Stick Like Glue Radio #158 On this special episode of Stick Like Glue Radio, I interview Kevin Jans who spent 16 years awarding government contracts to small business owners. According to Kevin, this may – or may not – be another possible revenue stream to pursue. Start by listening to this show!!
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On this special episode of Stick Like Glue Radio, I interview Kevin Jans, who spent 16 years working as a government contracting officer. This is a great call on the pros and cons of selling to the government– don’t miss it!
Main Questions Asked:
- What are government contracts, and why would a small business owner consider this as a possible revenue stream?
- What is a contracting officer?
- What are some of the unique and cool things you bought during your 16 years as a contracting officer?
- How does the government market work?
- Do you shepherd people through the process or take it over for them?
- What are the pros and cons of selling to the government?
- If someone is awarded a contract, is this something that is likely to get repeated, or are you always looking for your next contract?
Key Lessons Learned:
- Kevin’s overall mission is to help companies understand how the government market is different.
- A contracting officer is someone who is authorized to spend our tax dollars and sign a US government contract.
Commercial vs. Government
- The 80/20 rule denotes that, on the commercial side, 80% of the sales are from relationships and 20% from the process.
- On the government side, the 80/20 rule denotes that 20% of the sales are from relationships and 80% from the process.
USA Spending Website
- The USA Spending website lists the money that businesses can compete for.
- Figure out the codes for the type of work that you do, and search for opportunities and see who is winning work.
- Millions of transactions less than $150K go to small contracts.
- As a small business, you have the opportunities to access small contracts and compete for things that can be easily scaled.
- If you can figure out what not to chase, then you can figure out what to spend your time chasing.
- The Federal Acquisition runs government contracts.
- Don’t think of the government as one ‘giant checkbook’ but rather as 182 agencies that make purchases.
- Once you understand the nuance of how it works, how you get paid, and how to compete, then you understand the entire federal process.
- Once you master one sector, then you can replicate your success in others.
- Government acquisition tends to run counter to the overall economy.
- You need to understand the risks you are taking in the financial and time investment and decide accordingly.
- Skyways Acquisitions is a service provider for government contractors.
- The organization shepherds people through the process and helps companies find, compete, and win government contracts.
- The Skyway Connection Community is a place to ask questions, and there is an ‘ask a contracting officer’ forum and training webinars.
Pros and Cons of Selling to the Government
- Size and scalability.
- The fact that it goes counter to the commercial market.
- The application process is a big investment and time commitment.
- If your business is built on relationships. the 80/20 rule.
- Once you build your relationship with a government agency and have performed well, then you have credibility within the government space.
- You will most likely need to re-compete for contracts every 5 years.
- It is common for companies to win the same contract 3 or 4 times in a row and maintain the contract for decades.
- Once you are in, you can scale and expand quickly if you act quickly and can adapt.
Links to Resources Mentioned
Save Your Time (book)
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