Government Contracting Q/A: Veteran in California
I happened to run across your Military.com Q/A article today, and wanted to take a moment to thank you. I wasn't expecting that level of detail and specificity in your reply, and was even happier to see you had a book (an eBook, no less!) published that provides step-by-step guidelines and instructions on the daunting task that is Government contracting.
I am a Marine Corps veteran as well (1/4 Wpns Co, CAAT Plt, Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom Vet). I spent three years as a police officer at China Lake and NBVC, and several years in the private sector in security and executive protection. I finally pulled the trigger on starting my own security company last year. I incorporated in CA (state of residence) and got my PPO license.
I have several divisions of my company I am currently developing, including Secret Service-modeled training and personal protection (crafted through retired USSS contacts and friends working as consultants to my company), threat and vulnerability assessments, and entertainment related security and consulting.
However, government contracting will be a big focus of our business. We are already registered in the CCR, have our packet in for MBE certification, and are currently working on getting SB/DVBE certified in CA. As you can see, I am fortunate to be able to check many of the boxes for contracting regulations! I have a clear vision of where I want to take my firm… including other States, and eventually internationally. But, as you know, just getting the foundation laid and getting a few arrows in ones "knowledge quiver" takes so much time, focus, and research!
Not wanting to waste an opportunity, I wanted to reach out to you and ask if you have any other recommendations of books, resources, or places I can/should go to expand my knowledge base regarding government contracting?
Thank you, in advance, for your time… and for putting together a great resource for government contracting boots like myself!
Thanks for writing, and for the flattering praise. It is much appreciated. Like you, I retired from Marine Corps and went on to create my own Government Contracting company.
Congratulations on your progress so far on getting your company up and running (getting your CCR Registration, application for MBE certification, SB/DVBE certification, etc.) in California. As you have already found, there are a number of certification 'gates' that can help position your company for preferential bidding opportunities. Disadvantaged Business and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certifications are very important registrations to have. After receiving your e-mail yesterday, I posted another general information video for you, and other Minority Business aspirants (African-American; Latino-American; Native-American; Asian-American; etc.) that provides a little more details on defining what is 8(a), Minority Business registrations, Benefits of 8(a) & MBE certification, etc. My previous Government Contracting info videos are also available at YouTube.
My e-book 'So You Want To Be A Government Contractor' (SYWTBAGC for short) has information pertaining to Small Business Financial Assistance sources; contact info on almost every Federal Small Business Development Unit (SBDU) nationwide; sample Proposal formats...and if the billions of dollars worth of announced Federal Contract Opportunities is not enough, my book also contains the processes and points of contact for submitting Unsolicited Proposals to sample Federal Agencies. I recommend that you should broaden your contacts towards out-of-state (non-California) Agencies as well. It is frequently not required that your company has a current office located in those other sites just to bid on contracts (you can always establish an office, or a collaborative teammate in that area, to perform on the bids).
Additionally, I recommend that you make contact with the California State agencies that help Small Businesses develop overseas opportunities. The California Governors Office seems very proactive towards helping small businesses develop domestic & international opertunities. I've I offered to create a personalized website that their State constituents could download the e-books directly, in any of the major e-publication formats (after volume-purchase by the State). I am still waiting to hear back from them. I recommend that you begin building up a database of like-minded small business contacts, so that you can pool your various Capabilities towards offering turn-key solutions to larger Federal programs. Put me in your database, and my company will consider teaming on appropriate projects.
I strongly recommend that you should register your company, and Search parameters, into the Federal Business Opportunities webpage (www.FBO.gov) so that you can get automatic distribution of potential contracts delivered directly to your mailbox. By my count, there have been more than 14,675 Small Business Contract Announcements posted there within the past 90 days ... spread across all focus sectors. For example, searching only on your specialty term "Security Guard," produced 91 active Federal Contract Opportunity announcements in the last 90 days.
I also strongly recommend that you should create a company website to showcase your capabilities, if you have not already created one. See my comments in the book about HostGator.com as a Hosting Company (my book provides you with a key-code for discount on that). The website will work 24/7 to promote your services, and search engines help you reach a wider audience.
Hope these comments help your BizDev brainstorming. Please keep in contact as you move forward with your company development.
Michael J. Erickson
President, Aviation Management Inc., LLC (AMI)
6010 Oxpen Court #203,
Alexandria, Virginia 22315