Small Businesses- Doing Business with the Federal Government
How to Get Started:
1. Determine if you are a small business. Look up your NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) code for your industry and see if you fit within the size standard. http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-officials/eligibility-size-standards
2. Register with the federal government as a small business in the SAM database 9System for Award Management)(formerly Central Contractor Registration-CCR) . All federal government contractors must be registered in this database prior to a contract award. This is also where federal government agencies and prime contractors go to look for small businesses. http://www.wingovernmentcontracts.com/system-for-award-management-sam.htm
3. A certain amount of business is available from the federal government for sub categories of small business on a set aside, preference or goal basis. If you fall within the category, register for certification as a woman owned, small disadvantaged owned or veteran owned business. See www.sba.gov and click on “contracting” and related topics for instructions on how to register. A certain amount of business is available for minority owned, women owned, veteran owned, disadvantaged small businesses. You should register in all applicable categories. All federal agencies have an Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization. They will help you with entry to that agency. And be sure to request from them a list of the Small Business Liaison Officers at that agency’s prime contractors- more potential buyers for your product/service.
4. Identify the federal agency with which you want/can do business. To see who has money for potential contracts with you, look at the federal budget. Follow the money. Also, look at http://www.osdbu.gov/members.html
5. At the agency you want to work with- sign up for email alerts on request for information to see what items they’ll be looking for.
6. Identify and befriend your Small Business Contracting Representative or Small Business Liaison Officer at the agency. Befriend him/her. This is your advocate/liaison at the agency.
7. Introduce yourself to the buying officers at the agency (the buyer responsible for the produce you want to sell. Identify those buyers by looking at for the contracts previously awarded for that produce. The contracts will identify the issuing buyer.
8. Create a one page summary of the products and/or services you want to sell (a few bulleted items). Send this summary to the SBCR or SBLO and Buying Officers at the agency. Be sure to include: your small business type; what you want to sell to them; why they should buy from you and your contact information.
9. Sign up for Fed Biz Ops to see sole source opportunities being issued for your product/service at www.fedbizopps.gov - it lists federal contracting opportunities over $25,000. You can set up e mail alerts to get these opportunities e mailed to you at https://www.fbo.gov.
10. Don’t forget to look at opportunities under $25,000. See www.wingovernmentcontracts.com for more information.
11. If you are awarded a contact and successfully deliver on same, ask the Buyer for a letter of recommendation and use it as a marketing tool with your next prospect.
Resources to help you get into federal government contracting:
Small Business Development Center- in NYS go to www.nysbdc.org for SBDC in your area
DOD Procurement Technical Assistance Centers- to identify the PTAC in your area see www.aptac-us.org
Online workshops to help you get started in government contracting at http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom
Thank you to the following for their help in drafting this guide: Jill Clough Johnston - Small Business Liaison Officer Brookhaven National Laboratory 631 344 3173; firstname.lastname@example.org .