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Bid Writing | 31 May, 2024

How to Bid on Government Contracts

In the business world, winning government contracts can be a game-changer for your company. It offers stability, respect, and great opportunities to make money. But getting into bidding for these contracts can be challenging. It takes skill, planning, and knowing how it all works.


Whether you are a pro or just starting out, learning how to bid for government contracts is crucial. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know, from the types of contracts to how to bid for contracts and more.


Understanding Government Contract Bidding

How do Government Contract Bids Work?

Government contract bidding is a competitive process wherein businesses submit proposals to win contracts for providing goods or services to government agencies. These contracts can range from supplying office supplies to building infrastructure projects. The process typically involves several stages, including solicitation, proposal submission, evaluation, and contract award.


Types of Government Contracts

Government contracts come in various forms, each with its own set of rules and requirements.  Below is a list of government contracts for bid, outlining the three primary types:

Request for Proposal: An RFP is a solicitation document that outlines the government’s requirements and invites contractors to submit proposals detailing how they will meet those requirements. RFPs are commonly used for complex projects where the government seeks innovative solutions.

Invitation for Bid: An IFB, also known as a sealed bid, is used for straightforward procurement needs, such as purchasing goods or construction projects. Contractors submit sealed bids, and the contract is typically awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.

Request for Quotation: RFQs are used for purchasing commodities or simple services. Unlike RFPs, which require detailed proposals, RFQs typically request pricing information only.


The Government RFP Process

The government RFP process follows a structured timeline and involves several key steps:

  • Solicitation: Government agencies release RFPs outlining their requirements and evaluation criteria.
  • Proposal Preparation: Contractors prepare and submit proposals detailing their approach, qualifications, and pricing.
  • Evaluation: Government evaluators review submitted proposals based on predetermined criteria, such as technical capabilities, past performance, and cost.
  • Negotiation (if applicable): In some cases, the government may enter into negotiations with select contractors to refine proposals or negotiate terms.
  • Contract Award: The government awards the contract to the winning bidder based on the evaluation results.


Benefits of Government Contracts

Getting government contracts offers numerous benefits for your company, including:

Stability: Government contracts awarded often provide your company a steady source of revenue, offering stability even in uncertain economic times.

Prestige: Winning a government contract can enhance your company’s reputation and credibility within its industry.

Lucrative Opportunities: Government contracts can be financially rewarding, offering your business access to large-scale projects and long-term engagements.


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How to Get Government Contracts

Finding government contracts requires proactive effort and strategic planning. Here are the ways on how to get a government contract to get you started:

  • Register Your Business: Ensure your business is registered in the System for Award Management, the primary database used by the government to identify potential contractors.
  • Explore SAM.gov Contract Opportunities: Take advantage of this platform to search for relevant SAM.gov contracts that align with your business’s capabilities and interests.
  • Network: Build relationships with government procurement officers, attend industry events, and join relevant associations to expand your network and visibility.
  • Understand Requirements: Thoroughly review solicitation documents to understand the government’s requirements and tailor your proposals accordingly.


10 Tips on How to Bid Government Contracts

Mastering the art of bidding on government contracts requires a strategic approach and attention to detail. Here are ten tips on how to win government contracts:

  1. Understand the Requirements: Carefully understanding the requirements to bid on government contracts to ensure the contracting agency’s needs and expectations.
  1. Highlight Your Capabilities: Showcase your company’s qualifications, experience, and past performance relevant to the bid contract requirements.
  1. Differentiate Yourself: Clearly articulate what sets your proposal apart from competitors, whether it’s innovative solutions, cost-effectiveness, or superior quality.
  1. Price Competitively: While pricing is important, avoid bidding too low and compromising on quality or profitability. Find a balance between competitiveness and profitability.
  1. Comply with Instructions: Follow the instructions provided in the solicitation meticulously, including formatting requirements, submission deadlines, and mandatory documents.
  1. Provide Clear and Concise Responses: Present your proposal in a clear, well-organized manner, addressing each evaluation criterion comprehensively and concisely.
  1. Proofread Carefully: Avoid costly mistakes by proofreading your proposal thoroughly for errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting.
  1. Seek Feedback: If possible, solicit feedback from government evaluators or consultants on past proposals to identify areas for improvement.
  1. Collaborate Wisely: Consider partnering with other companies or subcontracting certain tasks to enhance your capabilities and competitiveness.
  1. Be Persistent: Winning government bid contracts can be a lengthy and competitive process. Stay persistent and continue pursuing opportunities even if you face initial setbacks.


