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NOTABLE! Selling products to the military.

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by Mile, May 17, 2018.

  1. Required
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    Required Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Very inspiring indeed! Love this thread and will be keeping an eye on it for sure.
    Glad you took action despite what everyone else said..

    Mis pataljonis teenisid? Palju jõudu ja jaksu!
     
  2. Hijena1
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    Hijena1 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Congratulation !!
    Keep smashing those Ney-Seyers !
     
  3. Mile
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    Mile Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks. I was in KKRK.
     
  4. Johnny Bravo
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    Johnny Bravo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Kudos to Mile for starting this thread. I just submitted a proposal to the Air Force today because I was inspired by your story. Just goes to show how helpful this place is!

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
     
    Roz, Mile and 404profound like this.
  5. rockit11
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    rockit11 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I was wondering if I'd ever see my job show up on here. I'm a government (military in my case) Contracting Officer. I lurk here often. I can answer some basic questions. The government buys almost everything you can think of and a lot of things you couldn't.
     
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    ApparentHorizon Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Like what?
     
  7. InspireHD
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    InspireHD Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    This is a broad question, but what are some things the government wants to buy but can’t find a source for?

    Other than DIBBS, are there any other sources of open contracts waiting for bids? I know a ton go unawarded.
     
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  8. Jonathan Hoch
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    Jonathan Hoch Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I had the same question, and then I started googling for Government RFQ, and a ton of resources started popping up that showcase all kinds of contracts looking to be filled. One was a database of 26,000 RFQ.

    Check this out

    Find and Pursue Government Contracts
     
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  9. rockit11
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    rockit11 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    The primary place to look, at least for Department of Defense Contracts, is FBO.gov. It was even in that movie War Dogs haha. I couldn't believe anyone knew enough about my job to have it in a movie. The things you couldn't think of are proprietary developmental contracts or secret products. But the DOD buys a lot of both commercially available and non-commercial (military specific) products, services, and construction. Got a landscaping business? Bid on doing work for the local base. You'll need to register in the system for award management (SAM). If you have a Small Business Administration (SBA) office near you (every state does) they also can help get you set up. By the way, the government sets aside many contract awards for small businesses only. I have awarded many millions of dollars in contracts. Government contracting seems really cryptic but it's actually not... Granted it's taken years to learn the nuances but winning awards comes down to following instructions. It's not the same way you'd try to win business with a company. We have to follow the rules and play fair to everyone that bids.
     
  10. rockit11
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    Things we can't find a source for... One thing to look for is RFIs (request for information). This is one of the primary ways we do market research. We'll send these out if we're looking to see if a business capability exists for a need we have. These also go up on FBO.gov. You don't send a bid for these, just basically reply indicating that you believe that's something we can do or, we can definitely do that type of work/ product/ service.
     
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    Ernman Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Johnny - I've more experience in SBIR's than I'd like to admit. Please keep us updated on your progress. Have you looked at the new OTA process?
     
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    Ernman Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Spot on rockit11
     
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    War Dogs is one of my favorite movies and gave me inspiration to go out and try. I felt like a fraud, though. I had nothing to sell. I closed the business recently after only winning 2 contracts. I was solely searching one manufacturer on DIBBS. It was a race to the lowest bid. Was I willing to take a 1% margin just to win the contract? Sure. I was told, "In the beginning, you're just trying to get into their system." It was a process of starting with tiny contracts to then build up.

    My first contract won, I lost money because the shipment to me came from two different places and I got charged shipping twice. My second contract I won, I profited $10, which put me back into the positive by $7. And this was maybe a 3% profit margin. There was no room for error.

    My imagination was that I would find the contracts that nobody was bidding on and go out there and source the products. Can't find a specific radio? Sure, I found a guy who sells them down in Alabama. Need 50 of whatever? Oh yeah, I was digging around and found someone in Idaho who is the only person in the country who supplies them. He had no idea you wanted them.

    But the reality? I sold nothing and manufactured nothing. "Hey Dept. of X, I'm reaching out to you as a supplier." "What do you sell?" "Well.....nothing, but I can source whatever you need!" That was the fraud in me. It didn't feel right.

    It was easy to go on DIBBS and pick a source cage code and bid on 10 contracts a day, but trying to navigate the government codes and packaging, etc. and try to do it right was a little difficult. When 20 companies are bidding on 1 contract and everyone is quoting pennies, I just didn't see it as sustainable. A family member of mine used to work in a company who supplied to the government doing something similar and they did $16 million in revenue in one year. I couldn't wrap my head around it going down the route I went -- feeling like I didn't belong.

    For the most part, even for the small business set-asides, does the government even care where the items come from? I mean, if they want a specific office chair, do they care that I went out and sourced it from Staples and added a 30% profit margin on top of that and then reshipped it to them? I don't actually manufacture office chairs, but I can find one.
     
  14. Johnny Bravo
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    I haven't actually heard of that before now. I'm wondering if the program I submitted my proposal to is within the OTA. The entire process from bid submission to contract award is only one month.

    I'll know if I'm invited to the next stage by this coming Friday.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Ocean Man
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    Ocean Man How may I provide value? Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Holy cow! I’m literally jumping with excitement for you in the café as I’m reading this. Can’t wait to hear more updates and you’re a go-getter!
     
  16. Mile
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    Mile Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    It's been a while since my last post. I´ve been improving and presenting my prototype to different military officers and forces. The MOD contract helps here a lot. Next month will be the final stage testing. Hopefully, everything works out. The aim is to present the actual product at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in september that is held every two years in London.

    Some lessons that I have learned:
    1) The real entry barrier is knowing people.
    2) Universities are interested in participating in innovative projects.
    3) Make sure that you know the law.
    4) Design standard solutions to your product.
    5) Wear olive green clothes.

    I will keep you informed.
     

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