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!!
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.