Ever since the Obama Administration passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which allocated $787 billion to stimulate the economy, the floodgates have opened, and companies have been scrambling to win government contracts in areas ranging from health care services to construction to cyber-security and IT infrastructure. The lure: a chance to win long-term deals with a steady stream of revenue from a customer with deep pockets.
You don't have to be an 800-lb. corporate gorilla to be a supplier. In fact, the government's goal is to award 23% of all federal agency contracts, worth more than $520 billion, to small firms each year. Just ask Shiv Krishnan. Over the past 16 years, he's built Indus Corp. an IT company in Tysons Corner, Va., that develops software for data mining, warehousing and geospatial and network security by selling solely to government agencies such as the EPA and NASA. Last year the company, which employs 500, earned $5 million on $87 million in revenue. "The key is not getting intimidated by the process," Krishnan stresses, noting that you often need six to 18 months to complete the documentation and do in-depth market research.