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1. Build Relationships with Government Officials and Potential Partners

You may be very familiar with this concept in the commercial market, and it’s just as important in the government marketplace, although it can be a little tricky. We encourage you to reach out to decision-makers and develop relationships with them. Attend networking events, conferences, and trade shows to connect with potential customers and partners. Building government relationships can be a long-term process, but it is essential for businesses that want to establish themselves in the public sector. Here are some steps to consider:

· Build Relationships with the Right People

Building relationships with government officials can take time, but the hard work will in due course will pay off. Keep focused on your goals, learn about the industry and government requirements, and be prepared to take the lead on opportunities when they arise.

· Establish Relationships with Government Officials

Develop relationships with government officials such as procurement officers, small business advocates, and other government employees. Conduct informational interviews, attend public meetings, and look for opportunities to meet with government officials. Remember that networking is a two-way street – find ways to be helpful to government contacts and they may be more inclined to reciprocate.

Remember, developing government relationships is not a one-time occurrence. New relationships need continuing attention and commitment. By devoting the time and effort to form these relationships, your business can earn the long-term benefits of government contracting.

· Network with Other Businesses

Of course, we can’t forget about your peers and competitors. We’ll delve into this later on, but don’t hesitate to speak with other businesses that work with government agencies. They may have insights into upcoming opportunities or recommendations on how to research and pursue government contracts. Being active on professional platforms such as LinkedIn will create higher visibility for your business in a targeted community.

2. Understand the Government Procurement Process

Familiarize yourself with the government procurement rules, regulations, and procedures. This could include attending informational meetings or engaging with procurement officers. Understanding the rules of engagement will be necessary to participate in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and other procurement opportunities.

This includes understanding the opportunities available to you as a contractor. For example, if you are a small business, you will have access to certain small business designations. These are government programs that benefit small businesses and can often provide opportunities for building relationships with key government officials. These programs include but are not limited to: Women-Owned, 8a, Veteran-Owned, and HUBZone small businesses. Through these programs you can gain exposure, strengthen relationships and win government contracts, and get access to unique contracting opportunities.

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