Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hassles with Uncle Sam

This morning I woke up and was excited to do my job. I know, that's an odd statement, but I was. Today is a good day to be a government contractor. The Obama stimulus package is unleashing hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy in the coming months and years, and now is a great time to get started. However, businesses that want to become government contractors need to be aware of the risks and difficulties involved.

We are often asked what ‘hassles’ are involved in government contracting. Many business owners have never tried to do work with the government before and so don’t truly understand what is involved. What benefits are there to using a program like ours? What $70,000 are people talking about?

Our goal is to help small business owners become government contractors without all the hassle of actually having to be one. There are quite a few difficulties that can make it impossible for many small business owners to be able to reasonably do it on their own (hence only about 2% of small businesses DO!). There is the lengthy waiting process – certification can take quite a while, and then it will likely be months before you get a contract. Just doing the paperwork and qualifying for the certifications can take more time than a lot of business owners have.

Add to this the cost of training and hiring someone (like me!) full-time to handle the contracts and you are starting to look at a serious investment. Training courses and materials can and do run as high as $15,000 – no paltry sum for anyone. Many small businesses simply can’t afford to float the cost – months of preparation, overhead, and paychecks before a single contracting dollar comes in. Your business would have to learn what to bid on, how bidding works, who to talk to, how to process payments… The list goes on.

Gateway to Government has done this already. We already have the certifications, the course material, and the experience to get your small business contracts and recognized within the community. We don’t look at just Federal government contracts either – Gateway to Government is registered and looks at contract opportunities within larger contractors as well (such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc.) so that all available opportunities are scoured. In fact, some of these names are usually the ones associated most with government contracting and most in the public eye.

Photo illustration by J.P. Trostle

As a small business aide, we know that the government wants to focus on businesses like yours for the next several years to help stimulate the economy. Statements by President Obama and many others in the administration have said time and again that small businesses are the future of government contracting.

Gateway to Government cares about the small businesses that come to us. Each of our partners wants to grow and expand their business – and it is both our job and our desire to help with that. You are all a part of the Gateway to Government family and if you need help on a contract, we’ll be here, eager to help.

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