My answer to How should someone go about securing government contracts?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Trends on the horizon point to a bright future for small business in federal government contracting.
The federal government is meeting small business contracting goals.
In 2014, for the first time, the feds exceeded the legal requirement of 23% with a 24.9% achievement or $91.7B in contracts to small business. The 23% goal mandated by Congress had not been met at the total government level for years.
The feds are also moving to lowest priced, technically acceptable contracting, driven by budgetary pressures
Small business is uniquely qualified for this type of work, particularly in the services sector, due to lower overhead and G&A rates, as well as agility in work force development.
New industries like Robotics, 3D Printing, Energy, Environmental Protection, Security IT and Geo-spatial IT are creating fields for small enterprises to compete against bigger firms or lead teams involving larger businesses on large scale projects.
Government small business set-aside procurement is on the rise and becoming recognized by many agencies as a way to remove stodgy, entrenched companies when long term contracts come up for renewal. These agencies look to smaller firms for cost effective, vibrant management, while inheriting an existing, trained, incumbent work force available to the winner. The process can dramatically grow smaller firms.
A small business anticipating participation in the federal contracting market must make pursuing it part of a long term strategy. Success in government contracting does not happen overnight.
Like any other market venue, a niche must be located, market research must confirm the need for products and/or services and the competition; the customer and the potential sales must assessed. Unlike many other fields, success relies on early requirements identification and strong marketing.