Government contracts are a great source of revenue for small businesses.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to take advantage of government contracts, largely due to the myths and misperceptions that surround the area of government procurement.
The simple reality is that the government is eager to work with small businesses. The first step in landing a lucrative government contract is to learn the truth about the process and procedures that are involved in government procurement.
Here are some of the government contract myths and misperceptions that have historically prohibited small business owners from pursuing government procurement bids:
Myth #1: The government doesn't have any money.
In tough economic times, even the government has to tighten its belt. But despite cutbacks, the government continues to perform necessary and vital functions for its citizens on an ongoing basis. Government agencies have to spend their budgets somewhere, so don't let the misperception that the government doesn't have any money hold you back from bidding on contracts.
Myth #2: Only government insiders have a chance.
The government procurement process is designed to be transparent and impartial. Although abuses may occur from time to time, they don't happen as often as you might think. If you do your homework and put together a competitive bid package there's a good chance that your company can land a government contract.
Myth #3: Small businesses can't compete.
The idea that small businesses can't compete in the government procurement process is completely untrue. In fact, many government agencies have programs in place that guarantee a certain amount of their work goes to smaller companies.
Myth #4: The bid process is a nightmare.
The bid process for government contracts is a little more complicated than a typical private sector bid process. However, government agencies have taken steps to streamline the process, and forms and instructions can now be easily accessed online.
Myth #5: It takes a long time for the government to pay.
Again, not true. Federal legislation exists to guarantee that federal contractors be paid within 30 days of submitting a properly prepared invoice. If the government goes beyond 30 days, you are entitled to interest on the outstanding balance.