ST. PETERSBURG FL--(Marketwired - September 02, 2015) -

How to Get Your First Federal Contract

Getting your first Federal contract can be impossible for some and very easy for others. In this article we are going to cover several topics related to getting your first Federal contract. Before anything, please make sure you are registered to work with the Federal government. This can be done at SAM Registration -- remember, only registered businesses are allowed to be awarded and submit bids on Federal Contracts.

  • How do I know if I can get a Federal Contract?
  • What are the best ways to get my first Federal contract?
    • Subcontracting with a prime vendor
    • Working FEMA contracts
    • Simplified Acquisition Program
    • Emergency Work
    • FEDBID
    • Working State and Local Contracts
  • How to reach out to procurement officers
    • Identify Key Federal Contacts
    • Elevator Pitch
    • Sending quick contact email
    • When to follow up
  • Submitting Bids
    • Video on how to submit bids
    • What to include
    • How to price products and service

The first thing to look at is how do I know if I can get a federal contract?

Federal contracts are often readily available, but how does a business tell if they qualify for these contracts? The first step is to look and see what opportunities are available. A business can quickly search to find out which contracts are available by going to Search Federal Contracts. When a business looks at available Federal contracts, the business should understand that these contracts are currently available today only and will update every day for the next year. Many times a business will find a contract but may not be ready and able to bid on that contract. Finding your perfect contract before you are ready is not always a great thing for this reason. Putting together a bid template and getting everything ready to work with the Federal government takes time, so please start this process early.

After you have researched available Federal Contracts, the next step is to check past performance of your competition. Checking past performance can often be the most important item in checking to see if you can get a Federal Contract. Past performance refers to what Federal contracts have been awarded in your industry. Go to to check on previously awarded Federal Contracts. To search previously awarded contracts just enter a term in the box which can be either a keyword or NAICS code. You can go to to research NAICS codes. NAICS codes are a more technical term that is used by the Federal government to award contracts. When you search in the Federal Procurement Database, you are able to look at “date signed” and “obligation amount” (dollar amount) of contracts awarded. This information will give you a good idea of who is getting the contracts and how much they are going for.

The last step I do before moving forward is check the competition out online via the Internet. I always like to look at the competitor’s websites to examine if they have the same offering that my company has. For instance, checking the website may reveal that the company has a license, bonding, and insurance. If you are a company without this, you may need to first obtain these items before you can bid. Sometimes the vendors that are getting the Federal Contracts may be large businesses. The Federal government is setup to make it easier for small businesses to compete with the large prime vendors, so this can give you a leg up. Lastly, you can also get an advantage by being a minority, women owned business, or a veteran. Remember, you want to make sure the Government buys your products/services so you can compete in the industry.

What are the best ways to get my first Federal contract?

Below we are going to go over the process and techniques that successful government contractors have used to secure their first Federal contract. Remember getting past performance is key to getting future contracts; so be prepared to work harder the first year for significantly less dollars than in future years. Once the Federal Government sees how hard you work it will be much easier for them to trust you in the future.

For example the government uses three different systems to record and track past performance PPRIS, FAPIIS, and CPARS. These three databases are like giant review websites that the government uses to record and track past performance. Past Performance is a key to getting large contracts so go out of your way to impress the Federal contracting officers, they keep track. Trust us.

Working as a Subcontractor to a Prime

Working as a SUB (Subcontractor) to a prime is a great way to gain experience in the Federal market place. Large Federal Contractors are often required to Subcontract out pieces of Federal contracts to small businesses. These contracts often are quite profitable for the businesses and can also provide necessary past performance. Past Performance is the key to working with the Federal Government. The Government wants to see a solid track record before they award a contract to a new vendor. Getting access to a prime contractor can be tricky but many websites have great information and where the work is posted. You can go to for instance to search for available contract postings on SUB-NET. These will be Federal Vendors looking to team and partner on large contracts. Another way to get these contracts is through the Simplified Acquisition Program; The Simplified Acquisition Program enrollees are given a list of relevant Prime vendors to contact for Subcontract work. To continue reading, please visit

Contact Information:

Justin Jones
US Federal Contractor Registration
877-252-2700 Ext 757