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Three common mistakes to avoid when doing business with the Federal Government


When you’re looking to grow your small business, one option is to tap into the steady flow of federal contracts offered by Uncle Sam. Doing business with the federal government can provide a reliable revenue stream, if you’re persistent and plan properly. If you are interested in doing business with Uncle Sam, here are three common mistakes to avoid:


1. Don’t market to every federal agency. Instead of blindly casting the widest net, take time to understand each government agency’s mission by checking the “procurement forecast” on their individual websites. This will detail what the specific agency needs, when it needs it, and what kind of business is eligible.


2. Another way to see what contracts are available is to check the Federal Business Opportunities website under the “Opportunities” tab. As you scroll down the column showing the “Type” of jobs, look for those that are titled: “Sources Sought.” These are potential opportunities the government is researching and it’s looking for small businesses that can take it on. Look closely at those postings as they often include an agent’s contact information, so you can reach out directly, Martin-Rosa says.


3. Don’t pass up a face-to-face meeting. Getting government contracts is about networking and building relationships. There are many opportunities to meet with federal officers who make the contract decisions. For example, there’s a National Small Business Contracting week every year and the National Association of Business Contractors offers information about upcoming meetings and conferences.

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