Understand your target market.
Understand the rules — The government applies standardized procedures to buy products and services it needs from suppliers who meet certain qualifications. Contracting officials use the procedures outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to guide government purchases. In addition, many agencies use supplemental regulations, such as DoD’s DFARS.
Understand how the agency buys — The primary contracting methods used by the government are simplified acquisition procedures, contract by negotiation, consolidated purchasing programs (GSA schedules, Government Wide Acquisition Contracts and other multiple award vehicles).
Understand the sales cycle — Once an RFP is issued it can take several months or a year (or more for very large procurements) before an award is made.
Understand post-award cycle — Most government services contracts include an initial period of performance of 12 months (base year), with four 12-month option periods, for a total of five years. The government has the authority to exercise these option periods based upon its satisfaction with the contractor’s performance, the availability of funds, and agency on-going requirements/needs.