Thanks to reports from Victory in Procurement, an initiative of OPEN by American Express, we know that first-time federal contractors have to work harder than ever to win their first contracts. OPEN surveyed 740 business owners who reported that their investment on the road to success has jumped from an average of $86,124 to over $103,000.
Spending more doesn't shorten the road to success. You can still expect to spend about 20 months to win that first federal contract.
Here are the tips that successful business owners offer to make your road shorter than theirs:
- Start small…and be persistent. 67% of companies win more federal business within 12 months of landing their first contract.
- Pursue subcontracting – nearly half of active federal contractors have also performed on subcontracts over the past three years that have driven 25% of their procurement revenues.
- Ensure that government business is part of your core growth strategy.
- Target government buyers with clear needs that you can meet.
- Develop relationships through calls on agencies, outreach sessions, matchmaking events, and associations.
- DO look into GSA Schedules...but don't assume they're right for you. Less than 50% of first time contractors do business through a GSA Schedule. First, find out how your target buyers purchase, and how your competitors sell.