When a small business decides to open their business to government contracts, it is important to know and understand the Small Business Administration's (SBA) need for a broad range of contractors. The SBA website offers a complete view of the role government plays in offering hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts every year.
A small business should familiarize itself with variations of contracts already awarded and businesses that received government contract awards most frequently. This helps small businesses define the potential to be listed among “preferred” government contracted vendors and suppliers.
Government contracts are a valuable tool for long term projects in energy, military and defense, to name a few of the types of contracts offered.
Points of Interest Regarding Government Contracts
Generally, each business owner can apply to the SBA for consideration for future government contractual projects. The SBA will expect pertinent business information such as financial stability, specifications on ownership and depending on the nature of the contract, a list of business vendors and suppliers your business contracted with over a specific time frame.
It is also necessary to provide validation of education and skills of your team for certain government projects.
For the business owner, it is important to know that government contracts always take longer to set in motion since numerous other small businesses also apply for these jobs. The length of time for acceptance as a government contractor depends on the expediency of the need for project completion.
Prepping Your Team for Government Contracts
One of the most important points of prepping your team for government contracts is to make sure the team understands all specifications found in the project description. For businesses with multiple teams, this may require regular meetings if the government project is parceled out to several teams.
Government contracts are the first step in a long process to provide work or supplies to the government for payment. The business owner will be expected to provide potential costs for labor, time and equipment where applicable.
Keep in mind that government contracts are a "bid process." This means that your small business will be among hundreds of competitors for the same job and contracts are awarded on the basis of timeliness, cost-effectiveness and ability to produce highest quality work or supplies.
At all times, your team must stay current on information provided by the government contract. For example, when the government plans to refurbish a military base, if your small business chooses to provide equipment, GCs and subcontractors, each of these entities need to be fully informed of the government's expectations of their skills and ability to meet contract specifications.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Government Contracts
Small businesses may opt to bid on government contracts for the Department of Defense (DOD). These are construction projects the government chooses to offer to non-government suppliers and vendors on a bid process basis. Note that these DOD construction projects are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Preparing for a DOD Government Bid Process
Before your business is awarded a government contract, your bid should include a detailed, written accident prevention plan that is site-specific, required by EM385 Compliance regulations
Be aware that to omit this plan may cause your bid to be rejected. This compliance regulation, unlike OSHA, is an in depth guide to construction safety "management," such as accident prevention, identification of potential hazards and a detailed hazard analysis.
If your business is awarded a government contract for the DOD, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will require EM 385 training
, in addition to being OSHA compliant. We offer 8-Hour EM385
and 40-Hour EM385 training
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Once your business is granted the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) reference number, the FAR clauses contained within details the requirements regarding construction safety. For small business construction companies, the most important for your team to know is FAR clause 52.236-13(c).
If your team prepares the DOD bid, they should have knowledge of these regulations in order to present a fully compliant bid. Take the time to review all of the regulations with your team to prep them for writing a bid, providing construction work and ensuring your team meets all of the necessary government contract requirements.