Federal Government Contracting: A How-To Guide for CEOs (in 5 Steps)

Do you feel tapped out from growing your business through your current market?

Are you thinking about entering a larger market, like the federal government, but feeling confused about how to start?

This article will show commercial business CEOs generating $1M+ annually how to become a federal government contractor in five do-it-yourself steps.

How to grow your business by becoming a federal government contracting firm

Step 1: Conduct market research on your buyers

Over the past few years, the federal government has been consolidating its internet sites and properties for contract opportunities.

You can now access all contract data on one website, SAM.gov (SAM stands for System Award Management).

In the past, you had to access several websites to find contract opportunities that match your products or the services you’re selling.

You want to do your market research first, because you want to make sure the federal government is a viable buyer from your company.

To discover more about market research, check out this video.

Step 2: Set up a profile at SAM.gov as a federal contracting firm 

To become a federal government contractor, you first have to set up and register your business as a federal contractor with SAM.gov.

Before you register on SAM.gov, you have to create a username and password at Login.gov.

Once that is done, you’ll be able to create a profile on SAM.gov.

You will be asked a series of questions regarding you personally and your company.

Set aside 2-3 hours (minimum) to complete this step. If you don’t complete this section entirely, be sure to save what you have completed.

If you need assistance, you can access your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Step 3: Complete your SBA Dynamic Small Business Search profile

As you go through the SAM.gov profile, you’ll have to complete an SBA Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile.

You will be asked about your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

Once you know your code (or codes), you’re going to include that code(s) in your profile.

Then continue answering the remaining profile questions.

Step 4: Build government agency relationships

This is the part where you have to be proactive.

You’ll need to pick up the phone and call the agency procurement officers whom you’re interested in working with.

You’ll need to engage in conversations so they get to know you, your company, and the services you are selling.

Besides calling the agency, you can also physically visit with officers at conventions, trade fair events, etc.

Here’s a video about the comparison between reactive vs. proactive relationship building.

Step 5: Collaborate with contracting firms

When you find a contracting award opportunity in the instance you want to be chosen for, you can collaborate with other firms.

For example, let’s say you have an IT consulting company and your capabilities don’t fully cover the requirements necessary for the opportunity.

You can collaborate or team up with a similar-size company to go after the contract.

By collaborating with another firm, you can scale your capabilities to meet the needs of the federal government contract.

How do I know my profile will lead to an award?

Honestly, you don’t know.

That said, there are two actions you can take to boost the confidence of the agency buyers who may be interested in your company.

1. Be thorough and clear in your profile. 

This is the first attribute that government buyers will see about you.

That means you have to put your best foot forward every step of the way.

You need to be clear on what you do and how you can help the government solve its problems.

2. Use keywords.

What are keywords?

Keywords are words people type into a search tool to find what they are looking for.

In this case, you’ll use keywords to describe the services or commodities that you’re selling to the government.

For instance, let’s say you’re selling management consulting.

The phrase “management consulting” is a broad phrase.

The goal in using keywords is to move from broad to specific.

Depending on your niche code and what you’re selling, there are a variety of nich phrases you can use, like:

  • Financial management consulting services
  • Administrative management consulting services
  • General management consulting services
  • Site selection consulting services
  • Strategic planning consulting services

Where do you use keywords?

You will use keywords in the DSBS section and in your capabilities statement.


If you feel frustrated about not growing your business because you’ve tapped out your main market, there’s an alternative approach waiting for you: federal government contracting.

It may feel confusing and overwhelming to start working with the government.

I get it.

But to get started, all you need to do is set aside a few hours and tackle these five do-it-yourself steps.

And remember . . . be clear and thorough when completing your contractor profile!

Next step

The first order of business is to enlighten yourself about the opportunities available to a your busines so you can grow, thrive, and shine.

Ready to take the first step?

Please go to my Calendly and book a 15-minute call.

Our discussion will: 

  • Review your current situation
  • Use targeted questions to see if we are a potential fit
  • Discuss your current challenges and why things haven’t worked
  • Consider what you are trying to accomplish
  • Decide whether a 45-minute discovery call is necessary

All your contact information is secure and confidential.

Once you fill out and submit the form, you will get a confirmation email with a Zoom link for our discovery call.