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Understanding Government Pest Control Contracts and Knowing How To Win Them
Are you a pest control business owner who wants to grow your business? If so, bidding for federal business is a great way to expand and build your business.
The federal government is one of the most valuable clients for small businesses. Aside from awarding hundreds of billions in government contracts, the United States government can be a stable source of income for small businesses.
Developing an effective contract bid is crucial for pest control business owners who want to succeed. Your business will grow if you receive a contract for a government pest control job.
Keep reading because this article will teach you how government contracts work, factors to consider when placing bids on government contracts, and much more.
How Do Government Contracts Work?
Every state uses a public procurement system to obtain goods and services for government buildings and lands. In some states, procurement is centralized, while in others, it is handled by local agencies.
No matter your company size, opportunities are available, even if your service area isn't statewide. Many agencies often prioritize small businesses located within a state.
There are systems and websites in most states that allow vendors to register and view current contracts and opportunities. If you are interested in submitting bids for government contracts, it is recommended that you register as soon as possible.
Additionally, most states offer periodic training on how to do business with them. Start building a relationship with the procurement professionals handling pest control contracts in your area by attending one of these trainings before you are asked to submit a bid.
Government pest control contracts can include:
- Army bases
- Government housing authorities
- Transit authorities
- Port authorities
- Public schools
- Jails; and
Factors To Consider To Win Government Pest Control Contracts
Submitting a bid for a government contract is not as simple as filling out a form and crossing your fingers.
Doing some “leg work” is crucial before submitting a bid for government pest control contracts.
Let’s take a look at two factors that affect making competitive bids.
#1: Factors That Affect Making Competitive Bids
There will often be more than one company bidding for a contract. To ensure you are the right business for the contract, you will want to pay attention to these two factors.
When preparing your bid, be sure to look for requirements involving:
- Time frame
- Types of service; and
- Areas of service
There will be requirements with every contract, but sometimes, you’ll come across contracts with unrealistic requirements.
For example, a contract that requires one million in bond coverage. A requirement such as this is far-fetched and may serve as a “red flag” that this isn’t the proper contract for you.
You may even run into needless clauses such as “Glue traps shall be checked weekly, with the results reported to the COR and IPM Coordinator.” You guessed it. This is unnecessary and another “red flag.”
When searching for government contracts, you may come across indefinite-delivery contracts. This is a type of contract where services are delivered and paid for on an on-call basis.
An indefinite-deliver contract would contradict the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principle of planned program and continuous inspection.
Pay attention to diversity quotas the government may need to meet. For example, some contracts might only be won by minorities or women.
If the stipulations do not pertain to your business, it’s best not to waste time preparing and submitting a bid.
There are other instances where a contract must be shared with a minority-owned business. For example, your business might win the contract, but there’s a requirement of letting a minority-owned or women-led business have 12% of the contract’s business.
#2: 8 Steps of the Bidding Process
Anything worth having is worth doing … and doing well.
To start winning government contracts, you must roll up your sleeves and get into work.
Step 1 – Meet Government Contract Requirements
Your small business will be more visible to procurement officers and government buyers when you sign up for the necessary government contracting websites, such as Small Business Association’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) tool.
Once you sign up for this tool, make sure your business will meet any government contract requirements for your state.
Step 2 – Conduct Market Research
When you plan to bid on a government contract, you should not rely on your prior knowledge to gauge market movements.
How long has it been since you’ve conducted market research? To write a successful government contract proposal, you should do market research to see what the current trends are.
The research will provide you with valuable information that will help you craft a bid proposal that is relevant and effective.
Step 3 – Practice Selective Bidding
You should not let your desire for federal contracting opportunities cause you to spread yourself too thin by bidding on every contract opportunity you can find.
When sending in your contract proposal, you should keep in mind that you are expressing your dedication and commitment to providing the requesting agency with premier quality service or goods.
Focus instead on finding federal government contracts that require your company's strengths and expertise. You should choose a federal contract that plays to your strengths and allows you to grow.
