What I Wish Everyone Knew About Selling To The Federal Government!
This is the first of the series of articles I plan to write on the nexus of the Federal Government, Industry, and Innovation. The goals of these articles are two fold. First to inform organizations of the vast opportunity in the US Federal Government space and help them pursue, win, and execute projects and programs successfully. Second, we also want to increase the US business participation rate in the federal government contracts and grants from less than 1% it is today, to 2% in the future and there by increasing the competitiveness, efficiency, and the effectiveness of the Federal Government. These articles are part of the ScaleUP USA’s — Digital Business Growth Accelerator Program.
The US Federal Government Opportunity:
Did you know that the US Federal Government is the world’s largest customer spending approximately over $1.1 trillion annually through grants and contracts on products and services each year? In FY 2016 alone, the US Federal Government spent $666B on grants and $461B on contracts. Yet only a fraction, by our estimates less than 1% of all the 28+ million businesses in the US ever sought to do business with the US Federal Government. There is a big opportunity here and you should explore it today by learning to sell to the US Federal Government!
Why Learn to Sell to the US Federal Government?
First, the federal opportunity is very big. You can build a sizable business just working with the feds! Plus, unlike the state and local governments, the Federal Government procurement regulations while a little complicated are standardized for civilian and defense and once you learn them, are applicable to all agencies. The feds pay on time and conduct work across the entire nation. They have many set-aside programs for various classes of businesses (more below). Finally, the Federal Government can act as a hedge for economic downturns like the financial crises in 2008. In such times the Federal Government increases spending through stimulus programs. For all these reasons, it is critical that you have the Federal Government as one of your major customers.
Who Should Learn to Sell to the US Federal Government?
The short answer to the question is — all entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profits, and even the state and local governments should explore these opportunities because the Federal Government pretty much buys everything through contracts and awards a large number of grants for the public good! The truth of the matter is that the Federal Government has projects going in all parts of the country and you have a chance to work for it either directly (prime) or indirectly (subcontractor). But here are some specifics of who should specifically explore these opportunities:
a) Fedpreneurs: These are entrepreneurs seeking to focus on Federal Government start-up business opportunities.
b) Women Owned Businesses: The feds have a special “set-aside” category of projects for them.
c) Veteran Owned Businesses: The feds have a special “set-aside” category of projects for them.
d) Disadvantaged Businesses: Businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
e) Hub Zone Businesses: Businesses in designated historically underutilized business zones in the US.
f) Small and Medium Businesses: With innovative and transformative products/approaches.
g) Large Businesses: With the industry proven transformative products, methodologies, and successes.
h) Non-Profits: Interested in federal grants and contracts for innovative or proven programs.
i) State and Local Governments: Interested in winning federal grants for economic development.
The Impact of Winning Federal Opportunities:
Obviously, if you win federal grants or contracts you will secure federal funds to complete the program or project you proposed to the government. But the impact of these wins goes far beyond you. The best way to measure this impact is what we at ScaleUP USA call is the CJC factor and the impact on your community including economic success. CJC stands for Companies, Jobs, and Competitiveness. Specifically:
· Companies: New companies created, grown or saved from closure
· Jobs: New jobs created, grown or saved from retrenchment
· Competitiveness: Increased revenues, increased profits or decreased losses
I, therefore, encourage the companies interested in the Federal Government opportunities to work with their local economic development organizations, entrepreneurship centers, small business accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and university clubs to create local Growth Acceleration Centers. If you need help setting one up, contact ScaleUP USA!
Top 25 Federal Government Contract Winners in 2016:
Lockheed is the strong winner in this category. Typically, Defense, Aerospace, Technology, and Infrastructure companies are some of the biggest federal contractors.
This list of Federal Contractors are the professional experts! They know how to sell to the US Federal Government! Learn from their best practices!
FEDERAL CONTRACTORS NAME — 2016 REVENUES IN $
1. LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION — $44,086,299,179
2. THE BOEING COMPANY — $26,451,364,554
3. GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION — $14,472,485,555
4. RAYTHEON COMPANY — $13,474,913,908
5. NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION — $9,592,871,015
6. MCKESSON CORPORATION — $8,635,682,449
7. UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION $6,479,026,829
8. BAE SYSTEMS PLC — $5,241,991,291
9. L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS INC. — $5,052,114,046
10. BECHTEL GROUP INC. — $4,928,575,473
11. HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES INC. — $4,560,250,042
12. HUMANA INC. — $3,653,051,211
13. BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON HOLDING CORPORATION — $3,574,400,099
14. HEALTH NET INC. — $3,126,158,331
15. AECOM — $3,051,969,210
16. UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INCORPORATED — $3,013,874,909
17. SAIC GEMINI INC. — $2,551,493,933
18. LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY LLC — $2,450,846,570
19. BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE — $2,367,254,758
20. HARRIS CORPORATION — $2,345,813,816
21. BELL BOEING JOINT PROJECT OFFICE — $2,281,497,529
22. CACI INTERNATIONAL INC — $2,268,185,360
23. HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. — $2,256,947,482
24. NORTHROP GRUMMAN SYSTEMS CORPORATION. $2,232,073,734
25. CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. $2,148,918,866
Source: USA Spending Website.
Searching US Federal Government Opportunities:
Searching for federal contracts and grant opportunities are simple, though I must accept applying and winning federal opportunities is complicated requiring learning, time, effort, and patience. The best place to review federal contracts is FBO (https://www.fbo.gov/) and for federal grants is Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov/). Check them out to see if you find some eligible opportunities to explore! Also, review the above embedded “Doing Business with the Government” video and then learn how to pursue some of these opportunities strategically and systematically by enrolling in one of our accelerator’s pay as you go ($99 per month) or lump sum ($499) online program.
Applying for US Federal Government Opportunities:
Unfortunately, for those who do or plan to do business with the government, there is no formal learning process to vision, strategize, plan, implement, and continuously improve their federal business growth strategy. Many therefore muddle their way and lead by trial and error and often fail. We, therefore, designed the Federal Business Accelerator Program after significant research, brainstorming, pilots, and interviews with government and industry professionals. The program is delivered digitally to desktop or mobile devices, is always on, highly scalable, low investment, very affordable, requires no equity dilution, and operates across America. ScaleUP USA’s goal is to increase the US business participation rate in the federal government contracts and grants from less than 1% today to 2% in the future and there by increase the competitiveness, efficiency and the effectiveness of the Federal Government.
Start reviewing, applying, and winning federal opportunities today for free. You can help yourself, your community, and the Federal Government! Start selling to the US Federal Government today!
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About the Author:
Nitin Pradhan is the former award-winning CIO of the US Department of Transportation, and a first term Obama Appointee; He is the current CEO of Launch Dream and leads their ScaleUP USA — Digital Business Growth Accelerator initiative and is also Managing Partner of GOVonomy, an innovation as a service for governments and government contractors. He is also a Mentor at Mach 37, the nation’s top Cyber Accelerator, Z-nation Labs (India), and on the External Advisory Board of Accenture. Business and Government leaders can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.