Where do you look to find local city and government bids? I'm looking for small local contracts but have no idea where to find them.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor L:
Builders Association plan rooms. Most of these are awarded through a builder, so the scope is actually in the builder's bid. If you can possibly get your foot in the door with a commercial builder that does that kind of work, then they will solicit you for a bid as a subcontractor. This is actually great because they are out looking for work for you.
I worked in DoD finance and contracting for a long time while I was in the Air Force. The contracting process for all federal agencies is essentially the same. The money is usually good but the bureaucracy is more trouble to deal with than you can imagine. They pay slow when everything is perfect, and if one T is not crossed, the process stops and you don't get paid at all (and no phone call to tell you what's wrong). The up side to that is you get paid an interest penalty when they don't pay on time.
Another thing you'll want to do is get set up and authorized to take the Government purchase card. That's just a Visa card that's administered by the government so agencies can bypass the contracting process for single purchases under $2500. (That threshold may have gone up since I left two years ago.) Some agencies are given higher purchase authority but I've never seen it over $10K.
If you bid a job with the government, bid a little high and offer a discount for prompt payment. All government agencies are required by law to take cost effective discounts. The financial managers have a performance indicator that is closely watched by senior management. They get beat up if they miss those discounts, so rest assured, the payment processors take notice when that's in the contract.
I'm not telling you to avoid this process, but I will offer this advice. Don't get involved with the federal government if there is even a remote chance your business will live or die because of one of their contracts. These finance payment centers are sweat shops and have huge turnovers and the resulting training problems. It's not uncommon to get paid 90 days after you complete a job. Each agency has a special office that deals with congressional inquiries over complaints from mom and pop businesses that are drowning because the bureaucracy won't respond.