Even before Covid, delivery service businesses were in high demand. The shift to delivery services, since Covid, has been nothing short of astronomical. There is no better time to increase your business and no better way than a federal delivery contract.
Are federal delivery contracts actually worth the time and effort? In 2020, the U.S. government awarded $683 billion in federal contracts. Spending is expected to continue to increase over the next several years. (ExecutiveBiz June 20, 2022)
While DHL, FedEx, and UPS dominate the federal delivery service, the federal government is driving initiatives to include every business. Many agencies actually have offices dedicated to small businesses. (ibid)
One such agency is the Department of Transportation (DOT). Within the DOT is the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) which supports small delivery services providers and vendors operating in the delivery services arena. Additionally, there are contracting assistance programs available at the Small Business Administration (SBA). Certain SBA programs provide assistance to Women-owned small businesses and often link them to mentors.(ibid)
Contracts within the federal delivery service platform generally last from 12 months to as long as 36 years. When an agency is happy with a service delivery provider, often contracts are extended. In addition, the federal government has a stellar reputation for paying invoices. (ibid)
The first step in winning a federal delivery contract involves market research. Done properly, it will help you make informed decisions and understand current demands. Knowing the market prepares you to meet an agency’s needs. (ibid)
The second step is knowing your competition. This will allow you to bid your services competitively. The SBA has a dynamic search function DSBS. SAM.gov is another site that allows you to view new delivery contracts awarded by federal agencies. (ibid)
The third step is knowing the federal and state regulations. Many can be found on this SBA site. The following regulations are the most important to be aware of:
- Labor and employment – wages/workplace hazard protection
- Taxes – individual as well as employment taxes
- Advertising and privacy – trustworthy advertising/customer privacy
- Environment – an example is the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP)
- Antitrust – actions which monopolize or limit competition (ibid)
The fourth step is becoming familiar with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). This is the script for federal contractors and contracting officers. Knowing the FAR will go a long way to navigating the complex requirements and processes of the federal government acquisition arena. (ibid)
A fifth step is to know whether you are eligible for small business assistance programs. If eligible, you can apply for contracting assistance. (ibid)
Finally, get registered on the SAM website. This is the federal government System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Once you will receive a Unique Entity ID (UEI) which identifies your delivery service business. (If you offer other services, you may have more than one NAICS code.) (ibid)
Once all of the above steps are completed, you are ready to bid on a contract. To prepare, identify your target federal agencies and price your delivery services competitively. Once a federal agency publishes a Request for Proposal (RFP) review the expectations and determine if your business can meet the demands of the RFP. If so, you are ready to bid.(ibid)
Responding to an RFP requires strict attention to detail and timelines. A late response or a partially responded to requirement will disqualify a company from winning a contract. If you are non-compliant you will not receive an award. We recommend setting up schedules for research, writing, and reviews. And remember, all proposals must be submitted on time.
Working your way through the regulations and requirements to successfully bid on government contracts takes finesse and know-how. If you have reached a roadblock or need some assistance, give us a call.