Small Business Opportunities Through Government Contracts with the U.S. Navy
The business landscape of the 21st century has represented one of the most difficult for the typical small business to successfully navigate. Although the new millennium began with a few years of explosive growth and prosperity, the ladder part of this first decade was plagued with a particularly brutal economic and financial recession that crippled businesses throughout the international marketplace. Small businesses in particular have found survival to be extraordinarily difficult in the unforgiving business environment that persisted during the economic crisis and the years that have followed. As a result, small businesses and their innovative leadership have had to seek out new ways in which to survive and thrive in the fiercely competitive business landscape that exists today. One avenue that small businesses have begun to pursue in recent years is the acquisition of federal contracts. In particular, the ongoing conflicts in Southwest Asia has led to an upsurge in military operations and government spending that is dedicated to defense.
As stated previously, the popularity associated with federal contracts has caused competition to be quite contentious, particularly among small businesses seeking to secure the resources for organizational growth and expansion. As a result, a small business seeking to achieve successful acquisition of a federal contract must employ a well-designed acquisition and planning strategy that will effectively differentiate it from competitors while enhancing its attractiveness to the approving officials. According to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, there are a number of ways that a small business can distinguish itself and increase its chances of acquiring a federal contract. In particular, the regulation indicates that small businesses owned by minorities, women, or military veterans will receive special consideration with regard to contract acquisition. This is certainly something that the ceramic tile and marble floor coating firm could use to their advantage as part of their acquisition and planning strategy. In particular, the firm must begin its pursuit of a contract with the US Navy by emphasizing its owner demographics as a military veteran and a racial minority. Doing so will immediately elevate the firm in relation to competitors that do not share these same characteristics.
Another key factor that plays a pivotal role in the acquisition of federal contracts is the bid that the firm makes, which represents the cost of the services the firm will provide that the government must pay based upon the terms of service. Certainly the federal government and the contracting firm will have conflicting interests during the contracting process as the government will seek to procure the most value at the lowest cost, while the contractor will seek to make the highest profits. For small businesses, it can be particularly difficult to compete for federal contracts as they generally face higher operating costs than larger firms. This is where the planning strategy would come into play as the organization would need to establish processes in order to minimize operating costs so as to support the lowest possible bid while still ensuring a reasonable profit. This would require the firm to place significant emphasis on operational efficiency in order to minimize costs, and facilitate maximum quality so as to eliminate waste within the production process. By employing an acquisition and planning strategy that consists of elevating the firm’s standing by emphasizing its ownership by a minority and/or military veteran, and implementing rigid cost controls to minimize operational costs, and thusly, the firm’s contract bid, the coating firm should be able to successfully position itself as a highly attraction option to the U.S. Navy.
Electronic Contracting Program
For some small businesses, the initial experience of successful acquisition of a federal contract can be somewhat overwhelming due to the sheer volume of administrative requirements that accompany the contract. As a result, it is in the best interest of the coating firm to determine an effective way to establish an effective means of meeting its responsibilities so that it will be aptly prepared in the event that it secures its anticipated contract. One of the most critical responsibilities that the firm will face while holding its new contract will be to establish an effective business process to facilitate billing. As it stands, there are a number of alternatives available to small businesses to accommodate their billing needs, although it is important for such organizations to select the option that is most relevant and appropriate for their own firm. Based on this, and according to the specific function and needs of the coatings firm seeking a contract with the U.S. Navy, an option that appears more than appropriate is known as SurePay. SurePay provides an integrated billing system that allows the firm to conduct real-time billing and mediation solutions for multiple networks and services, particularly among commerce services such as those associated with federal contracts. The most alluring characteristics of SurePay involve its unique benefits, which include simplification and personalization of the user experience, which promotes long term customer loyalty, and acceleration of deployment and time to revenue while controlling costs. As stated previously, operational costs will remain one of the firm’s primary concerns while engaged in the contract. In fact, cost pressures for this firm will likely be more prominent as a small business than those experienced by larger more established firms. Ultimately, SurePay will provide the firm with critical billing tools that facilitate the achievement of lower operation costs and more stringent cost controls, which will enable the firm to more effectively compete and establish a stronger working relationship with the federal government and the particular agency that it has come to serve.
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