposal (RFP) to comprehend the specific needs outlined by the government. Ensure clarity on project deliverables, timelines, and any unique contract requirements.
  2. Create a well-defined plan: Develop a detailed plan that demonstrates how your company intends to fulfill the contract requirements. Highlight your strengths, expertise, and innovative solutions that align with the government’s objectives.
  3. Address regulatory compliance: Government contracts often come with specific regulatory requirements, such as The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts for construction projects. Ensure your proposal demonstrates a thorough understanding of these regulations and your commitment to compliance.
  4. Showcase past performance: Government agencies prioritize contractors with a strong track record of successful past performance. Highlight relevant projects, achievements, and accolades to demonstrate your competence and reliability.
  5. Build relationships with government agencies: Cultivate connections and establish rapport with key decision-makers within government agencies. Participate in industry events, engage in networking opportunities, and seek ways to collaborate on smaller projects to establish credibility and trust.
  6. Utilize construction project management software: Streamline your proposal preparation process with the help of construction project management software. These tools can assist in organizing project data, tracking timelines, and facilitating effective communication with team members.

By implementing these strategies, subcontractors can enhance their chances of winning government contract bids and securing lucrative opportunities.

Benefits Impact
Increased revenue and profitability Secure long-term contracts with stable income
Enhanced industry reputation Attract new clients and opportunities
Access to government resources Tap into government-funded programs and initiatives
Expansion of business capabilities Growth opportunities through diversified projects

Winning Federal Contracts

Winning federal contracts requires a deep understanding of the federal contracting market. Subcontractors looking to secure federal contracts should employ effective federal procurement strategies to maximize their chances of success. Here are some key strategies to consider:

1. Familiarize Yourself with Resources

To navigate the federal contracting landscape, subcontractors should make use of resources like GovWin IQ. This platform allows businesses to track federal spending areas and identify key decision makers within federal contracting agencies. By staying informed about current and upcoming opportunities, subcontractors can position themselves for success.

2. Understand the Federal Contracting Process

It’s important to have a clear understanding of the various types of federal contracts. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and sole-source contracts each necessitate a distinct approach. Subcontractors should familiarize themselves with the specific requirements of different contract types and tailor their proposals accordingly to increase their chances of winning.

3. Establish Relationships with Federal Contracting Agencies

Building strong relationships with federal agencies and commissions is key to winning federal contracts. Engage with contracting officers and attend industry events to establish connections within the federal contracting community. By nurturing these relationships, subcontractors can gain valuable insights and increase their visibility within the government sector.

4. Ensure Compliance with Cybersecurity Requirements

In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity is a top concern for federal contracting agencies. Compliance with cybersecurity requirements, such as the Department of Defense’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), is crucial for subcontractors looking to win federal contracts. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures will demonstrate your commitment to protecting sensitive government data.

By employing these federal procurement strategies, subcontractors can position themselves as competitive candidates for federal contracting opportunities.

Winning State and Local Contracts

Winning state and local government contracts requires a strategic focus. Subcontractors should identify target buyers that align with their solutions and navigate the unique rules and processes of each government entity. Tools like GovWin IQ can help businesses track state and local government contracting opportunities. Understanding the SLED proposal process and complying with compliance requirements are essential. Scaling the approach and mastering the ins-and-outs of the process can help subcontractors submit winning proposals.

Benefits of Winning State and Local Government Contracts Challenges of Winning State and Local Government Contracts
  • Increased revenue potential
  • Business growth opportunities
  • Establishment of long-term relationships with government entities
  • Diversification of client base
  • Intense competition
  • Complex procurement processes
  • Stringent compliance requirements
  • Navigating multiple government agencies and their unique rules

Identifying Target Buyers

When pursuing state and local government contracts, subcontractors should identify target buyers who are in need of their solutions. By conducting thorough research and analyzing government agencies’ priorities, subcontractors can align their services to meet specific needs. This targeted approach enhances the chances of winning contracts and establishes credibility within the government sector.

The SLED Proposal Process

The SLED (State, Local, and Education) proposal process involves crafting comprehensive proposals that address the specific requirements outlined by government entities. Subcontractors must thoroughly understand the evaluation criteria and ensure that their proposals are compliant with all regulations. Attention to detail is key, as even a minor oversight can negatively impact the evaluation process.

