Finding Contracting Opportunities

toolboxSometimes, looking in the nooks and crannies for contracting opportunities can yield better results than looking on the major government opportunity sites. Here are some helpful links that may assist your company in keeping track of the latest market info.

The basics:

  • Federal Business Opportunities – The main contracting opportunity site – simply because every such list should contain it.
  • Contractor Registration – The System for Awards Management (SAM) that will eventually integrate all other contractor registration system into a single entry point.
  • Federal Procurement Data System – A wealth of information about contracts and contract performance, from news items to reports.
  • SBA Sub-Net – The Small Business Administration (SBA) hub site where prime contractors can connect with sub-contractors and post requests for proposals (RFPs) for contracts the prime contractors either have or are trying to get. The main SBA site can be found here:  http://www.sba.gov/
  • General Services Administration – The GSA awards about 10% of all federal contracts, which amounts to about $50 billion annually. This is the place to both learn about opportunities and to learn how to work with the GSA.
  • State Government Opportunities – Contractors, especially those located in the D.C. metro, focus so much time and attention on the federal government that they overlook state and local contracting opportunities. The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) offers a wealth of information on state contracting, as well as a hub for all 50 state general services sites.
  • USA Spending – Another treasure trove of information on government spending trends, as well as a robust search feature to help you find both prime and subcontracting opportunities.
  • Procurement Assistance Centers – One great resource offered by the SBA is the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC). The sole purpose of this agency is to help small businesses sell more products and services to federal, state, and local governments. PTAC can help determine if your company is ready for government contracting, make sure you get properly registered, find out what SBA certifications you qualify for, and research past awards to businesses just like your to provide guidance on where to focus your future efforts.
  • Acquisition Central – The eventual goal is to make this site one-stop-shopping for vendors with opportunity announcements, registration, and helpful resources all combined into one site. However, it is still a work-in-progress at the moment.

Next, a look at some Department of Defense (DoD) resources:

  1. Mentor-Protege – A program that encourages prime contractors to develop technical and business capabilities for small businesses.
  2. SBIR/STTR – Research and development funding for small technology companies to encourage innovation in products and services that could strengthen our military.
  3. Indian Incentive Program – A special Congressional program that provides a 5% rebate to prime contractors who employ Indian-owned subcontractors to complete work.
  • Military Small Business Sites – Each branch of the military maintains its own site to provide training and news, small business opportunity information, and an outlet to get additional information about doing business with the DoD:
  1. Army SBA – Selling to the Army.
  2. Navy SBA – Selling to the Navy.
  3. Air Force SBA – Selling to the Air Force.
  4. Other Defense SBA – There are a ton of other departments that also make up the DoD, including Defense Information Systems Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, Missile Defense Agency, just to name a few. This is the hub site to get to all the small business sites for these agencies.

Last, here are some suggested places to look for specialized opportunities.

  • EPA Green Opportunities – Vendors who offer products and services that can help the government become more environmentally sound may qualify for various preferential procurement designation. This site provides a huge volume of information of programs and processes to qualify as “green.”
  • Environmentally Preferred Procurement (EPP) – This is a tools site for procurement officers to help them make “greener” purchases. If you know what the buyers are trying to find, it will enable you to become easier to be found.
  • NASA Procurement – Here’s the starting point for contractors wanting to do business with NASA. Small business incentive programs are discussed along with directions for submitting unsolicited bids, procurement forecasts, etc.
  • NAIS – The NASA Acquisition Internet Service is a hub site to business opportunity research, forecasts, handbooks, procurement sites and forms, and a host of information of value to vendors trying to get their feet in NASA’s doors.
  • NASA Vendor Database – Where contractors register to do business with NASA. The site also offers advice to make it easier to do business with our nations rocket scientists.

That should give you a place to start. Future Toolkit features include DCAA information resources, exploring the SBA in more depth, and commercial bidding resources.

If there are areas you’d like for PROCAS Connect to explore, don’t be shy. Let us hear from you.

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