April 2021: Tools of the Trade
The first day of April is celebrated as April Fool’s Day. The origins of this day are not known; it is speculated that it started when France moved from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, moving the start of the new year from April 1st to January 1st. Thus, fooling people about the new year. Whether you play tricks to fool others or not, businesses should not be fooled into believing government contracts are guaranteed. There are, however, tools of the trade that can make the government procurement process more successful.
Here are some tools of the government contracting trade:
- Capability Statements are one-page resumes of your company used as a marketing piece to share with primes and government agencies. To learn more, check out SBA Deputy District Director of North Dakota, Sherri Komrosky’s article on capability statements here. Need ideas? Search your “industry” with “capability statement” to review your competitors.
- Websites are becoming more important. Let primes and agencies know you are interested and serious about working for them by adding a government sector/market page to your website.
- Bid Match services reduce your time reviewing multiple websites for potential solicitations. Bid match services search online procurement sites for solicitations, match solicitations with your profile, and send you possible matches. Some of these services do cost; be sure to do your homework to determine the value to your business. The North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC) offers a no-cost bid match service to clients that are active and located in North Dakota.
- NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes are matched to federal solicitations. You should track your codes and add all qualifying NAICS codes into your SAM (Security Accounts Manager) registration. If you are a small business, SBA uses these codes to qualify you as small by each code. If you find a relevant NAICS not in your SAM registration, add it. To search for NAICS associated with solicitations, go here.
- Resources are plentiful; take advantage of the no-cost and trusted organizations. They have programs that guide, connect, and build your company. The North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC) offers many valuable resources from connecting to agencies & programs, to market research, to solicitation opportunities, to government forms. Check them out on our website. Other resources can be found with the Department of Defense, Office of Small Business Programs, and Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Bloggers can provide interesting insight, optional methods, tactics, tips, and more about various topics related to government contracting. Find one, or more, that you like and follow. A few of my favorites are, of course, ND PTAC, SmallGovCon, Govology, and
- Procurement events are a must for the government contracting trade. In the past year, we have learned how to provide effective virtual events and you are able to join events from around the country. Check out events focused on training, matchmaking, networking, programs, forecasting, or regulations, from APTAC, ND PTAC, and SAM (search under ‘special notices’). Before you attend any event, be prepared and read up here.
Again, do not fool yourself into believing that you only need to complete your registrations and contracts will ‘pour into’ your company. It takes work, networking, marketing, and education to be successful in government contracting.
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 here to schedule an appointment.
Not from North Dakota? Find your closest PTAC on the APTAC website and then click on your state.