This simple quiz can tell you if you’re really cut out for government contracts. Do you have what it takes? Is your small business ready for contracting with the government?
Take the quiz to get an idea of just where you stand!
Do you have the desire and the patience to succeed?
As mentioned before, government is not a quick fix. Infarct, it can get very confusing and costly to a small business if not approached correctly.
So what is the right approach? Being very persistent when planting the seeds, and then being patient enough to allow them seeds to grow.
Are you goal and detailed oriented?
Without goals do we really get anywhere? If we do, how do we know when we get there?
When working with contracts, it is best to set bid and contact goals. These goals can be setup on a weekly or monthly basis. What good is having these goals if we don’t track them? Follow up on those bids you have out and see where you stand.
Documentation is key when it comes to anything we do in life. In order for to be making adjustments, you need to know where to make them.
Documenting can not only help you make adjustments, but it also protects liability. To clarify, the liability is always on the contractor. Therefore, it is very important to document everything in detail, step by step.
Can you follow complex scope of work and other instructions?
Contract language can be a bit confusing at times, but the good news is that it only lasts for a little while. Once you get the hang of things you notice that it gets very repetitious.
Do you love day to day challenges?
I have to be honest with you; contracting doesn’t always go smooth. Things pop up, such as material or part being obsolete, or even a welding certification that was overlooked.
You must be able to respond quickly to these day to day issues. Otherwise you will not be able to make delivery; resulting in your company’s reputation being tarnished
Are you looking to expand your business?
With the United States Government being the world’s largest buyer of parts and products, expanding your business through government contracts can be very rewarding.
However, too many small businesses enter the government out of desperation, thinking that it will be a quick fix. So not true!
That being said, the time to look for work is when you have it This allows you to cherry pick for that perfect opportunity.
Are you willing to commit the time it takes to succeed?
While it is true that some companies enter the market and start winning awards. However, this is not the norm.
I tell my clients that if they are not willing to commit at least 12 months to build the government side of their business, then it is not the right time for them.
It takes time to build momentum and understanding. Once this has been accomplished you’re quicker to respond and more competitive. Thus seeing more contract awards.
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Is Your Business Ready?
Do you have a Quality Assurance Program?
Most of us already have some kind of quality program we use for our commercial customers. Although it may not always be in written form, we do following something.
You do not need to be ISO certified in order to actively compete on government bids. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about government contracting.
The truth is, only about 10% of available bids require an ISO certification. That being said, why spend the money to become certified, just implement a program that mimics the ISO standard.
If you do not have such a program, the question becomes are you willing to achieve it?
Do you have an acceptable accounting system?
This is pretty much self-explanatory because most of us have this already. By definition an approved accounting method can be a program like Quicken, Quick Books or any other accounting software.
To clarify, you must able to track costs (in detail), of doing the job. The other requirement is that your accounting method be done on an accrual basis and not cash basis.
Do you have the financial means to support government contracts?
Most of the time a small business can be paid within 2 weeks of acceptance, thanks in part to Obama. However, there are projects that can take months to complete and without adequate resources you will find it hard to stay a float.
One way around this is to stay away from big complex jobs until you are financially capable of staying a float. Another way is to focus on fast turn around jobs. These are less demanding on financial resources.
Ok, now that you have taken our quiz, let’s see how you did. So how many questions did you answer yes to?
1- 3 You’re not cut out for government contracts.
4 – 7 You need to better prepare.
8 – 9 Congratulations, you should be doing government contracts and basking in its rewards!