Due to my current employment, I cannot give any specific advise or information. This is just stuff I wish I knew when I was you.
Long ago, I was a small businessman. I clearly remember having a great idea to try to compete for government business. I was immediately impressed with what I considered to be terrifying complexities to even hope for some small crumb. I felt tired and worn out just looking at the possibility. And, so I just stopped right there and never considered it again. This was in the late 90’s.
Fast forward to now, I am primarily an IT professional and Project Manager working for the government for the past 14 years and now have “empty nest” with time on my hands. I not only make ZERO money from this blog, I actually pay wordpress for the service. This is a labor of love, not profit in any way at all. Beats spending money on Amazon & OfferUp as a pastime…
My commercial certifications include CISSP and PMP. All other certifications I have are due to my additional duties that relate to federal contracting. I am not a Contracting Officer and would never want those headaches and stress.
But I do remember, and have empathy. It is an exotically complex process for the government side of any and all transactions – whether incidental or contractual. But it doesn’t have to scare off the small business owner. I wish I had a “navigator” to demystify how to do business with the government.
The governments (State, Federal, Local) really do want to prefer small & disadvantaged businesses. There are actually laws that intend to favor those in many circumstances. My hope is that people I will never meet might feel more confident to fairly bid and compete for governments’ business.