Businesses are involved in contracts worth billions, with the government every year. Despite the numbers, it is not an easy road for business to government (B2G) startups to take. There are multiple reasons for this, one of them being the waiting time of several months for the tendering process, which can be difficult for startups that are already on limited resources. Another reason that business fail to do so, is that the government is not willing to negotiate with non-government businesses or businesses that have not previously worked with the government.
To overcome these barriers and to avoid other hiccups, a few tips are mentioned below for B2G startups to succeed:
Registering yourself on all the material registries
Whenever government agencies are looking to hire contractors for a specific project or assignment, they post these calls on some of the websites owned or operated by them. Thus, it is important that as a B2G startup, you’re registered on the various registries these websites provide, so that you are aware of these projects. For any project, the government agencies first look through these lists for a potential contractor. Being registered can therefore, give you a big advantage over those who are not.
Another advantage of being registered, is that the government will sometimes favor companies or businesses that are listed on the registries, which again is a competitive advantage for you.
Having a portfolio of subcontracts
Since the government will be looking forward to a successful execution of their project, it is understandable that they opt for business that have had prior dealings with the government and understand what is at stake for them. For a startup to overcome this barrier, it can be active in helping other contractors that do have government projects assigned to them. Contractors are always on the lookout for help on their government projects, thus subcontracting is quite common in such situations. These subcontracts are also easier to get a hold of, as compare to the fully-fledged contracts with the government.
It should be noted that in terms of providing profit or returns, the practice of subcontracting is not that promising. It does, however, help startups build a portfolio with government subcontracts, which in turn can help them secure a complete contract for a government project. It also provides valuable experience and a chance to learn from businesses who are providing these subcontracts.
Build credibility outside government contracts
Working on government contracts is not the only for a business to establish credibility for projects. Instead these businesses can work on projects that have gathered public interest, or other projects of note that can be of use to them. For example, any project that involves working for private hospitals, can help them secure contracts that are related to public hospitals. The kind of projects you pick, will of course depend upon the line of business you are in, but finding non-government contracts that have good publicity surrounding them can certainly boost your chances. This experience with similar projects, will help you stand out from the rest of the competition, when a government agency looks through the list of contenders.
Making cold calls
This is a process that probably is not going to win you many friends, as it is a practice that is often frowned upon by many. However, it has been an effective strategy in securing government projects for many startups. But the results are not that easy to achieve, as it requires that you as a startup be at the right place, at the right time. It is a practice that is considered unprofessional by many, even though it has a significant amount of luck involved.