How Can Contractors Win Government Construction Contracts?

Lawyer Discussing Government Construction Contracts

Local and state governments spend over $250 billion to build roads, schools, and other public infrastructure every year. Sometimes, construction companies view government contracting as prohibitively competitive and believe that:

  • The pay is low
  • The bid requirements take too much effort and time

However, this is not the case and should not hold construction companies back from bidding on a sector offering tremendous growth opportunities.

Best 8 tips to land a government construction contract

Here are the best eight tips for landing a government construction contract:

1. Starting small

The biggest mistake you could make is to overpromise and then failing to deliver. It is crucial to note that the first impressions always count. Contrary to some beliefs, not all bids are only awarded based on price. The RFPs are scored on several factors, such as:

  • Location
  • Minority business status
  • Past success with the agency

2. Timing is crucial

The best time to get started on a government construction contract is before a recession. It will help you:

  • Establish a good reputation
  • Learn what you can do to put yourself in a winning position
  • Expand across several construction companies to increase your chances of getting jobs near you

It is essential to have these in place ahead of an economic downturn that could cause government construction companies to cut back on a construction contract.

3. Following the rules

It is crucial that contractors precisely follow the rules. Generally, the rules are well-described in the request or RFP of government construction companies. You don't want to spend hours creating an impressive bid package that only gets rejected because you missed the pre-bid meeting.

4. Knowing where to look

Bids are often posted in newspapers, on a third-party website, on a government website to find opportunities. The bids are posted with submittal dates, and the scope of work is defined clearly.

5. Finding the opportunities

A great starting point is finding bids that have already been awarded. Another great way is looking for upcoming work that has not been posted yet. Third-party services can directly send relevant bids via email based on pre-selected criteria and could be used to research bids that have been awarded.

6. Being a preferred provider

When choosing commodity codes, you should not only think about repair services or new builds. Think about how you can utilize your expertise in city emergency preparedness plans during natural disasters. You have to be on government lists as construction companies prepare so you can get the call to:

  • Top-off gas for generators
  • Repair a roof torn off in a hurricane
  • Provide emergency tree removal services

7. Considering special programs

Local, state, and federal governments aim to provide a specific percentage of work to minority-owned businesses. It can include benchmarks such as mandating that:

  • 23% of business is awarded to small firms.
  • 5% of small business contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses.
  • Another 5% of small business contracts are awarded to disadvantaged small businesses.

The other goals include service-disabled veterans and businesses located in historically underutilized areas.

8. Carefully considering the request

Check what is being asked and how it should be delivered. Use this information as a starting point to create templates so that you can respond to bids efficiently and quickly.


Contractors can get started on a government construction contract at any time. The government procurement departments urgently need construction companies, general contractors, electrical contractors, roofing contractors, design-build contractors, and landscape contractors.

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