Compliance Requirements

Winning state and local government contracts necessitates strict adherence to compliance requirements, which may vary from one jurisdiction to another. Subcontractors must be well-versed in these regulations, such as labor laws, minority participation requirements, and environmental standards, to ensure that all contractual obligations are met.

Winning Government Contracts for Small Businesses

Small businesses have distinct opportunities in winning government contracts. Government programs such as 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Minority-Owned Small Business (MOSB), and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOSB) Programs provide set-aside contract opportunities. By leveraging these programs, small businesses can gain a competitive advantage in the government contracting market.

One such program is the 8(a) Business Development program, which is designed to assist small businesses that are owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. This program provides a range of resources, including business development support, mentorship, and access to government set-aside contracts.

The HUBZone program promotes economic development in historically underutilized business zones. Eligible small businesses located in these designated areas can benefit from preferential treatment in federal contracting opportunities.

Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) have access to federal contracting opportunities through the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program. This program aims to promote gender diversity and provide equal access to government contracts for women-owned businesses.

Minority-owned small businesses (MOSBs) also have access to government contracting opportunities through various minority-owned business programs. These programs aim to level the playing field for minority-owned businesses and promote diversity in the government contracting sector.

Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) have unique opportunities to secure government contracts. The government sets aside contracts specifically for businesses owned by veterans with service-connected disabilities, providing them with a competitive advantage in the procurement process.

Benefits of Small Business Government Contracting Programs

These small business government contracting programs offer several benefits to eligible businesses:

  • Access to set-aside contract opportunities
  • Preferential treatment in the procurement process
  • Business development support and mentorship
  • Increased visibility and credibility
  • Networking and subcontracting opportunities

By participating in these programs, small businesses can compete effectively in the government contracting market and secure valuable contracts that can drive growth and success.

In addition to leveraging these government programs, small businesses should also focus on building relationships with prime contractors and subcontracting opportunities. Collaborating with established contractors can provide access to larger projects and enhance the chances of winning government contracts.

Overall, small businesses have a range of opportunities available to them in the government contracting market. By understanding the eligibility requirements and leveraging programs such as 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Minority-Owned Small Business (MOSB), and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOSB) Programs, small businesses can navigate the procurement process and secure government contracts that fuel their growth and success.

Winning Canadian Government Contracts

When it comes to winning Canadian government contracts, understanding the unique dynamics of the Canadian market and its bidding process is essential. Subcontractors aiming to secure government contracts should conduct thorough research to identify which entities buy goods or services that align with their business offerings and determine which regions offer attractive opportunities.

Utilizing market intelligence tools can help in identifying government contract prospects and developing a pipeline of best-fit leads. By gaining insights into the needs and preferences of the Canadian government, subcontractors can tailor their proposals and increase their chances of success.

It is crucial to recognize that doing business with the Government of Canada entails compliance requirements and unique communication and negotiation rules. Understanding the key differences between the public and private sectors is pivotal in effectively navigating the Canadian government contracting landscape.

Understanding the Canadian Market

The Canadian market offers a range of opportunities for subcontractors looking to secure government contracts. By understanding which types of government entities are potential buyers of their goods or services, subcontractors can focus their efforts on the most relevant prospects.

Furthermore, having knowledge of the Canadian regions that offer attractive opportunities can help subcontractors align their business strategies and resources accordingly. For example, certain provinces may have specific infrastructure or development projects that create demand for particular trades and services.

Utilizing Market Intelligence Tools

Market intelligence tools play a crucial role in identifying potential government contract opportunities in Canada. These tools provide valuable insights into government spending patterns, upcoming projects, and procurement initiatives.

By leveraging market intelligence platforms, subcontractors can access comprehensive data and analytics to assess the viability and competitiveness of government contracts. These tools allow for strategic planning, enabling subcontractors to focus on opportunities that align with their capabilities and target markets.

Compliance and Unique Requirements

Doing business with the Government of Canada comes with specific compliance requirements that subcontractors must adhere to. These requirements may include certifications, licensing, security clearances, and adherence to Canadian labor standards.

Additionally, communication and negotiation methods may differ between the public and private sectors in Canada. Subcontractors should be prepared to navigate these unique requirements and tailor their approaches accordingly to succeed in winning Canadian government contracts.

Teaming and Subcontracting Opportunities

Teaming and subcontracting present valuable opportunities for small businesses to grow their presence in the government contracting market. By collaborating with prime contractors and leveraging their expertise and resources, small businesses can access a broader range of government contracts while building relationships within the industry.

