Contracting with local, state, or federal government agencies can be lucrative for small companies. Get familiar with process. Learn how the government works, determine if contracting is right for you and prepare your business for government contracting. Remember, doing business with the government is very different than typical business-to-business selling. There is a process that must be followed and it can be very intimidating and seem overwhelming at times, especially if you’re just starting out. It is strongly suggested that you contact the NEPA Alliance PTAC before you begin this process.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort before you start bringing in contract awards. If you decide that you are ready to begin the process, then you should begin with knowing what type of business category is most beneficial to your business when competing for government contracts. Please visit this websites Resources page to make the determination of small, women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned, etc., and remember to call your local PTAC for assistance. Knowing the type of business you are is extremely important when legally structuring your business and can set you aside from your competition.
It is also essential to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC) codes and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for your products or services.
Next, register your business with Dun & Bradstreet to obtain a no-cost DUNS Number. The DUNS number is a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number that is a unique nine numerical identification specific to your business. If you do not have a DUNS
Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one. You will need a DUNS number to register in federal and state government contracting websites.
In order to do business with the federal government you must register with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be awarded a contract from the federal government. SAM is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. SAM affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices. Also, contracting officers, contract specialists and government prime contractors utilize SAM to identify small business concerns for potential prime and subcontracting opportunities. A word of warning is to make sure you are at the exact site provided in the above website link. Otherwise, you may be at a site that charges you a fee for assisting you with completing this registration.
Get to know the online resources available to you to develop a government marketing strategy. You can begin to identify current and past government procurement opportunities and award information. Visit the Federal Business Opportunities website, which can assist you in identifying federal solicitations or bidding opportunities.
Begin to familiarize yourself with contracting procedures and rules by visiting websites such as Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).
Other ways in which the government purchases products and services is through the use of a contract vehicle called Federal Supply Schedules (FSS). Visit the General ServicesAdministration (GSA) for information on how to obtain a FSS contract.
If you determine that your product or services is not being bought directly by the government then you should explore sub-contracting opportunities. Regardless of your product or service it is important that you do not neglect this very large secondary market. Locate major prime contractors and potential partners receiving contract awards directly from the federal government worth $650,000 or more for potential sub-contracting opportunities.
You may visit Subcontracting Opportunities with DoD Prime Contractors. This directory provides, by state, the names and addresses of DoD prime contractors, the names and telephone numbers of Small Business Liaison Officers (SBLOs), and the products and services supplied to the DoD. The report is generated from data mined through DoD Prime Contractor’s contracts and subcontracting plans.
Click here to visit SBA for more subcontracting contact information.
If you are interested in selling your products or services to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.