The Contender

Billions of dollars are available in government contracting. Are you ready to do business?

Follow the money. To start bidding, check out Fbo.gov, which offers federal government procurement opportunities of more than $25,000. Government buyers publicize their business opportunities by posting the information directly to the site. Set-aside contracts for small business owners are imbedded in the FAR under the small business programs section. And becoming a General Service Administration schedule contractor is also an option. Through the GSA Schedule program, the GSA establishes long-term contracts that allow agencies to order certain commercial suppliers and services directly from GSA contractors. Check out www.gsa.gov/schedules.

Team up. Consider teaming up with a small business in your industry. This will increase your chances of getting a contract you may otherwise not be able to win on your own. Also, consider subcontracting with larger firms. Large businesses with prime contracts exceeding $550,000 (except construction, which is $1 million) must provide a plan with subcontracting opportunities for all categories of small businesses, according to the SBA. Check out the SBA’s SUB-Net, a searchable database prime contractors use to post subcontracting opportunities.

The story originally appeared in the July 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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