How to get your business ready to contract
Government contracting can be a great way to increase your profits,
but it can also feel a little like navigating an obstacle course. Your local Ohio APEX Accelerator at YSU can walk you through the whole process, but you can also do it on your own!
Here are some helpful tips on how you can get your small business ready for government contracting:
1. Get a DUNS number
DUNS number: Data Universal Numbering System (Dun & Bradstreet number)
A DUNS number is like a social security number for your business credit or financial information. It consists of a unique nine-digit identification number which provides credibility to your brand and allows your team and others who may want to do business with you to easily gain more information about your business. In other words, the number is used as a unique identifier for your company when creditors, vendors, or potential partners want to find more information.
To apply for a DUNS number, visit DUNS Request Service.
2. Identify your NAICS code(s)
NAICS Code: North American Industry Classification System
You’ll need to match your products and services to one or several NAICS Code/s. This code classifies your product or service and makes it easier for the government agencies to find your particular business.
To find your NAICS code, view the NAICS code list at the U.S. Census Bureau.
3. Measure Your “Small” Business
To register in government procurement your business needs to qualify as a “small business”. The Small Business Administration (SBA) assigns a size standard to each NAICS code, but to determine if your business qualifies as “small” for government contracting purposes you can also use the SBA’s Size Standards Tool.
4. Register with SAM
In order to make your business ready to participate in government contracting you need to register your business in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is a database where the government agencies search to find contractors. As you register, make sure to create a comprehensive business profile, because the more information the government agencies can find about your company, the easier it will be for them to see your potential as a government contractor.
5. Maintain Compliance
Doing business with the government is slightly different than non-government customers. There are laws and regulations you need to comply with. Find more information here: Federal Acquisition Regulation, 13 CFR 125. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) form government solicitations and contracts. Understanding how the government builds contracts can help you with bidding, marketing and networking. The clauses and provisions teach you what you can and cannot do.
Need Help Getting Your Business Ready to Contract?
The process of getting ready to contract can be confusing but the Ohio APEX Accelerator at YSU is here to help every step of the way! The Ohio APEX Accelerator at YSU connects small business owners in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties that can provide business opportunities to the federal government. The Ohio APEX Accelerator at YSU will support the economic growth of your existing business as you enter the government contracting markets by providing excellent consulting services and training programs.