Do you want to set up a defense subcontracting company? here is a complete guide to starting a defense contract business with no money and no experience .
Ok, so we’ve provided you with an example of a detailed Defense Contract Business Plan template. We also took it a step further by analyzing and writing a sample defense contract marketing plan backed by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for defense clients. In this article, we will go over all the requirements for starting a defense outsourcing business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s take action.
Why launch a defense order?
It is no secret that the United States government issues different types of protection contracts, ranging from the production of military equipment and ammunition to IT, administration or logistics services for the public. However, signing one of these contracts is not as easy as you might think.
You can’t just ask for a contract when the opportunity arises, the first and most important thing to consider when entering a business like this if you are a citizen of a country. This is understandable, as the company will be ranked first in the world for its military prowess, and confidential information may be transferred during the completion of the contract. It would be unwise for a country as large as the United States to give access to sensitive processes to non-citizens.
Apart from that, serving in the military is also an added bonus for contracts. Given that this is not set in stone like the law, it would appear that most military contractors are owned by former servicemen who have retired or been fired with honor.
But if no one has ever had military experience, they shouldn’t be upset, as hard work and meeting various requirements can also put a newcomer above any competitive hurdle when starting a military business. defense subcontracting.
The first step in setting up such a business is to register it, there are a lot of things the government pays attention to before they can define any of them as eligible for contracts. One is whether the person has a consistent financial history, whether the person has been dishonestly discharged from the military, use of illegal substances, lack of cooperation in applying for foreign passports, a history of non -observance of rules and regulations, good mental health, etc.
These types of measures are taken to ensure that such contracts do not fall into the wrong hands, as the United States of America has many enemies. In addition, awarding such contracts to incompetent persons can jeopardize military plans and operations.
Relocation preparation is an advantage for those seeking defense contracts; this movement, of course, takes place in the United States, but can include overseas, conditions permitting. It is very important to do adequate research on how to conduct this kind of activity, and one of the ways to do the research is to talk to other defense business owners, ask them about the procedures and what to expect.
Start a defense business. The Complete Guide
- Industry overview
This industry mainly includes the military and defense aerospace industries. Looking back to 2016, one would expect the industry to generate over $ 340 billion in total revenue, which would translate into an annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5% between 2012 and 2016.
This industry can be broken down into countries requiring the production, sale, and maintenance of military aircraft and the production of military weapons and systems designed to operate both on land and at sea, even in the air. In the past, the airline market was cyclical, with total orders skyrocketing for a significant number of years, then dropping sharply, resulting in delays or even cancellations of orders.
This may be due to general changes that may occur during the year, although the United States may have already allocated a certain amount of its budget to that particular sector. The growth of the defense sector depends heavily on public spending and budgetary trends.
One of the global giants, Lockheed Martin, who can also be described as the biggest entrepreneur in the sector, derived 70% of its income from this particular sector, although the approved budget for 2021 was approved at 33 billion. dollars. The United States, which is expected to be used to buy more than 200 devices, could also change in the event of war.
The source of life in this particular industry is research and development. and will develop rapidly during a war, this affects the speed of acquisition of weapons and therefore creates an opportunity for profit, on the other hand, when the war is over or the general perception of risk disappears, then the costs in this area particular will decrease …
United States defense spending is by far the largest in the world; this is due to the need for a country to defend its diverse and broad national interests both nationally and globally. With the amounts allocated to this particular sector being allocated by national leaders, defense spending rose from 9% of gross domestic product during the Vietnam War to over 34% of gross domestic product. recently.
Most of the programs that create competition for participation in tenders from different companies are very large, which means that any newcomer must have a wide range of resources, both financial and personal, to be competitive. . with those who have made a name for themselves in the industry. On the other hand, there are smaller contracts designed specifically for small businesses.
Beginning of market and feasibility studies of commercial services
- Demography and psychography
In business, knowing the characteristics of the customers you intend to serve has a major impact on your approach to the market. Some important things to watch out for are the purchasing power of potential customers, age group, location or even gender; it all depends on whether the market will lead to financial success.
However, if you are in the defense business, you will only have one client. This customer is the United States government, so the demographics and psychography of this particular customer must take its attributes from the very nature from which the government will manage the services provided by your business.
One of the top priorities of the United States government is security, especially in the ongoing war on terrorism. So you should know that this mega client is looking for the cheapest way to get the highest quality safety items.
It is safe to say that your client is price sensitive and since there are quite a few other defense contractors who demand defense contracts from the government, it would be prudent to find a cheaper way to serve the government for this purpose. without losing money. this quality.
