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Five Things to Know about Government Contracts

Get to know your local support agency: Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

Have you thought about bidding for a government contract? We are here to help!

Below you can learn more about whether to consider pursuing government contracts and how to win them.

Who is the government looking to work with?

  • The government works with many types of business. You can see this by looking around a government office – from office supplies to services like technical support, most everything in there has been procured on a government contract.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a government contract?

  • Advantage: In a government contract, your business receives consistent work and reliable pay.
  • Advantage: Typically, the government pays within 90 days of completion of a contract or milestone.
  • Disadvantage: The up-front costs of labor and materials may be a challenge for your business.
  • Disadvantage: If you fail to perform adequately on a contract you and your business could be debarred from getting further contract opportunities.

Where can I find government contracts?  

  • You can find federal government contracts online at https://sam.gov/content/home
  • For opportunities with state government, cities, schools, and tribes, you may find their requests for proposals on their websites.

How can I strengthen my bid?

  • Government contracts seek applications with strong business plans and two years of experience in the commercial sector.
  • Having experience as a sub-contractor can strengthen your bid.
  • Additionally, your capabilities statement is significant. This document is a one-page description of your business and a list of your NAICS codes.  One way to strengthen this document is to include brief testimonials about your products or services.

Who can provide resources for my application? 

Learn more about how the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Business Impact NW can help your small business.

Support from PTAC:

  • PTAC offers help to businesses seeking government contracts. From understanding contracts and practical training, to verifying business owner status, PTAC serves small businesses through every step of a government contract.
  • PTAC provides support for working with federal, state, and local government contracts.
  • For additional information, visit their website,  https://washingtonptac.org/services-we-offer/

Support from Business Impact NW:

  • Our team is ready to guide business owners through creating business plans, building financial projections and exploring funding opportunities.
  • More information to Launch Your Business, Grow Your Business and Fund Your Business is available on our website.
  • You can access a great deal of live and recorded training on the Govology platform by going through your business coach at Business Impact NW. When you do, the courses are free of charge.

Certification for Women-Owned and Veteran-Owned Businesses:

  • The federal government wants to contract with Diverse, Veteran,  Service-Disabled and Women-owned businesses.
  • There are many levels of certification. For example, to do business with the VA, you will have to get certified as Service – Disabled Veteran Owned Business by the Vets First Program. If you want to do so, chat with your business coach to determine which certifications you’ll want to pursue.

About the author

steve w-o headshot
Steve Watts-Oelrich
VBOC Program Director at Business Impact NW

Steve entered the Air Force right out of high school. During his time on active duty, he obtained his B.S. Degree in Workforce Education, Training and Development. After serving 8 years, Steve honorably separated from the military and began law school a short time later. While in law school, he did a legislative externship to assist homeless parents in Washington State and he was elected Student Bar Association Treasurer. Steve got his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 1999. Upon passing the bar, Steve went into partnership with a law school classmate and then ultimately went solo. After closing the firm, Steve went to work as a counselor for incarcerated youth. He subsequently worked for some tech companies in a role of recruitment and training.

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