It's no surprise that government contracts are competitive.
Although the government is eager to work with small business owners, you should expect to face competition for prime contract awards. But what happens when you do everything right and still don't get the contract? Does it mean that it's just impossible for the average small business owner to land government procurement contracts?
Not at all. Average small business owners can and do win government contracts awards all the time. Even though you may have thought you did everything right, there's a good chance that your bid fell short in one or more areas. Before you start blaming some vast government conspiracy for your failure to win a contract, consider these common reasons for not winning government contracts.
Your products didn't fit the contract.
Failed bids are often the result of products that simply didn't fit the contract parameters. Even though your business is located in the right industry, your products may not meet the government's specifications. Remember, the government will make award decisions based on the products you have now – not the products you plan to manufacture at some future date.
Your bid didn't comply with bid requirements.
Another common reason for not winning government contracts is because your bid didn't comply with the requirements. The government tends to be very precise about the kinds of bids they are requesting. If your bid falls short in a single area it will cost you the contract.
Your bid is overpriced.
Pricing is a critically important factor in government contract awards. If your per-unit pricing is high compared to the competition, the government isn't likely to award you the contract – even if they have a successful track record with your business.
You missed the bid deadline.
Government agencies are notorious sticklers for the rules. The deadlines they advertise for bids are hard deadlines. If you miss the deadline by as little as a day, your bid won't be considered during the award process.
You have a track record of poor performance.
Your company's prior track record with government agencies is a consideration in whether or not you will be approved for current and future contracts. If you performed shoddy work or missed project deadlines, it's unlikely that you'll be awarded future contracts.