Sure, there are several government contract opportunities for box truck operators in the United States of America and this can be gotten through the Federal government contracting system. It is important to note that if you run a small registered box truck business, then you stand the chance of getting support from the government.
This is because the U.S government has policies in place that supports small and disadvantaged businesses. The federal government tries to award a significant percentage of all federal government contracting dollars to small businesses.
In addition, the federal government tries to award a certain percentage of contracts to businesses in the following categories: women-owned small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Please note that there are two broad categories of government contractors and you must be able to identify both to be able to know where you belong.
2 Categories of Government Contractors
Prime contractors are contractors that bid on and win contracts directly from government agencies.
Subcontractors join prime contractor teams, usually to provide a specific capability or product.
The bottom line is that for your box truck business to serve as a prime contractor or subcontractor with the U.S government, you will need to legally qualify as a small business and register as a government contractor. Then you can start looking for both prime or subcontracting opportunities with the federal government.
Requirements for Getting Government Contracts
It is important to note that different rules and regulations apply to different types of federal purchases. The Federal Acquisition Regulation or Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement applies to most federal agencies, so you might want to read them over.
Individual organizations often have their own rules as well. Having said that, you equally have to note that;
- Size standards vary by industry and determine whether or not your business qualifies as small.
- Some sourcing rules prevent your company from manufacturing your own materials
- There are legal requirements like the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act
- There are limits to how much you can subcontract and who you can subcontract with
- There are minimum amounts for you to spend on work or materials for the contract
- You should carefully document and report on your business activities to meet the federal government’s rules for procurement.
How Do You Apply and Bid Successfully?
Before you start the application process, it is important to note that there are different ways you can start bidding on government box truck contracts at the local, state, and federal levels. However, before you start, you will need to register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM) to be eligible for federal contracts.
To create your SAM profile, you are required to supply your DUNS number, and the number can be obtained from Dun and Bradstreet at dnb.com. You will also be required to provide your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Create a list of codes that best describe the products or services that your business provides.
After completing your SAM profile, you are ready to bid on government contracts that match your business. Your SAM profile will also provide the information needed to receive direct payments from the government for work completed.
Once you are registered as a vendor with the government, you can explore the different options that are available for researching, evaluating, and bidding on government contract opportunities. Remember that if you are certified as a small, minority- or women-owned business, you may qualify for preferential access to certain contracts.
To bid successfully for a government contract as a box truck business owner, then you must follow these simple tips;
Table of Content
- Study Government Policy on Awarding Contracts to Contractors
- Incorporate Your Company
- Acquire Every Relevant Certification, License, and Permit in Your Industry
- Pay Your Tax
- Be Competent at What You Do
- Build Your Network
- Build Your Capital Base
- Perfect Your Presentation Skills
- Never Make Negative Comments About The Government in Power
- Strive to Be The First To Submit a Bid
Study Government Policy on Awarding Contracts to Contractors
Now that you have chosen to become a government contractor, you need to know everything as regards government policy when it comes to awarding contracts to contractors. You will be amazed to know that most people don’t secure government contracts because of their ignorance of the government’s policy on awarding contracts.
Find the box truck contract opportunity you are interested in. It may be in the form of an RFP, an RFQ, or an IFB. Each of these solicitation methods requires vendors to provide a different response; make sure you follow the guidelines when responding.
Incorporate Your Company
You should be aware that no government will deal with a company that is not registered under the corporate affairs commission. So, if you know that your aim of starting a box truck business is to bid for contracts from the government, then you should ensure that you incorporate your company.
Acquire Every Relevant Certification, License, and Permit in Your Industry
It is very important to acquire every relevant certification, license, and permit that is required in your industry before bidding for box truck contracts from the government. Your certificate, license, and permits will give you an advantage over your competitors who don’t have them.
For example, if you are bidding to supply drugs to government hospitals, part of what they will look for before awarding you the contract is your pharmacy certificate, your practicing license, and other permits required to function in that field.
Pay Your Tax
If you don’t have a good tax record, then you need not bother yourself to bid for contracts from the government. Part of the screening process for contractors is their tax records. So, ensure you have paid your tax up to date before submitting your bid, or else you won’t get the contract.
Be Competent at What You Do
You have to exhibit a high level of competence in your field when allowed to do so. When bidding for contracts, make it a point of duty to always refer the committee in charge of screening bids to your past jobs (that is if you did a brilliant job in time past) it will always be to your advantage to do so.
Research closed bid information. By carefully reading closed contract information, you can learn how much other vendors charged for similar services and who your competitors might be for a given contract.
Build Your Network
Your interpersonal and networking skills will often come to bear when bidding for a contract from the government. The truth is that competence alone can’t secure you a contract from the government – but the people you know in government will always work to favor you.
For example, if two people that have the same level of qualifications and competence bid for a job, and one of them has a relationship with someone in the government agency they are bidding for a contract from, definitely he stands a greater chance of getting the contract.
Build Your Capital Base
Even though you will be mobilized when a government contract is awarded to you, in some cases you might have to use your money to complete the job before you will be paid. Before contracts can be awarded to any company, the government will ensure that they do a background check to be sure the company can successfully execute the project, and part of what they look out for is your years of experience and your capital base.
Perfect Your Presentation Skills
In case you don’t know this, a lack of good presentation skills has prevented loads of contractors from securing juicy contracts from the government even though they are highly competent. No matter what you know and what you can do, if you can’t sell it to people, you will have a challenge winning them over as your client.
So, ensure that you perfect your presentation skills before bidding for contracts from the government. Read the proposal submission guidelines closely and follow them to the letter.
Government agencies will reject any bid proposal that does not conform to the submission guidelines. To avoid being rejected, make sure that your bid follows every rule of the agency’s submission process and get your proposal in before the closing date and time.
Never Make Negative Comments About The Government in Power
In this era of social media revolution where people make negative comments about the government without caution, you just have to be careful about the comments you make.
The truth is that it is not only HR that investigates people’s online records before employing them; government officials do the same before awarding contracts. So, if you know you would be bidding for contracts from the government, then you should watch what you say about the government.
Strive to Be The First To Submit a Bid
Once you see an advert asking people to bid for government box truck contracts, ensure you are prompt in preparing and submitting your bid. You never can tell if the first set of people to submit their bids might just be the people that will be considered for the next phase.
Before submitting your proposal, bid or quote, double-check that you have responded to every need presented in the RFP, RFQ, or IFB. Then make sure that you have satisfied all the rules of the submission process. So also, you must ensure that you can provide the products or services needed.
This is so because many vendors make the mistake of bidding on contracts that aren’t a precise match with the services they offer or try to take on a contract that is simply too big for them to handle. You can improve your chances of winning a box truck contract by bidding only on the ones that you are sure you can handle.
Getting a contract from the government does not come easy. If you bid for a contract from any of the government agencies, you will be contending with loads of other companies, plus the bureaucracy you have to scale through. No doubt winning box truck contracts from the government requires more than your competence, you would need other soft skills to become successful in bidding for contracts from the government of your country.