This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jason White. Jason knows how to create a niche. He is the founder of The Federal Code, a business that teaches the secrets of winning federal government contracts with no certification, no business history, using minimal startup cost, and using subcontractors to support new contracts — the same way he does it. Jason currently manages over 40 Federal Government Contracts worth over $37 million. And the students he’s taught have successfully won over $30 million in contracts. J
ason is a great example of how to find a unique need, create a niche, maximize it, and then teach others to do it and help them find their financial freedom. I’ve asked him on today to share how he does it and what he’s learned along the way.
@IamJasonWhite_ on Instagram
Jason never set out to do what he does. In fact, he was not a good path to success at the time. The opportunity literally fell into his lap. He was working at a gas station in 2008 and his friend came in to get something and told him that he was about to get a federal contract in trucking. Instead, the guy was arrested that night and went to prison. But, the idea stuck in Jason’s head. He decided to see if he could get a contract and started going down the rabbit hole. It took him 3 years before he got his first contract.
Talk to us about Federal contracts. How does your business work?
- Federal Government contracting is simpler than you think.
- In its simplest form, it is the Federal Government look to procure a product or service from the private sector.
- Jason didn’t have any money, a network, resources, or credit – he figured out that he could outsource the work and be the middleman between the Govt and the product/service provider.
- The Federal Govt is the largest purchaser in the world and provides a steady stream of opportunities for contracting.
How do you find a contract? How do you get started?
- he main requirement you must have at least an LLC. It is also good to have a DUN’S number.
- You then register that with SAM.Gov. Y
- ou will look for opportunities in SAM.Gov.
- There are 96,000 contract opportunities on average every day in SAM.
- Jason looks for service-based solicitations that continue for more than 1 year. This created residual income.
Are there some types of contracts that are better than others? How do you distinguish?
- As newbie, you will consider things easier to understand than others. For example, a lawn care contract is easier to understand than say an IT contract.
- But, the mindset needs to be not so much, can you understand or manage the contract, but more of can you manage the company you outsource to that is fulfilling the work.
- The expectations will come from the contract – your job is to manage the expectations.
- Jason stays away from construction contracts.
How do you win a contract?
- The Federal Govt is an endless supply of opportunity.
- You are bidding, so your quotes must be competitive.
- The only way to do that is to compare and get quotes from multiple companies to find the best price and then your fee goes on top of it.
- It’s a numbers game. Don’t worry so much about winning as much as consistently creating competitive bids.
How many bids/submissions do you typically do before winning?
- Jason has found that he wins about 30% of the time for him at this point.
- For someone starting out, this ratio will be lower.
- Jason strives to submit at least 10 bids every month.
What is the typical profit margin on a contract?
- It is all over the place.
- This happens because the bids are all different and for different types of services, so they have different margins.
- Jason has created a formula he uses for this process.
- He price compares with 3-4 companies for every bid.
- He looks for a middle ground and then adds his fee.
- He knows based on the companies’ prices where to be to not be the cheapest nor the most expensive.
How you find the companies/resources to fulfill your contracts?
- Google! He Googles service providers in the area for the contract and interviews them.
- Remember, you are not looking at opportunities just where you live, you are looking at contracts for the entire nation. It comes down to your ability to manage and hold service providers accountable that matters most.
What causes people to fail in Federal contracting?
- When you are essentially subcontracting, you are hinging your company’s name on their work. They are working on your behalf, but you are ultimately responsible.
- One of the biggest pitfalls is not setting expectations appropriately. It is very important that you understand and communicate the expectations of the contract and have a way to measure that they are being followed.
- You may have companies that find out the job is more expensive or don’t appropriate the right amount of resources.
- The Federal Govt wants to help small businesses out and understand that mistakes get made and challenges come up, but you must make sure to not make the same mistakes over and over again.
How do you handle working with these subcontractors?
- You will need to have a service agreement that is legally binding.
- You can do this through an attorney or through LegalZoom or LawDepot, etc.
- Try to keep it simple and make it easy for both parties.
At the 27 min mark, Jason walks through an example of a recent contract and how he got it and managed it.
Anything else we should know about Federal contracting?
- One of the biggest secrets is that you must be consistent.
- Jason recommends bidding on a minimum of 10 contracts per month.
- Most people quit because they don’t maintain a high level of activity.
- Learning to communicate well is critical.
Talk to us about your entrepreneur journey – what made you go from gas station attendant to committing to this and figuring it out?
- Jason barely graduated high school, but he learned common sense on the streets.
- Jason kept asking how.
- When his buddy told him what he was doing, he was surprised the guy was trying to go straight. He was just too late for himself.
- It was the vessel, the messenger that made the difference.
Talk to us about playing to long game. You didn’t get your first contract for 3 years.
- Success leaves clues.
- Someone has to be the pioneer to leave the clues.
- Jason just kept telling himself he wanted to see it through.
- He wanted to prove that a guy like him could finish and succeed.
- He learned a lot about himself and what he was capable of in his journey.
- He stopped being motivated and started being driven because when you are driven, motivation can care less. When you are driven, you don’t care what gets in the way, if you get sick, whatever, you push through.
At the 38 min mark, we have a great conversation on being driven.
Best Quote: Stop being motivated and started being driven. When you are driven, you don’t care what gets in the way, if you get sick, whatever, you push through.
Jason's Misfit 3:
- Be patient. It’s rare to know how long it will take. Keep going.
- Have a high level of communication. Build this skill set.
- Do not look to your left or to your right. Focus on you.
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