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Your guide to federal contracts

Learn how your small business, women owned business, and other special certifications can capitalize on fourth-quarter spending with the federal government. Also learn about how sequestration and budget constraints have changed decision making, evaluation, and awarding of federal contracts. Now, more than ever being informed, able to anticipate and identify opportunities, being ready to respond and capture quickly and have your pricing competitive, has never been more important.

The full details can be read here, in Doña’s latest article for Government Product News, “Preparing your business for the federal year-end buying season.”

Read the full article here.

Go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to learn more about how to get 8(m) certified. In the mean time you should begin thinking about whether becoming a vendor to the federal government is right for you.

Are you a person who is willing to take on a whole new way of doing business?
Do you think in terms of real growth and expansion in our systems as well as opportunities?

One of the greatest areas for potential growth will be when you want to grow your FORTUNE 500 customer base. Those business processes you develop while working in the federal marketplace will enhance your abilities to grow larger more diverse customers around the country if you choose to do so. I call this the Ping Pong Effect™…the ability to bounce back into the commercial sector bigger and better than before. Go to these websites to learn more:… Continue reading →

As more businesses, especially small businesses, are looking for more opportunities in a shrinking economy the world of federal contracts is looking more and more appealing. The maze of small business certifications can be very confusing. When you add to the mix terminology that gets into the daily conversations that are incorrect, you have the perfect storm of confusion in a marketplace that can already be a challenge for the new comers. Make a point of understanding the difference between the uses of the term ‘set-aside’ versus ‘sole-source’ in federal procurement. People have the tendency to use the term set aside thinking and meaning sole source. A set-aside means that the government can determine that there are enough of one type of companies…let’s say for example ‘small’ to be able to ‘set-aside’ a requirement for only small businesses to compete for that work. It does not mean that a requirement… Continue reading →

Doing business with the federal government could be the tale of the good, the bad and sometimes the very ugly.  However, I have found that some of those tales are built on myths passed along by those will little experiential knowledge.  I find that many of those who have never considered working with the federal government (the world’s biggest customer) do so based on what I consider to be myths. I’d like to address two of the most common myths that I find out floating around out there.

Myth #1

I don’t do business with the federal government because there’s too much paperwork.

Being in business for over 30 years, I find that it very common that as your business grows and your client base grows to include large corporations and/or state and local governments you learn that everyone one of your customers has its own form of… Continue reading →

Are you out there thinking that since my company doesn’t build or repair ships, doesn’t do IT work, and doesn’t have military subject matter experts to provide to the government I can’t possibly sell in the federal marketplace? If so, don’t think that way! The federal government buys everything! But wait, you say, “my company sells organic cotton grocery totes”, well they buy those too. My company does landscape work; guess what, they buy that also.
The real question is: “How do I find out if the federal government buys the product or service I sell?” It’s easy and in doing this research you can actually learn much more about selling to the government. One way, but not the only way, is to look at what the government buys using a contracting process call a “GSA Schedule” (to learn more about GSA go to www.gsa.gov). GSA is not for “start-ups”… Continue reading →

During the Fourth Quarter of the Fiscal Year (Q4) federal agency contracting offices and the contracting officials who “make it happen” are working as diligently as they can to quickly but responsively contract for goods and/or services to meet the needs of their internal customers. The key here is to move the procurement process along as fast as possible without violating any acquisition regulations or other contracting regulatory guidance. One great solution for the busy contracting official is to use existing GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts (often referred to as “schedules”) to procure what they need. And you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

The agency contracting official benefits several ways from using a GSA schedule to contract for goods and services, especially during the Q4 buying season, and it is important that you understand these benefits to the government so that you can position your company to… Continue reading →

Federal agencies try to ensure that they wisely use the funds budgeted for them during a fiscal year. This often leads to conserving funds until the fiscal year is almost over and then identifying requirements that could be funded by remaining budget dollars. This apparent rush to obligate funds to meet the needs of each agency’s internal customer opens a window of opportunity for the prepared contractor. So how can your small business become the prepared contractor?

First and foremost, get your past performance documents ready so that you can successfully respond in the little time you will have available. Why is this so important?

For the following reasons:
• If there is an overall theme it is “if you don’t have it already, you don’t have enough time to start now.”

• Past performance, in all of its variations, is the discriminator most used by the government buyer throughout… Continue reading →

During the fourth quarter of the federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30, government agencies are finalizing their acquisition for the year and assessing their remaining dollars to potentially check off a few items not purchased on this year’s wish list. Many small business contractors find that they can pick up a few hundred thousand dollars or even a few million dollars from various government customers during this period. This is especially true for small businesses with special certifications. In some cases this may be your first chance to get in the door if you are prepared and satisfied to capture something on a smaller scale.

So how can your small business land more dollars in this fourth quarter?

Following are some tips and insights to get you started and on your way to getting your share of remaining procurement dollars before it is taken away.

• Move quickly… Continue reading →

There is a recent proposed rule for the bundling of task and/or delivery orders that could further address the issue and make changes that supplement or reinforce the legislation found in the Small Business Jobs Act (see below). Below is the “proposed” rule that you need to be aware of and understand how it could favorably impact your strategic marketing plan. Take special note of the due date for comments on proposed rule as you can make a positive statement in support of actions that are good for your business.

PROPOSED: Task and Delivery Order Contracts, Bundling, Consolidation (3245-AG20) This proposed regulation addresses task and delivery order set-asides under multiple-award contracts, multiple-award contract partial set-asides, and reserving multiple-award contracts when using full and open competition (See interim FAR rule 2011-024). The procurement authority must publish rationale for bundling on agency website and for consolidated contracts valued at greater than $2M… Continue reading →