Many small businesses seek to expand the scope of their business by choosing to bid on government contracts. The bidding process for government projects is also referred to as the contracting process and is used to choose the most suitable service provider for a specific service.
The Bidding Process for Government Projects
The bidding process presents the best way of evaluating the competency of the business before the project is awarded to them. The following are the important steps in the bidding process.
- Requesting proposals: This is the first step, where the project team issues an ITB (invitation to bid) to start the bidding process. The contract manager would then prepare a package with details on the project specifications.
- Bid preparation: After the request for a proposal or ITB is released, the interested parties will evaluate the proposal and bid for the same.
- Evaluation and selection of bids: After collecting all the bids, the contact manager compares them against their criteria. The best service provider vendor is not selected based on the amount they quote but based on the MEAT criteria. MEAT refers to economically advantageous to contractors.
- Awarding the contract: This is the final stage, where the project is awarded to the preferred service provider or vendor.
Simple steps to be followed by small businesses to attract government contracts
Government contracts are generally offered as open contracts and allow procurement to happen pretty, without prejudice. Government contracts are offered as open contracts, selective contracts, or negotiated contracts. Irrespective of the type of government contracts, here are some simple steps to follow to attract them.
- Do adequate research and planning:
Doing adequate research is mandatory before bidding for a government contract. It is compulsory to establish the qualifications of the company to meet the needs of the project. Planning and research will also help to substantiate if the company has the required resources to meet the contact criteria. In this phase, SMEs should take their own business plan as the source of information, make use of the bid request, and match the relevance between their business plan and the bid requirements. It is also important to research the bid offering agency and use the information in framing the bid in a way that meets the needs of its requirements.
- Preparing the Bid:
One essential criterium in preparing the bid is to highly the plan so that your company can meet the requirements of the bid request. It is important to take into account the material cost, the time to complete the project, and the labor required to complete the bid. The company quoting the best price and will be capable of meeting the needs of the bid would alone get the contract. Rather than quoting the lowest cost, it is mandatory to justify the costs based on the needs of the project.
- Bid Submission:
The majority of government agencies make use of different online portals to accept bids. It is thus essential that the bid manager of the company understands how the portals work and make sure the document reaches the right place and at the right time. Some organizations might require printed bids, though the digital formats are highly accepted for ease of distribution among stakeholders. It is essential to follow the instructions and submit the bid accordingly.
- Presentation of performance:
In the modern digital world, companies are expected not just to submit their bids in paper format, but to offer presentations of their services through online or offline meetings. Before participating in the presentation, it is important to prepare for common questions about the bid, and substantiate why your company is the best for the project. It is important to flaunt the quality of services and labor offered at the price quoted during this presentation.
- Getting the contract:
The bidding company should find out when the contract would be awarded. As the timeline is subject to change, it is mandatory to stay prepared at the earliest, to meet the requirements of the contract. Though the project is not expected to start immediately after delegation, it is still mandatory to start ahead of schedule to respect the deadlines. Communication with the agency lead is the key, as it also helps to keep the project on track. Being professional and completing all these steps on time, increases the chances of getting more bids in the future.
Getting contracts from the Federal and State Governments is a fortune for many SMEs. Taking hold of the opportunity will make all the difference in the growth of the company. Set Aside is an exceptional online portal that helps SMEs with such contract opportunities by sending alerts to businesses. Registering the business with their portal will ponder all the details, deadlines, and specializations to attract Federal and State Contracts, matched to the business capabilities. Mysetaside portal also offers a free 30-day trial with no commitments. Use the opportunity and win government contracts to trace the winning path of your company.