December 7, 2022

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Selling to the World’s Largest Customer

7 min read

Lt Col Ricky Howard

This week we’re exploring a exclusive possibility to change the world’s largest buyer of merchandise and products and services into a customer of yours.

Which is ideal, we’re conversing about selling to the federal government.

There’s practically nothing like having a shopper that can practically print the revenue!

But there’s a good deal of confusion and misunderstandings close to finding governing administration contracts so I have enlisted some qualified aid to assist us study how to do it the ideal way.

Retired Lt Col Ricky Howard of invested years on the purchasing aspect for the U.S. Office of Defense and now assists tiny enterprises like yours get their foot in the doorway.

Tune in to The Side Hustle Display interview to listen to:

  • why there are so several rewarding prospects with government contracts
  • Ricky’s suggestions and ideal tactics for winning contracts
  • how you can also win contracts performing as matchmaker or partnering with other organization owners

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The Opportunities in Authorities Contracting

“It’s an astounding opportunity that most smaller companies do not know about or don’t test. Or, if they do check out they are genuinely not absolutely sure where by to start off,” Ricky reported.

The govt is the one major purchaser of products and services in the earth, Ricky discussed.

Also, Ricky stated that the authorities is mandated by legislation to get from small corporations — at the very least 23% of their shelling out.

To give you an strategy of what that appears to be like in pounds, Ricky reported that the federal government put in about $154 billion just on little small business contracts previous calendar year on your own.

And it is not just for hefty equipment and defense provides. There is a enormous amount of money of opportunity for compact companies of all kinds to get a slice of the pie.

Just about everything that goes into the infrastructure of a town the place army personnel are based mostly requires to be sourced.

From recreational functions to building and sustaining business properties, the scope is very large.

Ricky also mentioned it is a wonderful time to pitch contracts to the government suitable now. Less than 1% of small companies are actively marketing to the government, and that number has been decreasing in current several years.

Getting Out if the Government Is Buying What You’re Offering

“In the public sector, all the data is public,” Ricky explained.

Ricky mentioned it could not be easier to uncover out who’s undertaking the expending and what is staying bought than when it comes to the federal government.

If you want to come across out if the governing administration is obtaining what you’re advertising, Ricky suggests having began by traveling to


To use the look for characteristic on USASpending to locate out if there is a desire for your expert services, Ricky gave the pursuing recommendations as an example:

  • Go to “Award Search” and pull down the menu, then decide on “Advanced Search”
  • Pick out a selection masking the past a few a long time for the most suitable data. That’ll be “FY 2023,” “FY 2022,” and “FY 2021”
  • Variety your area of interest or service into the “North American Industry Classification Program (NAICS)” box to obtain out what your governing administration code is. For instance, if your sort “Painting” into the NAICS box it’ll display you the code for portray is “238320”
  • You can now research for contracts awarded to smaller businesses providing painting companies. Ricky executed this search and could see about $253 million was used on painting about the past a few many years, and the DoD was dependable for all over $175 million of that.

This is just a rapid illustration, there is a ton far more you can do with the superior search filters readily available.

If you spend some time digging into the info you are going to be able to see the varieties of contracts on a additional granular amount.

Registering to Offer to the Governing administration

As soon as you have located that the govt is awarding contracts to businesses comparable to yours, the subsequent step is to go to

This is where by the governing administration repository of all federal contracting details is saved.

You can look up solicitation information on particular contracts, as very well as sign up your enterprise to promote to the governing administration.

Ricky said the method of registering your business enterprise is self-explanatory, but count on it to acquire a week or two for all the approvals to go as a result of.

Playing Matchmaker or Staying a Subcontractor

If you don’t have a small business or offer a provider oneself, you could act as a intermediary or matchmaker.

This is identified as currently being a govt contract “integrator.” Ricky reported being an integrator is a common enterprise product that performs perfectly.

You could also be a subcontractor and work with a bigger primary contractor. This permits you to put in a joint bid on a task and work with a different company.

This is a very good way to be awarded contracts that have been set apart for distinct small business forms of demographics that only a person of you can bid on.

There are some regulations close to how a great deal work the prime contractor has to do on a challenge, but it’s a different model that is effective nicely.

Bidding Strategy

Ricky spelled out that if you dive in and start off writing proposals and bidding on contracts, your odds of successful are heading to be really lower.

To raise your odds, Ricky advises that alternatively of filtering for requests for estimates on jobs, you filter on “requests for information” or “sources sought.”

These requests are the government trying to determine out how to address a difficulty prior to placing a solicitation jointly.

To generate a request for info, you are going to want to put alongside one another a couple of web pages of information and facts answering issues, and recommending methods as for every the proposal.

The gain of accomplishing this is that you’re producing speak to before the solicitation has appear out.

You are putting your firm identify out there as someone that can do the operate and conveying why you’re fantastic for the agreement when it’s created.

You will usually have the possibility to request a assembly in individual when filling out a request for information and facts. This is anything Ricky suggests performing as a way of introducing your business enterprise.

Bidding Very best Practices and Recommendations

When you see a solicitation that you want to place in a bid for, some strategies Ricky shared are:

  • Really do not increase anything at all that is not questioned for in the proposal, it’ll only do the job from you. Your bid is likely to be scored based mostly on how very well you followed the guidelines.
  • Look at comparable contracts that have currently been awarded to get an concept of how a great deal to bid. You can use to see for how significantly Normal Expert services Administration (GSA) contracts are getting awarded.
  • Do not be shy to reply and question what the funds looks like. Ricky claimed most organizations will be keen to explain to you what their price range is and that’ll support give you a ballpark figure.

If you are struggling to put collectively your first proposal, Ricky said you can come across another person on Upwork with practical experience producing proposals.

Seeing how a proposal is prepared up by somebody with experience and a observe history of winning bids is heading to be a huge support.

Illustrations of Clients Winning Contracts

Ricky shared a couple of illustrations of his consumers who have won government contracts a short while ago.

A person was a female who moves home furnishings for a living. She won a pair of contracts at $16k/ea transferring office household furniture.

Yet another was a girl who ran a helpdesk provider. From reaching out to the places of work and using requests for info, Ricky was capable to see that the authorities was transitioning from its legacy helpdesk process to a new procedure that served people today with disabilities.

His customer was in a position to tap into that want to transfer from a person distinct sort of helpdesk system to a further. For the previous two several years, she has billed around $1 million a yr.

What’s Future?

“I’m thrilled about growing the selection of small companies selling to the govt,” Ricky informed me.

Ricky has not too long ago set jointly a certification software as aspect of his academy that can take learners by way of the steps of winning government contracts.

If you want to understand much more and enroll in Ricky’s schooling software, he’s established a coupon code for Side Hustle show listeners that’ll give you 1-month free of charge.

Head more than to and kind “THESIDEHUSTLESHOW” in the coupon box to assert your free of charge month.

Ricky’s #1 Tip for Facet Hustle Nation

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

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