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How Entrepreneurs Can Break Into the Government Contracting Space Now is the time for small businesses to get their bids in line.

By Mick McKeown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Hindsight is 20/20 takes on a whole new meaning after the actual year that was 2020. The pandemic has forever changed the business landscape, and new opportunities have presented themselves, especially in the $600 billion government contracting industry. While other sectors are retreating and regrouping, the government space is looking to spend its way out of the challenges it faces. This usually means great things for the largest companies in the market, however, the true growth opportunity is going to be for small businesses looking for a new revenue stream.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly 25% of all prime contracts are expected to go to eligible small businesses. If your business already sells products or services to businesses and nonprofits, why not expand into the government space? The government is looking beyond just buying personal protective equipment (PPE); it wants everything from paperclips to podcasts. The U.S. government is the world's largest buyer and is looking for small businesses to buy from. In the B2B market, giving preferential treatment to a small business is unheard of, but in the government sector, it is expected.

As small business owners, we are never guaranteed business — we must go out and earn it. Prospects say "no" or "not now" every day in our respective fields, and we keep making sales with those needing our services or products today. The government-bid process can be overwhelming and feel archaic at times. However, if done properly, you can access data that allows you to find which federal agencies are looking for small businesses, and the government gives you a price list to utilize so your bid is extremely competitive. That simply doesn't happen in private sector work.

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