How do I prepare my business to meet the expectations of the federal government?
You prepare your business to work with the federal government in much the same way you would prepare to work with any large customer. It is important that you have the resources and infrastructure in place to meet the requirements of a contract.
- Do you have an accountant that has some understanding of the requirements of federal contracts?
- Do you have an acceptable accounting system? Your accounting system must:
- Track your income and expenses
- Be able to segregate your income and expenses
- Follow the Federal accounting rules as directed in FAR Part 31
- Do you know what is allowable and what is not?
- Do you have the financial support needed – or can you acquire the additional financing that could be required?
- Do you have the resources necessary to support the development of your government market segment? These resources would be applied to staff time, training, travel, marketing materials, networking, web presence development, bid/proposal preparation and communications.
- The Federal government is becoming increasingly web-based, from start to finish. Do you have the hardware/ software/ internet capability to conduct business with the federal government?
- Are you and/or your staff computer literate?
- Have you done market research? Do you know who your competitors are? Do you understand the funding and sales cycle for your product or service? Do you understand how the federal budget and priorities will affect your sales?
- Have you become familiar with the Federal Small Business programs and evaluated the potential benefit to your business? Do you have your required registrations/ certifications completed? At a minimum, all federal contractors must be registered in the System for Award Management SAM.
Capability and Performance
- Do you have the required expertise to complete the contract successfully? If required, can you locate and either subcontract or hire additional expertise – production, administration or technical professionals.
- Do you have a good track record or good past performance? Can you show a history of on time delivery and compliance with your contracts?
- Is your quality and capability level where it needs to be for the market that you are developing? For example, if you are in manufacturing, are you ISO certified? If you will be working with certain primes or agencies, could you qualify for ITAR?
- Do you have access to experts who are knowledgeable in federal contracting and related issues, e.g. legal, accounting, etc.?
If you need help, contact WPI staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 414-270-3600.