Doing Business with the Government

Doing Business with the Government

The government allocates billions of dollars every year on services and products with a percentage of these dollars set aside for Small Business Owners.  According to GSA (2016), the United States Government delegates an approximate amount of these services and products, especially for Small Businesses.  Unfortunately, most of the contracts set aside for Small Business Owners are left unfulfilled.  Because Small Business Owners lack the knowledge to respond to and meet the requirements (red tape) involved with doing business with the government.

A Finance Officer in the United States Army and a Contract Officer Representative, I have had the pleasure of reviewing some Responses to RFPs of Small Business Owners seeking to contract with the U.S. Government.  One of the strongest reasons Small Business owners do not secure the contract is because first they fail to write clearly, therefore, violating the guidance implemented by the American Psychological Association (APA), (2010). 

According to APA (2010), both business and scholarly writing must be clear, precise, and free of grammatical error.  Not only does it communicate the intent of your message, but also, present a professional appearance, and provide the first impression of you and your business.  Therefore, it is important that responders communicate in a clear and precise manner.

Additionally, most of the responses fail to address all of the requirements of the solicitation.  When responding to an RFP, it is imperative to read the entire document to ensure that all of the required tasks are addressed (Block, 2011).  Responders should understand that every phrase beginning with “the contractor shall” must be addressed in the RFP response.  If all the requirements are not dealt with in the response, that response is typically shifted to the side and will not be considered. 

Many resources are available to Small Business Owners who possess the desire to conduct business with the Government.  Prospective vendors must seek out these resources to ensure they meet all of the requirements and qualifications needed to respond to Government solicitations.  Therefore, the question is how can I/O psychologists/consultants assist small business owners successfully acquire these contracts and do business with the Government?



American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American psychological association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

General Services Administration. (2016). How to sell to the Government. Retrieved May 1, 2016, from

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Alice Sylvester
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