It is National Small Business Week! 5 Tips on How Small Business Government Contractors in Montgomery County, Maryland Thrive

May 6, 2016
Happy National Small Business Week! Did you know that Montgomery County, MD has the second highest number of small businesses that do business with the federal government? Or that it is home to the largest concentration of federal agencies in the nation? As the Federal Government continues to expand small business goals, there are key things to keep in mind in order to thrive here. 
How do these businesses do it? At the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), we work with subject matter experts who have federal marketplace knowledge and experience to help our members succeed. Whether you are currently in the government contracting market or looking to enter it, be prepared to compete, comply and perform!
1. Have a Targeted Plan
The federal market is huge; as a small business you do not have the resources to chase every opportunity. Therefore, it is best to set your targets on those agencies that buy what you sell. This is also a differentiator. Government and Primes, both potential customers, like to see that you are focused, knowledgeable and have key relationships.  If you do, they are more likely to take you seriously and it can set you apart from the rest. 
2. Embrace What Sets You Apart
Why you? Know what sets you apart and know how to articulate it during one-on- one briefings and in capability statement. You have a much greater likelihood of being noticed and remembered when you can offer something that stands out from the rest and solves the customer’s problem.
3. Risk is a four letter word  
Companies will run the other way if they perceive you to be a risk to do business with. Cybersecurity is a serious threat that businesses cannot afford to ignore. Engage with someone to do a thorough cyber risk assessment and implement policies and systems that will protect you. Also, when it comes to winning contracts, there is an increasing need for government contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors to be cyber-certified. The most successful companies will be those that are ahead of the pack in terms of having standards in place. The Cybersecurity Association of Maryland is a good resource to find companies in the cyber space.
4. For speed of play – tap into resources
The SBA is a terrific resource for federal government contractors.  Access to capital, is key and SBA has great products. Take advantage of SBA’s advocates– including their Procurement Center Representatives (PRCs) who are there to ensure small businesses have a seat at the table when government determines acquisition strategy. Do you know the PCR at your target agency? You should! 
5. Network, Network, Network!
We’ve all heard it before, but relationships really do matter. People buy from people. Make sure you are connecting with the right people and maintaining those relationships because they could turn into important partners or clients in the future. 
Bonus! Attend the MCCC GovConNet Procurement Conference to learn about these tips and more!
The MCCC GovConNet Procurement Conference uses real time data to arm small businesses with the right tools and connections for success. Gain valuable insights and meet directly with key purchasing agents from a variety of prime contractors and federal, state, and local government agencies on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at The Universities at Shady Grove. Find out more at

Barbara Ashe

Barbara Ashe
Executive Vice President
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Read Barbara Ashe's Bio >


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