Joining the team of a prime contractor allows small businesses to tap into their network and reputation, opening doors to subcontracting opportunities. This collaboration enables small businesses to showcase their capabilities and gain invaluable experience working on government projects.

To facilitate these partnerships, teaming agreements and mentor-protégé programs are available. Teaming agreements outline the terms and conditions of the collaboration between the prime contractor and the subcontractor, ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship.

Additionally, mentor-protégé programs provide guidance and support to small businesses, helping them navigate the complexities of government contracting. These programs foster mentorship relationships between experienced prime contractors and small businesses, fostering growth and enhancing their competitive edge.

“By joining forces with prime contractors, small businesses can establish credibility, access a broader range of opportunities, and gain the necessary experience to thrive in the government contracting market.”

Benefits of Teaming and Subcontracting

Teaming and subcontracting can offer several key benefits to small businesses:

  • Access to a broader range of government contracts
  • Opportunity to work on larger and more complex projects
  • Networking and relationship-building with industry leaders
  • Improved credibility and reputation in the government contracting market
  • Enhanced capabilities through collaboration and knowledge sharing

Case Study: Teaming Agreement Success Story

Example Construction Company, a small business specializing in infrastructure development, entered into a teaming agreement with Prime Contractor Inc., a well-established government contractor with extensive experience in transportation projects. Through this partnership, Example Construction Company gained access to prime contracting opportunities and secured several high-profile contracts. The collaboration allowed Example Construction Company to expand its portfolio, establish a reputable track record, and position itself for further growth in the government contracting sector.

Benefits of Teaming and Subcontracting

Benefits Explanation
Access to a broader range of government contracts Joining forces with prime contractors provides access to a more extensive pool of opportunities tailored to the subcontractor’s capabilities.
Opportunity to work on larger and more complex projects By collaborating with prime contractors, small businesses can participate in projects that may be beyond their individual capacity.
Networking and relationship-building with industry leaders Teaming and subcontracting open doors to establish valuable connections with influential players in the government contracting industry.
Improved credibility and reputation in the government contracting market Partnering with prime contractors enhances the subcontractor’s reputation and credibility by association, which can lead to future opportunities.
Enhanced capabilities through collaboration and knowledge sharing Teaming and subcontracting provide opportunities for knowledge exchange, skill development, and the adoption of best practices from experienced prime contractors.

By strategically leveraging teaming and subcontracting opportunities, small businesses can position themselves for success in the competitive landscape of government contracting. Collaborating with prime contractors not only expands their access to projects but also enhances their capabilities and reputation within the industry.

Understanding the Government Contracting Acquisition Lifecycle

Successful government contractors navigate through the government contracting acquisition lifecycle by strategically targeting agencies, building relationships, and implementing growth-focused plans. Acquiring advance notice and pre-solicitation information about upcoming projects offers a competitive advantage. Likewise, comprehending contract award information and bid results helps subcontractors optimize their performance at each stage of the acquisition lifecycle.

Strategic Planning and Targeting

Government contractors must engage in strategic planning to identify target agencies and procurements that align with their capabilities and expertise. By focusing on specific agencies and understanding their procurement needs, subcontractors can tailor their proposals for improved competitiveness. Establishing relationships with agency representatives, attending industry events, and leveraging networking opportunities can further enhance the prospects of winning valuable contracts.

Gathering Advance Notice and Pre-Solicitation Information

Gaining advance notice and pre-solicitation information grants valuable insights into upcoming government projects, enabling subcontractors to prepare and position themselves for successful bidding. Monitoring sources such as FedBizOpps and relevant agency websites can provide crucial details about anticipated opportunities. By obtaining advanced information, subcontractors can fine-tune their strategies, assemble effective teams, and submit compelling proposals tailored to the specific project requirements.

Understanding Contract Award Information and Bid Results

Analyzing contract award information and bid results is essential for government contractors to refine their approaches in future bids. Studying awarded contracts, along with the associated evaluation criteria and pricing, can help subcontractors evaluate their performance and adjust their strategies accordingly. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the competition provides insights into what aspects to emphasize or improve upon in subsequent bids.

Ultimately, having a comprehensive understanding of the government contracting acquisition lifecycle empowers subcontractors to make informed decisions and optimize their chances of securing valuable government contracts.

