Breaking into the Government Market

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Those who are new to the federal marketplace are often overwhelmed with the seemingly never-ending amount of bureaucratic red tape, paperwork, and regulations they encounter. The marketplace is saturated with its own nomenclature and procedures, and the learning curve is steep. Many companies do not have an adequate understanding of what it takes to succeed—but with long-term commitment and an allocation of human resources, companies can break into this area and do well.

You may not realize it, but the U.S. government owns or leases over 500,000 structures and spends over $30 billion annually on operations and maintenance of those facilities.

The government does very little construction work on its own, so there are many opportunities for contractors. According to data from the Federal Procurement Data System, in the 2013 fiscal year, 1,800 direct federal reroofing contracts were awarded, with 1,304 of them going directly to small businesses. To be considered a small-business roofing contractor, a company must be under $14 million in sales annually.

Here are three things contractors can do to be considered for roofing services with the government:

  • Acquire a “prime contract” to perform roofing using one of the Simplified Acquisition Procedures or the Formal/Large Contract procedure. These are the methods used most often for roof repair or reroofing.
  • If you have a GSA Schedule Contract, you may be able to sell roof maintenance, repairs, or reroofing using the prenegotiated unit pricing from your GSA price list. This is another form of Simplified Acquisition.
  • Lastly, you may win a “subcontract” to perform roofing as part of a much larger new construction or major renovation contract. In this case, the prime contract goes to a large general contractor who, in turn, subcontracts out some or all of the trades.

To learn more about entering the federal roofing marketplace and gain access to our free interactive guide, see the Small Business Group special section of our website.

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  1. jeff

    A vital part of obtaining contract work is hiring someone who understands the basics of a good proposal. Many small businesses are struggling to stay alive, hiring another staff member in the hopes of obtaining a government contract is a risk to large to take.

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