List of defense market niche ideas you can specialize in
When it comes to protection, there are a number of areas that you can decide to specialize in. One can choose to focus on information technology for government. One can specialize in software and hardware for various army gadgets.
As the world continues to evolve into the digital age, it becomes imperative for the government to have modern programs, software and information technology to provide adequate protection for a huge arsenal of defensive vehicles such as missiles. , drones, supercomputers, etc.
As someone who provides your services to the government in this particular area, the possibilities for you are endless. There are many software algorithms required to operate and protect a country’s defense system, and focus on this particular aspect as your specialty will prove to be a very profitable business.
Another area of specialization that you can choose from is focusing on a specific war machine. Examples would be tanks, planes, drones, or any other defensive vehicle that can be used to provide greater security in the United States of America.
Although, if anyone decides to specialize in creating these military vehicles, they should understand that the level of competition will be very high when it comes to securing government contracts, not to mention the level of pressure that accompanies such a responsibility.
You can also specialize in supplying ammunition to the government. Either a company manufactures weapons or it has a contract with the manufacturers to supply these weapons to the government. Another area that could gain specialization could be the search for new and formidable weapons that could shift the balance of power further to the United States.
In any business, finding your niche gives you a better chance to specialize and focus your energies on a specific aspect. Experience is one of the main things a government pays attention to before choosing a company to work in this capacity.
The level of competition in the defense contract sector
There are three factors that make the defensive streak very competitive. Firstly, there are already other companies that can already provide the same services that you want to offer. They are the first competitors to look for. This is a serious problem because when it comes to government practices, security and consistency are usually things that reflect security.
The government would generally like to work with the company they have worked with for a longer period of time than to move to a new company. They would have done all the background checks of this company by now and they already knew the estimated time of arrival for services etc so it can be difficult to get involved in these transactions.
On top of that, new members are constantly entering the system. These newcomers can make it very difficult to start your business as a serious business with the government. These new entrants, for example, may no longer have a set of practices that can be easily researched to understand what their particular competitive advantages might be.
They may not have previous experience to understand how they work. the market approach will be, so it can be difficult to develop a strategy to get the government’s attention to them. It’s not like other companies that have always been there, whose files are open to investigation. Beginners are like newborns to compete with.
List of famous brands in the defense industry
Realize that those who are already in the market are still smart. Competition cannot be won without someone knowing who they are fighting with. It’s fair to say that some of these famous brands have grown into industry giants over the years.
Here are some of the top US defense procurement companies;
- Lockheed Martin
- Rolls Royce
- BAE systems
- General Electric
In a sense, this type of business can be economical if it is easy to get what you provide to the government. But this is not the case due to the competitiveness of this industry. Although it is relatively easy to make your services available to the government, beating your competition can be the place where you can be asked to use your money wisely.
Networking, lobbying, and various forms of system involvement are very important actions that will help a new business stay relevant, and this is the part that may require a large investment.
On the other hand, if what you are proposing to the government is something as momentous as building military vehicles like planes, tanks, etc., besides working against competitors, political and environmental factors, not to mention legal and social issues, funding these processes will be the task of the portfolio. To enter the industry at this level, you must have collected a decent amount of money and added value.
Start your defense contracting business from scratch or buy a franchise
In this type of business, it can be said that buying an already successful business franchise is one of the best approaches to success. This is because the government already knows the brand name you want to work with. The government has already established some kind of relationship with this brand, and the relationship is already paying off. Buying a franchise seems to be the best way to find a company willing to offer this type of offer to new members.
There are usually checks, balances, audits, and other requirements that companies must meet before being considered for government contracts. The franchise would have gone through such selection processes before, allowing it to focus on starting a new business.
Rather than starting from scratch and facing an uphill struggle to go through all the verification processes and then beat the competition by expanding new business in the supply chain and creating value, as well as establishing appropriate relationships between decision makers in the sector. All of this can take a lot of time and resources before the real benefits materialize.
Threats and potential challenges you will face when opening a defense contract
The very first set of challenges you will face when entering this type of business are political. Since this company deals with the government as a sole client, the government has set very strict criteria for awarding defense contracts.
Some of these requirements can be problematic for you and your business, and may even delay the launch of your business. Due to changes in the global political climate, some of these conditions may change to facilitate or sometimes threaten the success of their business.
