How the SBA Can Help You Get Your Business off the Ground

It is no secret that the U.S. government is a massive buyer of services and commodities. Government contracting exceeds half a trillion dollars each year and a major focus by the government, through the Small Business Administration (SBA), is that a portion of these funds be dedicated to small businesses. Currently, “the government-wide procurement goal is that at least 23% of all federal government contracting dollars should be awarded to small businesses (sba.gov).” The 23% mentioned here is in regard to prime contracts. Often prime contracts for large dollar projects will require that the prime or general contractor subcontracts small businesses at percentages higher than the 23%. In fact this percentage can be as high as around 80% of the work or procured items must be provided by small businesses.
 
So what does this mean for your startup? This emphasis on small business by the federal government means there are a lot of opportunities for small businesses. In fact, any government procurements between $3,000 and $150,000 are set-aside for small business prime contractors (sba.gov).
 
Your small business has two routes through which it can tap into these funds the government sets aside for small businesses. First, is to become a prime contractor and the second is to subcontract with a prime contractor. Both can be very profitable for your young business and provide early cash flow for future expansion.
If such opportunities fit your profile, visit SBA.gov to learn more about how you can be considered for government contracts. As well the website has databases for both prime and subcontract listings where you can search by your expertise, location, and other criteria.
 
While government contracts have a large upside, they also have their caveats as well. Generally, they are more heavily regulated, require more extensive external reporting, and business processes can be directed by the government.
 
Small business opportunities are many through government contracts and, despite caveats of working with the government, can provide great opportunities for building a foundation for your small business and potentially future expansion.

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