Strategies for Navigating Volatility and Change

Government contractors must navigate through various challenges, including cybersecurity threats, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and evolving regulations. Successfully addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining stability and seizing opportunities in the government contracting market.

1. Cybersecurity Compliance

Cybersecurity compliance is a top priority for government contractors, especially with the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats. Adhering to cybersecurity standards, such as the Department of Defense’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program, is essential for safeguarding sensitive government data.

2. Supply Chain Challenges

Supply chain disruptions can have a significant impact on government contracts. Contractors need to assess their supply chains, identify vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to mitigate risks. Strengthening relationships with suppliers, diversifying sourcing options, and implementing contingency plans are key approaches to overcoming supply chain challenges.

3. Inflation Impact

The impact of inflation on project costs can significantly affect government contracts. Contractors must closely monitor inflation rates, adjust pricing strategies accordingly, and factor in potential cost fluctuations when bidding on contracts. Proactive cost management and effective negotiation skills are crucial for navigating inflationary pressures.

4. Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions can be strategic growth opportunities for government contractors. By joining forces with complementary businesses, contractors can expand their capabilities, access new markets, and increase their competitiveness. However, it is essential to conduct thorough due diligence, negotiate favorable terms, and integrate acquired companies seamlessly.

5. Leveraging New Legislation and Government Spending Initiatives

Government contractors must stay updated on new legislation and government spending initiatives, as they often present opportunities for contract awards. By understanding the requirements and objectives of these initiatives, contractors can tailor their proposals and position themselves for success. Building relationships with key decision-makers and actively participating in industry events can provide valuable insights into upcoming opportunities.

Challenges Strategies
Cybersecurity threats Comply with cybersecurity standards like CMMC
Implement robust security measures and protocols
Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices
Supply chain disruptions Assess and strengthen supply chains
Diversify sourcing options
Establish contingency plans
Inflation impact Monitor inflation rates
Adjust pricing strategies
Proactively manage costs
Mergers and acquisitions Conduct thorough due diligence
Negotiate favorable terms
Ensure seamless integration
New legislation and government spending initiatives Stay updated on new legislation and initiatives
Tailor proposals to align with objectives
Build relationships with key decision-makers

By proactively addressing cybersecurity compliance, supply chain challenges, inflation impact, and leveraging mergers and acquisitions opportunities, government contractors can navigate volatility and change successfully. Ultimately, staying informed and adaptable is key to winning and sustaining government contracts in a dynamic marketplace.

Benefits of Construction Project Management Software


Construction project management software, such as eSUB Cloud, provides numerous benefits for government contractors. This software streamlines the project management process by centralizing project data, enhancing accessibility and collaboration. With a user-friendly interface, it empowers subcontractors to efficiently manage their work independently from the prime contractor.


Centralizing Project Data: Construction project management software allows government contractors to consolidate all project information in one central location. It eliminates the need for manual record-keeping and reduces the risk of information loss. By having all project data readily available, subcontractors can easily track progress, access important documents, and make informed decisions.


Documentation Systems: Government contracts often come with strict documentation requirements. Construction project management software enables subcontractors to establish efficient documentation systems. They can create standardized templates, automate document generation, and ensure compliance with government regulations. Efficient documentation management enhances transparency and facilitates seamless audits.


Managing Work Efficiently: With construction project management software, subcontractors can effectively manage their work and stay organized. They can schedule tasks, assign responsibilities, and monitor progress in real-time. This software provides a comprehensive overview of project timelines, milestones, and dependencies. By optimizing resource allocation and communication, subcontractors can complete tasks efficiently and improve project outcomes.



Securing government contracts is a highly competitive endeavor that requires strategic bidding, thorough preparation, and strict adherence to regulations. As construction trade contractors navigate the complex landscape of government contracting, understanding the unique requirements and processes is key to maximizing opportunities.

By leveraging available resources such as SubNet, the Directory of Federal Government Prime Contractors, and USASpending.gov, subcontractors can identify and pursue suitable government contracts. Building relationships with agencies and establishing a profile on platforms like SAM.gov with a comprehensive capabilities statement is crucial for showcasing expertise.

To enhance their chances of success, subcontractors can utilize construction project management software like eSUB Cloud. This software centralizes project data, streamlines documentation processes, and helps manage work efficiently. By adopting these tools and strategies, construction trade contractors can position themselves for success in the government contracting market, securing valuable contracts and contributing to their long-term growth.

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