Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Get the Facts in 3 Steps with CEO Fox Wade
Government contracting is an extremely lucrative opportunity for small businesses. But, arguably, for some, it is one of the most confusing.
"How do I get started? What I you need to secure contracts? Can anyone become a government contractor?"
The questions are endless.
Before we get started, grab your notebook/journal, pen, trust, you'll want to.
Prepare to be enlightened and educated by the amazing entrepreneurial minds of this episode.
Table of Knowledge
Step 1: Understand the System
Step 2: Know the Process
Two Valuable Lessons
For Donni, her lesson was to create your own opportunities. She remembered when she was working for other people. There was always something in each work environment that she didn't care for. So, she created her own thing.
Both of their points last week were a perfect segue into introducing their guest, Fox Wade.
Who is Fox Wade?
Before the cameras were up, and the episode began taping, the energy in the studio was buzzing. As people took their seats, individual conversations filled the room, merging into one collective conversation.
One voice stood out from the rest.
Sitting on one of the studio the couches was a man with a presence. He lightly conversed with David and Donni and introduced his lovely wife. There was something unique about him. When Reese, from The Social Proof production team, put a mic in front of him, we knew he was the guest of the segment.
But that was the intriguing part. His nonchalance and chilled persona drew everyone in before they knew he was being featured. Before the cameras started, he gave so much game; the audience knew the episode was going to be lit.
They were right.
The camera started rolling, and the charismatic CEO introduced himself. He was Fox Wade.
Although Fox was there to talk about his company, The Black Fox Group, David, in his skilled way, began the conversation by finding out who his guest was before finding out what he did.
Fox Wade is a US Army Veteran and entrepreneur. But, it's important to note, his story defines him, not his titles.
Fox recounts waking up in the hospital room and not feeling anything from his waist down. Whereas most people would have given up, Fox knew that with a bullet lodged between his L5 vertebrae, and sciatic nerve, that he was going to be ok.
When the reality of possibly never walking again crept into his mind, he countered that thought with a determined goal. One day, he would run around that medical facility.
He knew to get there he would have to put in a huge amount of work. He started by just having the determinism to move his pinky toe.
After two months, he started moving not only just his toe, but a foot. Then the other foot. These improvements kept happening until eventually he went to physical therapy/rehab. With six months of pure determination, he could walk again. Nine months after that, he was running.
That determinism and resilience are deep inside Fox and are prevalent in everything he does.
This episode and blog wouldn't hit the way they do without first acknowledging Fox's personal victory.
"When I make a decision that I am going after something, it's going to happen."
- Fox Wade
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Once Fox got his good health back, he served eight more years in the military, then officially retired and began government contracting with his six-figure grossing company, The Black Fox Group.
Now he educates others on how to do the same thing.
If You Know You Know - Knowledge is KING
Before you get government contracts, there are some key things you should know.
There is no such thing as having a side hustle or passive income as it relates to government contracting.
According to Fox, in his experience, the government knows when businesses contract with them, money is going to be made. Words like "hustle" imply the opposite.
They don't want the work contractors do to be viewed as "making money off the government." As a contractor, you are making money with the government.
Fox Fact: Put aside the idea that government contracting is a side hustle or revenue stream. It's not. It's a partnership.
That is why contractors are called Private Industry Partners (PIPs).
If you have an existing business, and want to partner with the government, but you don't have time, hire a project manager who will do it for you. This person will solely oversee the acquisition of contracts and will staff the government contract.
Next, hire someone who will be in charge of operations. They will be the point of contact for the employees or staff that you put on a government project and will handle the day-to-day.
After that, get some proposal writers. Each government contract is obtained by winning bids, which is done by submitting proposals. You need their expertise.
Let the Bidding Begin
Once you get all these roles in place, understand this. The government will not trust you as a new company, off the top, with a large contract.
Some government contracts are massive and have huge budgets in the millions or greater.
They will, however, trust an existing company who has already done business with government before, known as the prime contractor.
There's hope, though, for your small business. Within that contract budget, the government sets aside a percentage of funds for a smaller or certified minority-owned business.
Fox Fact: If your business is certified as a minority business, reach out to that prime contractor and ask to be brought in on the contract. You don't have to submit a proposal. Have the proper certification and they will bring you on.
Just as you have to pay your dues with sweat equity in the private sector, you do the same with the US government.
As you grow, invest in your business, get certifications that inform the government you know your stuff. Build trust so you can go for the high-ticket bids.
For example, Fox's company invested in the ISSO:22301, the Business Continuity Management Certification. This cert ensures that contract stability will survive, regardless of natural disaster, etc.
Obtain these certs to show you're serious.
If you're feeling like you're not even at the point of subcontracting, check out the federal 8a Program. The Small Business Administration devised this program to help small businesses get the assistance they need to grow in government contracting. Participants get knowledge and a jump start, with access to specified contracts.
This ten-year program caps participants at a $100 million dollar gain, and then they graduate or phase out from the program.
Those odds are pretty dope.
The "Big Fish" Agencies In the Government
The top grossing federal agencies in the government are The Department of Health & Human Services, which spends approximately 1.7 trillion annually, the Department of Defense,1.5 trillion annually and the Social Security Administration 1.3 trillion annually.
With these huge budgets, each of them has different profit margins.
Fox Fact: Federal agencies are broken down into mission essential functions. Within that designation, there are primary mission essentials. These agencies forecast their budget with a set term increment because they have money constantly coming in.
This knowledge will determine which agencies your business should pursue to bid contracts.
Who Are You?
Whichever way you decide to go with working with the government. Realize who you are in business.
For instance, Fox doesn't see himself as a government contractor. He is a business owner, and the government is one of his customers.
All major companies like Verizon and Amazon have government contracts and the money earned from them comprise 50% of their revenue stream.
Through a recession, the funds these companies are getting are solid money from the government because the contracts are locked in with secured yearly terms. That is why the government is a good customer to have.
This episode, although informative, was only a small portion of all there is to know. If you want to learn about getting started in government contracting, Fox developed his own program,
Fox states completing his program is a good place to start.
Second, before going directly to the federal government, start off with your local government. Go to your local Board of Commissioner meetings for your county and they will tell you what contracts are available.
Third, find out what business structure (Sole-Proprietor, LLC etc.,) works best for your company and get it registered with the federal and local government.
Fourth, register your business with a government procurement portal, either federal or state.
Discover Unsolicited Contracts
Remember how Donni was talking about creating your own opportunities?
Well, you can do the same thing with the government and your existing business.
Use the skills you have to leverage your ability to get contracts. If you see an area of opportunity in a government agency, contact them, and ask for a meeting to share with them how you can assist them. Once you meet with them, show them your solution-based strategy and provide a quote. They will make a business case and submitted your proposal to their superiors.
Always think smarter, so you don't work harder.
If you made it this far, you're a real one! We hope this helped and encourages you to build your business to support government contracts.
See you in the next upload!