Increase Your Business Revenue by Obtaining Federal Government Small Business Projects


By Maliha S. Mian, Attorney

The federal government spends billions of dollars each year purchasing a variety of goods and services and a significant amount of that is spent with owners and operators of small and medium sized businesses.

Learning how to successfully sell to the U.S. government (the world’s largest buyer of goods and services) can be a daunting task. The solicitations (projects) can be extremely long, confusing, and inundated with regulations which can be quite overwhelming to small and medium sized businesses. Add to the massive information (or lack thereof) of these solicitations, the quick expected response time hinders the chance of many small businesses competing.

Moreover, the following frustrating questions may present themselves:

How do you find the projects? Does your business qualify? How does one price the goods/services? Once awarded, how does the business maintain compliance and not breach the contract?

Here are some suggested approaches:

  1. Update your company’s business plan highlighting special skills and expertise that would be of interest to government agencies.
  • It’s important to identify your strengths.
  • How is your product/service different and is it more advantageous compared to competitors?
  1. Review your company’s marketing strategy and goals.
  • Develop a marketing plan that identifies government agencies that buy small business products/services.
  • Set attainable goals.
  • Consider subcontracting opportunities.
  • Research the subcontracting opportunities and key players.
  • Engage in strategic networking.
  1. Learn the federal procurement process and terms or team up with those who do.
  • Learn how to register or become certified.
  • Find a team that can assist you with registration, certification, searches for projects that match your capabilities, determining whether your business qualifies, and/or assist with bid preparation.
  • Practice reading through a few solicitations to see if you are able to handle the amount of administrative and legal legwork it entails.
  • Create a tracking system for projects you want, projects you submitted proposals, projects awarded to you, and projects not awarded to you with detailed information as to why it was not awarded to you and who it was awarded to.
  1. Get a good idea of pricing/cost of your goods/services.
  • Where can you cut costs to be more competitive?
  • Do you have reliable vendors that can supply you quickly?
  • Do you have more than one vendor for each component/part/supply that you may turn to in the event the preferred vendor is unavailable or changes the quote?
  • Do you have subcontracting options (i.e. can you subcontract out part of the supplies and/or labor to third party)?
  1. Keep in mind, the lowest bid may not be enough. Capabilities and quality of work are huge determining factors as well.
  • For each solicitation, the company’s background needs to be tailored to show off your business’s expertise and capabilities.
  • Do not forget items like timely communication, quick response time, etc.
  • Prepare a list of references and/or refer jobs completed that illustrate your business’s capabilities and quality of work.
  1. Create a project plan/schedule.
  • When is the response date?
  • Is there a pre-conference meeting?
  • When is the submission of questions deadline?
  • When is the expected timeframe for awarding the project?
  • Once awarded, how long do you have to perform for deliverables?
  • When and how do you have to submit invoicing?

All in all, to be successful at obtaining government projects, you need to know of opportunities; your strengths and capabilities; how to read, select and qualify for a project; and how to prepare a bid for a project. Furthermore, you have to understand that the procurement of a government project is essentially a process. That being said, there are strategic ways to minimize cost, compete for such projects, and increase your business revenue. You can always tailor a process and make it advantageous for you.


Maliha S. Mian, Attorney is with the Mian Law Firm P.L.L.C. located at 10998 S. Wilcrest Drive, Suite 198, Houston, Texas 77099. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at


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