How to Get Started As A Government Contractor

Written by Cheryl Antier

Becoming a contractor or sub-contractor forrepparttar U.S. government can bring in lucrative, on-going revenue to your small business.

But doing business withrepparttar 141157 government is very different than typical business-to-business selling. Sales cycles are often much slower. There is a process that must be followed, and you'll face stiff competition from larger companies with more experience.

In fact,repparttar 141158 process can seem overwhelming, especially if you're just starting out, and you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort before you start bringing in large contracts.

So how do you get your foot inrepparttar 141159 door, start bringing in money NOW and cut down on your learning curve?

Start by selling to locally. Municipal agencies in your city, town or county government, such as water and sewer commissions, parking bureaus or even boards of education — regularly do business with small, local companies.

How to Get Started:

1. Who is your ideal client? Make a list of your local government agencies. Which ones might be interested in your product or services? Targetrepparttar 141160 top two or three agencies that you think will berepparttar 141161 most likely to need your products or services. Don't try to be all things to all people.

2. Find out what their needs are: Go to your local library and readrepparttar 141162 newspaper archives. Attend a couple of city council meetings. What arerepparttar 141163 issues they are faced with? What actions are they taking? How can your products or services help them to solve their problems? Knowing what their problems are and having an instant solution can go a long ways in getting yourepparttar 141164 contract. 3. Find out who you need to see: Find out who is responsible for creatingrepparttar 141165 RFPs forrepparttar 141166 agency. Who is in charge of purchasing? How do they prefer to be contacted? Get as much information as you can aboutrepparttar 141167 process as well. 4. Determine your Price. Remember that local agencies are usually required to get three bids and takerepparttar 141168 lowest one, so they can show that they're not wasting taxpayer's money. But…before you lowball yourself into losing money onrepparttar 141169 deal, carefully look at each aspect of your bid. Make sure that you can live withrepparttar 141170 amount you bid, because once accepted, it's very difficult to make changes later.

5. Create your marketing strategy: Figure out your "who" "what" "when" "how". Set up face-to-face meetings when possible. Bring information such as brochures and catalogs with you. Because government agencies base most of their purchasing decisions on short-term expenditures, not long-term value, you may need to adjust your sales strategy accordingly. 6. Make Contact: When you makerepparttar 141171 initial phone call, userepparttar 141172 knowledge you've already collected aboutrepparttar 141173 agency to get an appointment. You also want to know what is their process for making purchases? Do they have registration requirements? What are they? What information do they need before they make a decision?


Written by Darren Hendricks


Looking for a way to make extra money, meet lots of interesting people, spend quality time with your family, enjoyrepparttar great outdoors ... and do it all without missing a day of work? Or maybe your goal is to make two or three-day weekendsrepparttar 141077 only working days ofrepparttar 141078 week. You may be able to do all of that and more as a Swap Meet/Flea Market marketer! You can find regularly scheduled Swap Meets and Flea Markets in cities and towns of all sizes acrossrepparttar 141079 nation, each attracting many hundreds, even thousands of bargain hunters. They may be held atrepparttar 141080 local drive-in theatre, in large parking lots, warehouses, parks, and community centers - just about anywhere there's enough room to put up some booths and bring in a crowd. The majority ofrepparttar 141081 time these meets are held on weekends, although in some locations you can find them starting on Thursdays and running four consecutive days. Swap meets and flea markets are fun, profitable, and can be a great launching pad for your business. Many people who began with Swap Meet sales have gone on to open Gift Shops, or run sizeable Mail Order businesses. A SWAP MEET BY ANY OTHER NAME…
According to our FAR HORIZONS Business Coaching staff, there are actually three distinct types of Swap Meets.

Note: (Inrepparttar 141082 interest of simplicity, from here on in when we say "Swap Meets," we're also referring to flea markets, craft fairs, and similar events as noted below).

1.Outdoor Swap Meets
These usually runrepparttar 141083 gamut in terms of merchandise. Here, you can find anything from high end stereo systems to fashion jewelry to families clearing out Auntie Emma's garage of old tools, toys, and various parts and pieces from who-knows-what. Ordinarily these events attract folks looking for some bigtime discounts and bargains.

2.Indoor "Malls"
These usually attract a more professional class of marketer. The displays tend to be more organized in appearance, andrepparttar 141084 merchandise is generally of a consistently higher quality throughoutrepparttar 141085 meet. Rather than tables there may be booths, and each marketer tends to specialize in specific product categories.

3.Craft Fairs
These may be held indoors or outside; you'll find them in parks, or as part of a local carnival, fund-raiser, county fair, or other similar event. Usuallyrepparttar 141086 marketers show their wares from booths, andrepparttar 141087 offerings can vary from homemade to high-ticket, (or homemade and high-ticket) depending onrepparttar 141088 location.


We've heard from scores of successful Swap Meet sellers overrepparttar 141089 years, and they tell us thatrepparttar 141090 two most important things you can bring with you are:

1. A friendly, upbeat attitude.
2. Willingness to barter and "playrepparttar 141091 game."

As one member puts it, "People come to shop at Swap Meets looking for a bargain, and they come because it's fun. So I keep a smile on my face and I'm always ready to enter intorepparttar 141092 bargaining game. I have my 'bottom line' price in mind, and I don't go below it - but I'm always willing to give a little onrepparttar 141093 original asking price. That way my customer feels good aboutrepparttar 141094 purchase, and I still make a nice profit. We both come out winners."

Whatever type of Swap Meet you choose to begin with, there are some simple, basic steps you'll need to take beforerepparttar 141095 event, duringrepparttar 141096 event, and afterrepparttar 141097 event.

Let's start with ... well,repparttar 141098 beginning!

1. First, find out whererepparttar 141099 local Swap Meets are, if you don't already know. This shouldn't be too hard; they normally advertise in local newspapers, and in giveaway magazines you can find in convenience store racks. Smaller meets may not advertise, but if you check withrepparttar 141100 local drive-ins, or let your fingers do some walking throughrepparttar 141101 phone directory, you should find some.
2. Next, scoutrepparttar 141102 meet yourself. Take a look around, observingrepparttar 141103 tables and booths with a marketer's eye. What arerepparttar 141104 vendors carrying? More importantly, what aren't they carrying? What are they charging?
3. Reserve a table (or booth, asrepparttar 141105 case may be). Do this by contactingrepparttar 141106 meet manager, who will provide you with pricing, along with a list of rules and regulations you must follow when marketing atrepparttar 141107 meet. The cost for renting space at a Swap Meet varies widely, from a few dollars a day to much more, depending onrepparttar 141108 meet. Try to begin at an inexpensive yet well-attended meet, so you can keep your initial cash outlay as low as possible.
4. Select your merchandise. FAR HORIZONS' Business Coaching staff generally recommends you begin with $450-$750 worth of merchandise (meaning your actual cost).
5. Get your other supplies ready.

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