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EP011: Contracting with the Federal Government – with Chantel Gibbons


For most small business owners, the federal acquisitions process is intimidating. Sure, we’d all like to win federal contracts, but the registration process is complex and the regulations many. How do you know if your product or service is something the government needs? And how do you identify opportunities to work with the federal government in your area?

Chantel Gibbons has 25 years of experience in the realm of business operations and government contracts, working with top contractors in marine engineering, information technology, supply logistics and base support operations. Dubbed the ‘Queen of Contracts,’ she is a subject matter expert in defense contract policy, service contracts and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Chantel’s firm, We Do Contracts, does subcontractor management for corporations and supports small business owners in navigating the federal acquisitions process.

Today, Chantel shares the secret sauce for winning federal contracts, discussing the large number of federal buyers located throughout the country. She explains the importance of registering correctly to qualify for federal contracts and the value of listing multiple capabilities in the SAM system. Chantel addresses the 8(a) Business Development program, the difference between a sub- and prime contractor, and the significance of securing the small business designation.  Listen in for Chantel’s insight around how federal regulations apply to small businesses and learn how to identify federal opportunities in your area!



Key Takeaways

  • The secret sauce for winning federal contracts

    • Experience and relationships

  • The large number of federal buyers all over the US

  • How to register and obtain a cage code for federal contracts

  • How to prepare, start and build relationships with buyers

  • How an expert like Chantel helps vendors register correctly

  • How to identify and expand your capabilities in the SAM system

  • The fundamentals of the 8(a) Business Development program

  • The difference between being a subcontractor and a prime contractor

  • Why you need to be certified with the small business designation

  • How federal contracts differ from state and local contracts

  • Chantel’s insight around federal restrictions and regulations

    • Determined by scope, type of contract

    • Small businesses can take exception

  • How to identify federal opportunities in your area

  • How federal contracts can expand your revenue streams