What the Government Needs
If you think that your company doesn't provide anything that the government needs, think again. Here are just a few examples about real-life companies much like yours. Notice that they didn't focus on what they made or the services they were currently providing. Instead they focused on entering the government market: They simply found out what the government needed that they were capable of supplying, and then supported those needs.
- What are the chances of a one-woman company making clothing for special-needs individuals getting a government contract? As it turned out, pretty good. She simply kept looking for something that the government needed that she was capable of supplying, and she found it. Today the one-person company has grown to 40 employees and reports a gross income of $2.5 million making coveralls for the military.
- A small, three-employee business started supplying fasteners to the military about 16 years ago. They started slow, but continued to make the effort to become more knowledgeable about the market and kept growing to where today they gross about $1 million a year. Not bad income for keeping the military fastened together.
- A few years ago, a nine-employee precision machine shop looked to the government market to replace some of their lost commercial work. They decided to concentrate on opportunities where drawings are available and require precision work. Today, the company is making tooling for the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries.
- Another minority owned business start-up is a one-man shop. He did not speak English very well, but he knew enough to hire people who did and had the knowledge to help him get the kind of contracts he wanted. He became 8a certified with the SBA and started looking not just for set-aside work but also for work with prime contractors. He has started to receive contracts on a regular basis and has had opportunities with primes that he had never been able to get before.
If you don't think the government needs all types of products and services, read on! These examples show that there is every chance that you provide, or have the capability to provide, a product or service that the government is looking for right now. (Believe it or not, all of these are fact--not fiction.)
- What use would the government have for old wrecked cars? A small business owner who owns a junkyard near an Air Force base had that same question and actually found out the answer. He was awarded a repeat contract for his junk cars, which were used to train Air Force rescue personnel in the use of the "jaws of life" and other emergency situations.
- Just a few years ago, the Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded an artist in Oregon an indefinite federal contract for wildlife artist services. This contract was awarded for various paintings portraying a variety of subjects.
- How about pork rinds? A small business received a contract for manufacturing and providing pork rinds, tasty treats that lots of people love, to several military base stores that needed someone to supply them. The owner won the contract based on price, delivery, and his status as a minority business contractor
- What's that about shooting pigs? An avid bow hunter who sold archery supplies and organized hunting trips won a bid from the Tennessee Valley Authority to get rid of the wild pigs that were living in and around the site and creating a safety problem. (Wild pigs tend to be a bit on the grouchy side!) Instead of bidding against firms that were going to charge and have employees do the work, he bid $1 and then scheduled hunters to go out and do the job. After clearing the hunters with the government to enter the area, he made his profit by charging the hunters just as he did for any other hunting trip to any other wilderness area.
- The Fish & Wildlife Services in Atlanta, Georgia, awarded a federal contract for walking the beach, specifically "PR for Beach Patrol of Leatherback Sea Turtles." If you're going to walk on the beach anyway, you may as well get paid for it.