Federal Business Opportunities (FBO)– 4 Steps to Start Bidding on Government Contracts
Have you ever considered doing business with the Federal Government of the United States of America?
It’s easy to think of government contracts as something only for big businesses, but the U.S. federal government actually contracts out all kinds of services to companies of all sizes.
Maybe you’ve never considered that a service business like your landscape or asphalt company could expect to land a contract with the federal government, but there are already small companies out there paving, mowing and doing other service work on federal sites every day. Why aren’t you?
Who needs work done?
The U.S. government contracts out many kinds of services. Federal agencies ranging from the military to the Department of Energy to the US Forestry service all contract out important work, and landing one of these deals could mean a big payday right now and guaranteed paydays for years to come.
Can I apply?
The good news is that as a U.S. company, you’re probably already qualified to bid on some government work, if you know how. The bad news is that bidding for a government job is a bit like applying for a loan while doing your taxes, especially if you are bidding jobs on sites where the military or intelligence services have increased security in place. Yes there are some hoops to jump through, but once you’re registered, you can start finding and bidding on lucrative government contracts.
What kinds of jobs are out there?
The inventory of government solicitations for work is constantly changing, but we sampled a few this week (8/20/2015). Here are just a few examples of recent and current Federal Business Opportunity jobs:
- The 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham Alabama is seeking a fixed price contract for services for milling, overlay, patching and repair of asphalt roadways. Estimated budget $500,000 – $1,000,000.
- The Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Coast Guard) just awarded a $9,625 contract for mowing and grounds maintenance of their New Orleans office for one year.
- The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group is soliciting bids for mowing and trimming vegetation on approximately 4,242 acres at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. The solicitation is for a 1 year contract with 4 one-year option periods.
- One of our customers just won a $149,000 contract to plant trees on land managed by the BIA. We probably shouldn’t say who or where.
- The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting bids to clear trees and brush from 26 acres in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.
- The DOD is soliciting bids to seal 25,000 linear feet of asphalt cracks at a facility in Patuxent River, MD
This may or may not be a “normal” sample, but it’s clear that governmental agencies across America (and elsewhere) contract out asphalt maintenance and landscape care on a regular basis. It’s also clear that some of these are huge jobs that could have a huge impact on a small company’s revenues.
I’m interested. How can you get started?
To apply for FBO opportunities, your business will first need to register as a Federal Contractor. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lists 4 steps to getting started:
- Obtain a D-U-N-S Number
- Register your Business with the System of Award Management (SAM)
- Find the NAICS Codes for Your Company
- Obtain Past Performance Evaluations
Items You’ll Need to Get Registered
- Your NAICS codes
- Your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
- Your Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN orEIN)
- Your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes
- YourProduct Service codes (optional but useful)
- YourFederal Supply Classification codes (optional but useful)
Here are a few helpful links to help you get started.
To read guidance from the SBA on the entire process:
To Search Current Federal Solicitations:
To research worksites and map jobs for estimating
But is it worth it?
In the end, each company should decide if Federal Business Opportunities are right for you. The process is bureaucratic, and it might take some time to get all set up. But it’s clear that the U.S. government has work to do and that they pay real money to get it done.
You might have to register employees who will go onsite, and rules for each contracting agency might differ, but if you have the patience and the resources to get yourself set up, the rewards can be substantial.
There’s a lot of money to be made. No use letting the other guys get it all!
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