Selling to the World’s Largest Customer

Lt Col Ricky Howard

This week we’re exploring a exceptional chance to change the world’s greatest consumer of items and companies into a consumer of yours.

That’s suitable, we’re conversing about advertising to the government.

There is almost nothing like owning a shopper that can pretty much print the dollars!

But there is a good deal of confusion and misunderstandings all-around receiving government contracts so I’ve enlisted some expert assistance to aid us master how to do it the ideal way.

Retired Lt Col Ricky Howard of spent yrs on the purchasing aspect for the U.S. Department of Defense and now assists compact enterprises like yours get their foot in the door.

Tune in to The Side Hustle Clearly show job interview to listen to:

  • why there are so quite a few valuable possibilities with authorities contracts
  • Ricky’s ideas and most effective procedures for profitable contracts
  • how you can also earn contracts performing as matchmaker or partnering with other enterprise homeowners

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The Chances in Government Contracting

“It’s an incredible chance that most modest enterprises really don’t know about or don’t consider. Or, if they do check out they are definitely not positive where by to commence,” Ricky mentioned.

The federal government is the one most important purchaser of merchandise and providers in the planet, Ricky explained.

In addition, Ricky said that the governing administration is mandated by law to buy from small firms — at minimum 23% of their spending.

To give you an strategy of what that appears to be like like in pounds, Ricky said that the govt invested about $154 billion just on modest small business contracts previous yr alone.

And it’s not just for major equipment and protection materials. There is a large volume of potential for modest organizations of all types to get a slice of the pie.

Just about everything that goes into the infrastructure of a town exactly where army staff are based requirements to be sourced.

From recreational actions to constructing and maintaining office environment properties, the scope is extremely wide.

Ricky also mentioned it’s a terrific time to pitch contracts to the federal government right now. Significantly less than 1% of modest firms are actively marketing to the governing administration, and that selection has been lowering in current decades.

Locating Out if the Authorities Is Buying What You are Offering

“In the public sector, all the info is community,” Ricky mentioned.

Ricky stated it could not be less difficult to uncover out who’s performing the paying out and what is getting bought than when it will come to the governing administration.

If you want to find out if the federal government is shopping for what you are promoting, Ricky endorses finding started off by checking out


To use the lookup element on USASpending to obtain out if there is a desire for your services, Ricky gave the following guidelines as an instance:

  • Go to “Award Search” and pull down the menu, then pick “Advanced Search”
  • Select a selection masking the final a few decades for the most appropriate information. That’ll be “FY 2023,” “FY 2022,” and “FY 2021”
  • Style your market or services into the “North American Industry Classification Procedure (NAICS)” box to locate out what your governing administration code is. For instance, if your variety “Painting” into the NAICS box it’ll present you the code for painting is “238320”
  • You can now search for contracts awarded to small firms giving painting companies. Ricky executed this look for and could see around $253 million was invested on portray around the previous 3 many years, and the DoD was dependable for close to $175 million of that.

This is just a fast case in point, there is a great deal much more you can do with the state-of-the-art research filters out there.

If you invest some time digging into the details you will be in a position to see the forms of contracts on a more granular level.

Registering to Market to the Federal government

As soon as you’ve located that the government is awarding contracts to firms identical to yours, the following phase is to go to

This is exactly where the governing administration repository of all federal contracting info is stored.

You can look up solicitation information on unique contracts, as very well as sign-up your enterprise to sell to the authorities.

Ricky mentioned the procedure of registering your small business is self-explanatory, but expect it to take a week or two for all the approvals to go by way of.

Actively playing Matchmaker or Being a Subcontractor

If you really don’t have a business enterprise or offer you a service on your own, you could act as a middleman or matchmaker.

This is named remaining a governing administration deal “integrator.” Ricky claimed becoming an integrator is a common company design that operates perfectly.

You could also be a subcontractor and work with a more substantial primary contractor. This enables you to put in a joint bid on a task and get the job done with yet another organization.

This is a very good way to be awarded contracts that have been established apart for unique business forms of demographics that only one of you can bid on.

There are some guidelines all-around how much function the primary contractor has to do on a venture, but it is one more product that functions very well.

Bidding Strategy

Ricky spelled out that if you dive in and start writing proposals and bidding on contracts, your odds of successful are likely to be pretty small.

To increase your odds, Ricky advises that in its place of filtering for requests for offers on employment, you filter on “requests for information” or “sources sought.”

These requests are the government striving to figure out how to address a problem right before putting a solicitation jointly.

To make a request for information, you are going to will need to place alongside one another a couple of pages of information and facts answering queries, and recommending solutions as per the proposal.

The reward of performing this is that you are producing contact right before the solicitation has appear out.

You’re putting your company identify out there as someone that can do the perform and conveying why you’re great for the deal when it’s established.

You are going to often have the possibility to ask for a assembly in particular person when filling out a request for data. This is a little something Ricky recommends accomplishing as a way of introducing your organization.

Bidding Very best Procedures and Recommendations

When you see a solicitation that you want to place in a bid for, some tips Ricky shared are:

  • Really do not insert nearly anything that is not questioned for in the proposal, it’ll only get the job done towards you. Your bid is going to be scored based on how effectively you adopted the guidance.
  • Glance at equivalent contracts that have presently been awarded to get an idea of how much to bid. You can use to see for how significantly Common Products and services Administration (GSA) contracts are remaining awarded.
  • Do not be shy to reply and talk to what the finances seems like. Ricky mentioned most businesses will be keen to notify you what their spending plan is and that’ll assistance give you a ballpark figure.

If you are struggling to put with each other your to start with proposal, Ricky said you can uncover another person on Upwork with knowledge creating proposals.

Viewing how a proposal is published up by somebody with practical experience and a track report of winning bids is heading to be a big support.

Illustrations of Shoppers Winning Contracts

Ricky shared a few of examples of his purchasers who have gained govt contracts just lately.

One particular was a woman who moves furniture for a residing. She received a pair of contracts at $16k/ea moving office furnishings.

Yet another was a woman who ran a helpdesk service. From reaching out to the workplaces and working with requests for data, Ricky was equipped to see that the federal government was transitioning from its legacy helpdesk procedure to a new program that assisted persons with disabilities.

His shopper was able to tap into that have to have to go from just one particular type of helpdesk program to an additional. For the previous two years, she has billed about $1 million a 12 months.

What is Future?

“I’m psyched about expanding the variety of modest enterprises offering to the governing administration,” Ricky told me.

Ricky has lately place jointly a certification method as aspect of his academy that takes college students as a result of the measures of winning federal government contracts.

If you want to study extra and enroll in Ricky’s coaching plan, he’s created a coupon code for Aspect Hustle show listeners that’ll give you 1-thirty day period totally free.

Head over to and kind “THESIDEHUSTLESHOW” in the coupon box to declare your no cost thirty day period.

Ricky’s #1 Suggestion for Aspect Hustle Nation

It is a marathon, not a sprint.”

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