The U.S. federal government is the largest customer in the world, with its contracting, grants, and loans budget exceeding $1 trillion annually. Interestingly, only a small percentage of all U.S. businesses participate in this market, and even fewer reach true success and make it big. What is the point of knowing how huge the federal pie is if, by getting only a contract or two, you can enjoy just a few little crumbs that fall off the table where the established federal contractors eat?

The only point of building a business with the world’s largest customer—as opposed to just any customer—is to leverage the potential for massive growth. The latest Washington Technology’s Fast 50 list shows small-business federal contractors’ compound ...

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