Due to the sensitive nature of this type of business, the legal requirements for starting and operating a business can pose a significant challenge for aspiring defense entrepreneurs. Some legal requirements may be straightforward enough to acquire any other type of business, but since this type of business is aimed at protecting the country, these legal requirements can be tailored to the business.
Again, a change in such a legal situation can be expected from time to time, and such changes could have a negative effect on the business. A hostile environment is also a potential threat to this type of business as it can make sourcing very difficult.
Take legal action related to a defense treaty
- The best legal entity to use in this type of business
A limited liability company is the best legal entity for this type of business because of the high probability that things in that business will go downhill. Imagine, if you can, that some of the products you developed for government protection,
You will face a lawsuit filed by the government of the United States of America. The full legal force of government will rest with a person if their business is registered as an individual entrepreneur. There is a very high probability that the government will not want to do business with private property or even a private partnership.
While in some very unique departments they might consider working with these types of entities, in an industry with so much competition and so many checks and balances the government is more likely to enter into these contracts with companies that are limited liability companies than with any other type of legal entity. The government itself is not a person, so it would always like to work with a company, not with a person.
Catchy trade name ideas suitable for defense command companies
As the government turns more to a company that has proper documentation, its stakeholders have an impeccable track record, and so on, having a catchy brand can only add little to the government’s appeal, even if it doesn’t matter what they call their business when they want to do defense. Contract.
Of course, if someone calls their business by a name that represents a link to terrorism or organized crime, they immediately raise a red flag, so what matters in this case is what each one chooses to do. name its defense contracting company. So, if you are thinking about names to use when starting your own defense contracting business, here are a few names you should try:
- Optimum Group
- Alexaire Incorporated
- Reagent group
- Showville Alliance
in the United States In the States of America, a permanent business knows the importance of being insured; in fact, some businesses are not allowed to operate without special insurance. Doing business for defense contracts is no different, in fact having the right insurance policies will add to the government’s call to fully consider your claim.
This article repeatedly reiterates that companies that intend to secure these government contracts must adhere to strict rules when it comes to operating the proper documents. It doesn’t make sense to cut corners in that particular aspect, because everyone is dealing directly with the government.
Some of these insurance policies can be difficult to obtain, but are necessary if someone expects the US government to work with them. Here are some of the basic insurance policies you should consider if you are. are about to begin your defense contract in the United States. America:
- General insurance
- Payment protection insurance
- Insurance against unforeseen expenses
- Credit insurance
- Deposit insurance
- Risk insurance
- Liability insurance
- Health insurance
- Workers compensation
- Group insurance for business owners
Protection of intellectual property / registered trademark
Depending on the type of service or product you want to make available to the government, a deposit may be required to protect intellectual property. It may be necessary to patent new technology for certain devices, such as drones or even hunters. It might even protect a unique weapon design.
Yes, there is a need to carefully consider what kinds of services or products they intend to provide to the government, although the United States government is unlikely to want to steal the original idea of a person.
These protections should be provided as a feature of professional practice, even if the government is not inclined to steal their ideas. Other companies inside or outside the industry may adopt such designs or ideas for themselves, which can create a problem. Therefore, to avoid such an experience, you must protect your intellectual property.
Is professional certification required to run a defense business?
It is common knowledge that most of those dealing with defense orders are former servicemen and have at least had to go through at least one tour of military military missions. So just waking up in the morning and deciding to start a defense business with no experience in military, defense, or intelligence agencies can make the business a little tricky.
As the above fact is considered the norm, the main requirement is that anyone wishing to start a defense contract business must be a US citizen.
Other requirements, such as obtaining a degree or obtaining a special certificate, may not be as important as a person is a U.S. citizen, so it’s safe to say that citizenship is the most important criterion to be eligible for government contracts in the defense arena.
Serving in the military is also a significant advantage. Other certifications will be related to the specific type of service you intend to provide to the government.
List of legal documents you need to carry out a defense contract
Some of the basic legal documents that you should have with you if you intend to run your own defense contracting business in the United States include:
- Registration certificate
- Operating agreements
- Commercial license and certification
- Universal Data Numbering System (DUNS) number
- Business plan
- Insurance policy
- Hiring contract
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Operating Agreement for LLC
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Contractual consultation documents
- Company charter
- Memorandum of Understanding
Finance your defense contract
Fundraising for any business may require convincing people that the business is profitable. Having a strategy is a plus, as many who want to put their money at your disposal will want to know exactly how the income will be generated.
Once someone has done their research, getting funds won’t be as difficult as if they hadn’t done their homework. Therefore, some of the financing options that you can consider when finding seed money for your defense contracting business include:
- If you have savings or investments in the stock market, you can make money from it as start-up capital.