Step 4 – Thoroughly Review the RFP and Follow the Instructions
The Request for Proposal (RFP) posted by federal agencies contains all the project details you need to craft your bid for the contract.
There are different sections in this hundred-page document, and reading through them all is essential to preparing your contract bid.
Depending on the project or the federal agency requesting contractors, an RFP may have different contents.
There are 13 sections in an RFP, but the four most important sections to pay close attention to are:
- Supplies or services and price/costs
- Description of the work
- Instructions and conditions of the job; and
- Evaluation criteria
RFP instructions must be strictly followed. The government agency might reject your proposal due to technical issues if you fail to follow the agency's directions.
Before writing down your contract bid, ensure you take note of all the instructions in the RFP to guide you.
Taking the time to do this step will protect you from future heartache and aggravation.
Step 5 – Outline and Write the Bid To Address Project Goals
It is essential to have a proposal layout before writing your contract bid to ensure that you stay within the main point of the document. This will reduce the risk of overlooking important information you would otherwise miss if you just blindly wrote your contract bid.
Your contract proposal must outline your company's strengths. During this step, you must emphasize how your company's solution is the most cost-effective and efficient option among other federal contractors.
List all the requests in the RFP in the outline of your proposal to ensure that it addresses everything.
It is impressive when a pest control company can confidently say that they have streamlined processes.
When you can easily handle things such as …
- Payment processing
- Customer management
… you show your business is modern and efficient.
Cedar Pest’s pest control software will help you stand out amongst your competition.
Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today for your free demo.
Step 6 – Know Your Business Parameters To Price Competitively
Before submitting your proposal, it’s essential to conduct market research. By conducting market research, you can price your goods and services competitively.
If you price yourself too high without enough justification, the government agency will easily dismiss your proposal. Conversely, lowballing yourself or the government agency will make them think you will sacrifice quality for cost savings.
Simply put, find the optimal price range for your goods and services from your market research. Determine a price point that will allow you to profit while remaining competitive with other contractors.
Step 7 – Review and Submit the Bid
Your contract proposal must be error-free before you hand it over. No matter how small the mistake may seem, it could cost you the entire government contract.
It is a good idea to ask a trusted friend or colleague to review your proposal to spot any errors.
Step 8 – Wait for a Response
In most cases, the federal agency will respond within 30 to 120 days of receiving your bid, depending on the complexity of the contract.
When waiting for their feedback, ensure your contact information is easily accessible and updated in case they have any questions or clarifications.
Winning and Losing Bids and Learning From the Results
It is a great accomplishment if you can secure a contract award from the federal government! You should now do your best to fulfill the contract to the best of your abilities.
Don't lose heart, however, if your contract bid is rejected. Be sure to express your gratitude to the procurement officer after you receive their response. Then, ask them for feedback. By doing this, you'll know how to improve in the future.
The federal contracting industry is notoriously tricky at first. However, do not worry — your chances of succeeding will increase once you have gained experience and recommendations.
Are Government Pest Control Contracts Worth It?
The answer to this question is more complex than a simple “yes” or “no.”
Businesses must figure this out for themselves, but a small profit margin on a year-long contract can be worthwhile.
With a small profit margin or dropping your regular profit margins, these contracts are good for a year, so you are guaranteed money.
Manage Your Government Pest Control Contracts With Cedar Pest Software
Ready to stand out from your competition when you submit bids to your local government agencies? Cedar Pest’s pest control software can help you do this.
With Cedar Pest, you can confidently say you manage all new and previous jobs from one convenient place, ensuring maximum efficiency and scalability.
Additionally, you can explain how you streamline your day-to-day operations with Cedar Pest's:
- Seamless features
- Powerful tools; and
- Modern interface
We are experts at pest control. We designed our software with pest control operators in mind.
Our sales software allows technicians to quickly view client history, send contracts and view essential notes to get every job done right.
Cedar Pest is prepared to help your company prepare for the future of pest control.
Do not hesitate to contact us today for your free demo.