10 Tips for Women-owned Businesses Seeking Government Contracts

For Spend Matters’ weekly focus on public procurement, we take a look at Public Spend Forum’s 10 tips for how women-owned small businesses can succeed in government contracting.

The public-sector opportunity for women-owned business has improved somewhat in recent years. In 2017, the government hit a goal of having 5% of its contracts go to companies owned by women. That percentage represents $17.8 billion, so there’s more money to be made.

PSF sees this as the new baseline, with a lot of room to grow above the 5%. To help do that, it offers these 10 tips:

  1. Determine if your business can service the federal government as a customer.
  2. Register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM).
  3. Determine if you’re eligible for set-asides.
  4. Certify your business with the Small Business Administration as a woman-owned business. (If you qualify for set-asides, you need to register as a women-owned business with the SBA. Register online here. It’s a self-certification process.)
  5. Sign up for bid notifications.
  6. Research procurement forecasts.
  7. Network at government contracting events.
  8. Choose a strategic teaming partner.
  9. Analyze the agency’s mission so you can target your bid to its needs.
  10. Stay determined.

For details on each tip, more helpful links and some history on programs for women-owned businesses, see the full story here.

The SBA added 36 new industry categories where women can now compete for sole-source awards and set-aside contracts, PSF said, also stating that there’s a ways to go to award the underrepresentation of women-owned businesses in government contracting, but now is a great time to get involved.

The article details a couple of public-private efforts to get more women involved. They are the ChallengeHER and Give Me 5 programs.

And for a look at GovShop, the online tool to find, research and connect with private-sector suppliers, go here.

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