The US department of defense is given access to over 700 billion dollars per year to ensure the security of the country. Portions of that money will go to vendors (via the DoD acquisition process) that make bids on various contract jobs the defense department deems necessary as part of its security mission.
Are you a seller that likes to make money? If you are, netting one of those lucrative government contracts is something you should aim for. If you can land one, your life will almost certainly change for the better!
But what goes into getting chosen via the DoD acquisition process? What do you need to do before you can even be considered for a government contract?
In this post, our team breaks down basic tips to take to potentially secure your financial future via a government partnership.
1. Get Registered
Before you can become a defense contractor, your business will need to be vetted and registered. Why the vetting process? As a DoD vendor, you’ll have unique knowledge regarding the workflows the United States leans on to uphold security. If you had the motivation to subvert that security, you knowing system’s ins and outs would present a serious threat.
In preparation for your registration in the government’s contractor database and vetting, the best advice we can give you is to run your business and your life with integrity to avoid raising suspicion. If your record is clean and there’s no reason why your patriotism would be questioned, begin the registration process here with confidence.
2. Do Your Homework
The military has stringent standards when it comes to the items it buys and the vendors it works with. Do you know what those standards are for the line of business you’re in? If you don’t, get educated before you start engaging people of interest in your pursuit of a contract.
Nothing will hamper your chances of getting taken seriously more than showcasing ignorance.
Military standards for the products/services you’re selling vary based on your line of business. Look for people that have received government contracts in the past, within your industry, to take in up-to-date guidance from experienced OTA government contracting participants.
Information won’t be publicly available in a user-friendly, comprehensive format so digging will be required.
You’ve registered with the appropriate databases, you’ve done your homework on what your customer is looking for. Your next step towards enjoying the fruits of a successful DoD acquisition process will now be to start making friends.
Anybody you can meet at the Department of Defense or political people that have connections to the DoD could be invaluable to getting your bid looked at. After all, the moment the government requests proposals, thousands of business owners like you will throw their hats into the ring.
What’s often the difference between a proposal being looked at versus being ignored is knowing somebody that can shine extra light on what you’re offering.
4. Lean on Military Service
When we talk to people about networking to improve their chances of landing DoD contracts, the main question we get is, “How?”
Our response to that is that there aren’t any shortcuts to finding people in and around your home or work community that can help you make inroads with the Department of Defense. The closest thing to a shortcut we can suggest is having military service under your belt.
By working in the military, even for a short, 4-year stint, you’ll almost certainly come into contact with people that end up working at the DoD or know somebody that does.
Don’t have military service and aren’t interested in enrolling? Consider hiring a consultant who has served who will help you build inroads you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to acquire on your own.
5. Draft a Proposal
Like any business, when contracts are offered by the government, you’ll have to draft a proposal that conforms to government standards to bid on that contract. Typically, proposals will include what you’ll do for the government, what it will cost them, and any other contingencies you may have as part of your offer.
A consultant that has successfully drafted proposals for DoD contracts should look yours over. They can ensure that what you’ve created conforms with standards that are likely to get your proposal read.
You’ll also want an attorney to look over your work as an extra means of ensuring your proposal doesn’t put your company in a bad spot due to vague verbiage.
6. Prepare for Scrutiny
If you’ve followed the tips above, you’ve put yourself in a great position to have your DoD acquisitions process go well. If you’re exceptionally fortunate, your bid may even get accepted and you’ll win a contract.
If that happens, brace yourself for scrutiny.
The United States is extremely polarized and opposing parties, media organizations, and citizens are always on the lookout for opportunities to poke holes in the current administration’s decisions that involve tax dollars.
If necessary, hire a PR professorial to help you navigate any blow-back with as much grace as possible.
A Successful DoD Acquisition Could Put Your Company on the Map
When the DoD chooses to do business with your company, you’ll enjoy lucrative, potentially life-changing support. Look beyond that DoD acquisition win though. With the buy-in of the DoD, you’ll enjoy credibility that’ll help you land other private and government contracts going forward.
That could lead to a landslide of revenue.
We hope the guidance we’ve shared helps you attain that momentum. Should you need additional help with anything business-related, explore more of the latest content on our blog.