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Business Opportunities with the Federal Government
Information gateway, prepared by the Congressional Research
Service for Members of Congress, provides guidance and online procurement
procedures for doing business with the federal government. [March 2007]
Learning how to sell successfully to the U.S. government, the world's largest
buyer of goods and services, can be daunting. Most of the process is
conducted online: using a computer is essential. Here are suggested approaches:
Update your company's business plan, highlighting special
products, skills and expertise that might be of interest to government agencies.
Review your company's marketing strategy and goals.
Business Administration (SBA)
Provides a step-by-step guide for selling to the government, with tips on
bidding, marketing, and competing for government contracts, and links to
free online courses.
General Services Administration (GSA)
As the government's chief acquisitions agency, GSA
spends billions of dollars annually on products and services offered to
all federal agencies.
Business with GSA
Covers government procedures, marketing strategies, and bidding procedures
for contracts. Also lists important contacts, such as the 11 GSA
regional centers and technical advisors for small businesses.
of Small Business Utilization
Through outreach activities in regional offices, promotes increased access
to GSA's nationwide procurement opportunities for small, minority, veteran,
HUBZone, and women business owners.
How to Sell to the Government
Describes how GSA
buys from small and large businesses, including an explanation of how GSA
advertises business opportunities locally and nationally, and lists a calendar
of local workshops for businesses wanting to sell to the government.
Speak with procurement specialists or contracting officers about federal
government buying procedures.
Ask questions about application procedures,
technical requirements, and marketing suggestions.
Attend procurement programs,
which provide opportunities for business people to meet directly with government
officials and to learn from other companies involved in federal contracting.
Business Development Centers
Located in every state, these centers advise and train businesses in financial
matters, including certification procedures for small and minority businesses.
They are an excellent first stop for any business, especially those with
little or no previous experience in dealing with federal procurement.
Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
Although the main focus is providing technical assistance on selling to
the military, the centers cover marketing to all government agencies through
counseling, training, and procurement programs.
The contracting officers are familiar with the procurement needs of the
federal facilities located in their region.
Registration is required to compete for federal government procurement and contracts. The federal government's Business Partner Network (BPN) is the single source for vendor data for the Federal Government.
Review the Vendors Guide to learn how to search for agency announcements, requests for proposals, classification codes, award categories.
Vendor Notification Service: sign up for e-mail notification of announcements of particular agencies or for particular products or services.
For continuing business, apply to be a GSA Schedule contractor.
Under the GSA Schedules Program, GSA establishes long-term governmentwide contracts that allow customers to acquire a vast array of supplies and services directly from commercial suppliers. Gives many businesses, small and large, further opportunities for multiple awards.
Also called Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) and Federal Supply Schedules (FSS).
Getting on Schedule
Application and approval process "to get on the Schedule" can take considerable time but may be worth it for future business with government agencies.
GSA Schedules Training
Online training and classroom instruction on the GSA Schedules Program, and how to sell to the government and get contract awards.
A federal contract may be so large that a single company might have difficulty in providing the products or services required to meet the terms of the contract. A prime contractor may need to use subcontractors to complete contractual obligations.
Identify subcontract opportunities by reviewing the postings of prime contractors.
Subcontracting Directory (GSA)
GSA contractors with subcontracting plans and goals. Companies are listed within each of the eleven GSA regions. For each, gives products and services offered, and the small business contact within the company.
Specialized Information on Selling to the Military
Many of the DOD
contract announcements and registration requirements for businesses have been
incorporated into FedBizOpps
(Federal Business Opportunities), with registration at Central
Contractor Registration (CCR). However, there are often special
requirements for selling to the military. The vast majority of DOD
contracts are awarded by DOD
field organizations, or specific mission-oriented agencies within an organization.