July 2021: Getting Found: How contract officers may find businesses

Your registrations are completed and you are ready to contract. Now you wait for all the contracts to roll in – prime contractors and government agencies will find you, right? WRONG. However, there are many actions you can take to increase your chances of being found by prime contractors and government agencies.

Be ready

  • Keep your registrations up-to-date – do not let registrations expire
  • Ensure your non-confidential entity information in SAM is open for public view
    • This is a public database used by government agencies, and prime contractors use it to find businesses
  • Apply for certifications and registrations that benefit your company
  • Develop a capability statement
    • Post your capability statement on your website (for assistance with capability statements, read our Jan 2021 or April 2021 blog posts)
    • Share it at procurement conferences, match making events, etc.
  • Create a website page targeted to local, state, and federal government work
  • Utilize social media
    • LinkedIn is used by federal contract officers and small business offices
  • If you are a small business, enhance your SBA Profile information and make the profile open for public view
  • The SBA Profile, also known as SBA DSBS, is searched by contract offices – government and prime – seeking small businesses

Be proactive

  • Build relationships with key personnel at prime contractor and government agencies
  • Attend in-person and/or virtual procurement conferences
  • Set up meetings with contract offices and primes to introduce yourself and your company
  • Continuously learn about your industry in relation to government agencies
  • Create solicitation search profiles in SAM.gov
  • Reply to sources sought (pre-solicitations)
  • Communicate your value and your differentiators from competitors
  • Develop your company’s government brand and position

Be in the Know

  • Understand the government market sector
  • Find all agencies (do not forget about city, county, and state agencies) that purchase your goods or services
    • Next, connect with contract officers that purchase your products or services
  • Know your competitors
  • Know the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for solicitations you are interested in

Be prepared

  • Develop a capture plan
  • Before meeting with contract offices, know at least three solicitations related to that agency and contract officer
  • Provide solutions to solicitations that will make work easier, cost less, and benefit your customer
  • Show how your company is less risky compared to competitors

Additional strategies and tactics that can prepare your company to compete for government contracts

As always, if you are not sure where to start or how to get organized, connect with the North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC). Our services are at no cost to businesses based in the state of North Dakota. Register to schedule an appointment.

Not from North Dakota? Find your closest PTAC on the APTAC website and then click on your state.

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