Since joining BidPrime six years ago, as Director of Client Support, I have come to understand and appreciate how important public sector business opportunities are to our clients. For some, a majority of their business is public, for others, a fraction, but important %, is derived from winning business within the public sector.
I’ve also learned that we have a number of clients who have been at it for many years and are fully versed on, and quite successful, at winning public sector business. During my tenure here, I have worked with other clients who needed help and guidance on understanding the process. Now, after getting answers to their questions and concerns, they too are thriving in doing business with this sector.
Why do our thousands of clients pursue public sector business? The federal government of the United States is the number one customer in the world. After you add in state, local, and other U.S. public sector entities, the difference between first and second globally becomes even more substantial.
Believe it. In fiscal year 2017, spending by U.S. federal, state, and local agencies is projected to reach nearly $7 trillion dollars. Of the $4.06 trillion dollars the federal government is projected to spend this FY, approximately $500 billion will be spent on services and products. Regardless how you crunch the numbers, numerous businesses are taking advantage of the immense opportunity.
Will the following answer/address any and all of your potential questions? Probably not. However, it is my belief that you can use this for some background and you will come to trust and understand there are resources available to you. As my friend and colleague, Bill Culhane, would say, “Great luck growing your business!”
Our list of go-to resources, which we refer many people to, are the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
- Local offices across the USA
- Securing small business certifications
- Funded by US Government, free of charge
- One on one counseling
- Proposal navigation and preparation
- Qualifying for government contracts
- Loans and grants
- Business plans
- Local offices in most US states
- Contract and proposal resources
- Access to capital, grants, loans
- oint venture and M&A guidance
Types of Requests
Public agencies define there various requests in a number of ways. Familiarize yourself with this terminology.
Invitation For Bid (IFB): is a solicitation method used for competitive sealed bidding for the purchase of equipment, materials, goods and construction.
Request For Proposal (RFP): is a solicitation method used in the competitive sealed proposal process. The RFP procedure permits negotiation of proposals and prices.
Request For Quotation (RFQ): is the solicitation method used in competitive procurements awarded to the lowest bidder. Factors such as technical or professional skills and experience are also considered when making awards to vendors.
Request for Information ( RFI): is a standard business process, whose purpose is to collect written information about the capabilities of various suppliers. Normally it follows a format that can be used for comparative purposes. In addition to gathering basic information, an RFI is often used as a solicitation sent to a broad base of potential suppliers for the purpose of conditioning suppliers’ minds, developing strategy, building etc...
How to Register
From the Small Business Administration. Federal, state and local governments offer businesses the opportunity to sell billions of dollars worth of products and services. Many government agencies require that some percentage of their procurements be set aside for small businesses. Once you have classified your company based on the established size standards, you are ready to begin registering to do business with the government. Follow these easy steps to certify your business as small and obtain the registrations you need to begin bidding on government proposals.
Click here for details.
On APTAC’s website, they referenced an article by Mark Amtower, in Washington Technology, January 20, 2015. Among his suggestions, which still has credence today, “Developing relationships with the agencies and other contractors is critical.”
Click here for details.
Speaking of relationships, do you have any friends, associates, contractors, vendors, etc., who are successful in the B2G marketplace? “A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him to avoid the mistake altogether.” – Roy H. Williams
Market Your Business
Again we turn to the SBA. As noted by Caron Beesley, and posted on the SBA website, make important note, “…the savvy government marketer must adjust conventional marketing strategies and outreach tactics to meet the conventions of this very lucrative marketplace.”
Click here for details.
Proposal Writing Resources
One of the biggest challenges we hear from a handful of people, is constructing the actual proposal. For those people, we suggest the following contacts.
WinGov Consulting, LLC: Customized proposal building and government business guidance.
Areas of expertise: Federal, State, and Municipal
Contact: John Ward | firstname.lastname@example.org | 512-825-0626
- Lohfeld Consulting Group
- International Business Partners
- The RFP Firm
- Watson and Associates, LLC
Contracts and Grants, LLC
Download and Listen
Want to hear from some seasoned experts on government purchasing? On our podcast, ‘The Big Bid Theory’, we have conversations, on various aspects of government purchasing, with a variety of industry veterans. To include:
Marcia Madsen, Partner at Mayer Brown, authority on government contracts and litigation.
Terri Williams, Director of APTAC, San Antonio, Texas.
John Ward, veteran of government purchasing industry, founder and owner of WinGov Consulting, LLC.
Are you curious that possibly you don’t know what you don’t know? Our team of experienced professionals are always at the ready to discuss strategies for winning government business and will gladly direct you to the proper resource. If you have any questions about the above references, want to discuss current public sector opportunities for you and your business, or would like to share your suggestions, contact us today.
Please call us at 888.808.5356, or visit BidPrime.