- Another great option is to sell land or any other property you own for start-up money.
- Once you have a company together, you can sell the company’s shares to interested investors.
- One of the advantages of social support structures such as family and friends is the ability to apply for preferential loans from them to start your business.
- The bank can help your business by granting you a loan, which you can apply for.
- You can meet private investors or find those who would like to cooperate with you in this business. …
- Another way to get funding for your business is through business angels and seed support organizations.
Choosing the right location for your defense contracting business
The choice of location for your defense outsourcing business should depend on the specific service you plan to offer.The vision for this type of business does not serve the general public, it may not need to be located in a very accessible area of the city. In fact, the more obscure the location, the better in some cases, as the company will be dealing with very sensitive information about the country’s defense.
Some things that other businesses will need to think about may not apply to such a business.If manufacturing is one of the services we intend to provide, then such a manufacturing facility may be located in an area of city where industrial waste provided by the manufacturing process will not affect people. living in town.
A manufacturing facility may be located on the outskirts of a city and an administrative office may be located in an accessible location. Here are some of the key factors to consider before choosing a location for your business;
- Local community / state laws and regulations
- Location demography
- The proximity of the location to the government office where the supplies will be made.
- Accessibility and road network at this location
Start of work in the area of a defense contract. Technical and personal data
It will depend on the nature of your job; If you are hired to make various military vehicles, you will need the manpower and equipment to meet these needs. If you are engaged in the production of ammunition, you will need a variety of equipment needed to create these items, in addition to the personnel needed to launch these vehicles. …
Administrative staff will be required for production. stations, as well as the administrative staff of the administrative office in case the two work in separate institutions.
If the services you intend to provide are more IT-focused, you may not need to rent heavy equipment or work at two separate locations. You might just need an office with computers, filing cabinets, printers, senior staff, support staff, etc.
Either way, soon you will need a business development officer, lawyers, accountants, secretaries, managers, etc. The various technical devices required by the administrative unit would be computers, chairs, tables, desks, inverters, etc.
Service delivery process for a defense company
Once the government had to get approval for defense contracts, it would be necessary to regularly check the website provided by the government for contracts it is willing to make available to the public. By browsing this site, you can see the proposals promulgated by the government.
The next step would be to offer a price for an affordable contract, it should be noted that the government is always looking for profitable offers for employment, but quality is also a major issue for the government. Once the offer is made and the contract awarded to the company, the company proceeds to fulfill the contract as agreed and then provides those items, products or services to the government.
Corporate marketing plan for starting a defense contract
- Marketing ideas and strategies
In business, marketing is the key to generating leads and increasing sales. Once a company has successfully identified its market, it will now have to look for ways to gain more market share. However, for such a business, various marketing technologies may not be applicable, as this business is not seeking public patronage.
It may be unnecessary to advertise your business on the internet, to advertise on the radio. or television. However, in order to promote your company’s services to the government, as well as to present yourself as a serious competitor for the proposals made by the government; you may need to do several things. Some of them are listed below;
- Introduce your business by sending cover letters along with your brochure to directors of various military installations.
- List your business in local directories
- List your business in the yellow pages.
- Attend international defense conferences and exhibitions to connect with industry players
Possible competitive strategies to win over your competitors
Since the government is likely to look for low cost options when looking for contractors, one of the best, to gain a competitive advantage over other industry players, a low cost strategy should be used. But just cutting costs won’t be enough, because no one wants to run their business at a loss.
One of the low cost implementation strategies is to ensure the provision of a basic service. is cost effective, but there must be additional items or support services that may be costly to make up for the difference that was made in the first sentence.
For example, if a company provides some type of software to keep government drones safe and that particular software is cheap for the government, then different plugins, add-ons, and updates should now be an area where deviations from costs can be balanced so that the company can still benefit from the offer. This type of strategy can also be applied to the production of ammunition, weapons or any other type of service.
Strategies to increase your brand awareness and create a corporate identity
While other companies are good at speaking out loud about what they do, defense contracts are not. you have to be so strong on what they are doing since their main client is the government and most of the services they provide have to be private for security reasons. There are several ways to improve a company’s branding in the defense industry and in general.
Below are the platforms you can use to promote your brand and promote your business.
- Make all your official vehicles
- Make sure all your employees and management wear your designer clothes regularly
- Make sure your business is online
- Take a straightforward approach by reaching out to decision makers and keeping them informed about what you are doing, in addition to applying for contracts formally.