Easy-to-Win Government Contracts

When it comes to securing government contracts, some opportunities may be more accessible than others. Here’s a look at what could be considered the easiest government contracts to win:

  1. Simplified Acquisition Contracts (SAC):
    SACs are streamlined procurement vehicles designed to facilitate the purchase of goods and services valued at or below a certain threshold (typically $250,000). These bid government contracts often involve less competition and fewer regulatory requirements, making them relatively easier to secure, especially for small businesses.
  2. Small Business Set-Aside Contracts:
    Government agencies frequently set aside government bids for small business, including those owned by minorities, women, veterans, or disadvantaged individuals. These best government contracts for small business aim to promote participation in government contracting and can present favorable opportunities with less competition compared to unrestricted contracts.
  3. Micro-Purchase Contracts:
    Micro-purchase contracts are reserved for low-dollar acquisitions, usually below $10,000. These contracts are often awarded quickly and with minimal paperwork, making them accessible to small businesses and new contractors looking to establish a foothold in the government market.
  4. Simplified Technical Acquisition Resources (STAR) Program:
    The STAR program is designed to expedite the acquisition of commercially available goods and services for urgent operational needs. Contracts awarded under the STAR program typically involve straightforward procurement processes and may present favorable opportunities for businesses offering relevant products or services.

While these local government contracts may be perceived as easier to win due to lower competition or simplified procurement processes, it’s essential for businesses to thoroughly understand the requirements, regulations, and evaluation criteria associated with each opportunity.


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Effective Marketing for Government Contracts

When it comes to reaching out to government agencies for business opportunities, there are a few key strategies to keep in mind. Here are some useful resources and tips to help you navigate this process and gain free access to government bids:

Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS)

The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) is a valuable resource for researching government contracting opportunities and trends. It provides access to comprehensive data on federal contracts, including contract awards, spending trends, and contractor profiles.


USAspending.gov is another useful tool for researching federal spending and contracting activities. It allows users to search and analyze federal contract data by agency, contractor, location, and more.


Small Business Offices

Many government agencies have dedicated small business offices or programs aimed at promoting small business participation in government contracting. These offices provide resources, guidance, and support to small businesses seeking government contracting bids.

Mitigating Protest Risks through Transparency and Fairness

In the competitive world of government contracting, protests are not uncommon. A protest occurs when a bidder challenges the award or terms of a government contract bid. Here are some key considerations for handling protests:

Understand the Grounds: Before engaging in a protest, thoroughly understand the reasons for filing one. This may involve issues such as improper evaluation of government contract bids, unequal treatment among bidders, or violations of procurement regulations by the contracting agency.

Consult Legal Counsel: If your company is confronted with a protest, it’s crucial to seek advice from legal professionals well-versed in government contracting. They can help you understand the intricacies of the situation and devise a strategic response tailored to your specific circumstances.

Be Proactive: To minimize the likelihood of facing protests during government bidding, take proactive steps throughout the procurement process. Ensure transparency by clearly communicating evaluation criteria and procedures to all bidders. Maintain fairness by treating all bidders equally and avoiding conflicts of interest. 


Expert Guidance for Government Contract Bidding

Bidding for government contracts can be tough yet rewarding for businesses of any size. When you grasp how to bid on contracts, use available resources, and follow best practices, you set yourself up for success in the competitive government contracting scene.

At BSBCON, our team of RFP consultants gets the challenges you face and the potential gains waiting for you in government contracts. Let us help you navigate it all so you can make the most of every opportunity. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to secure and manage government contracts for your business.