What You Can Do to Expand Your Government Contracting Opportunities
Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center can be a great resource to better understand varied types of government acquisitions and even help you be more efficient in your prospecting efforts.
Below are a few suggestions for accessing opportunities specific to each type of acquisition.
Finding Type 1 Opportunities
Create an account at beta.sam.gov and work with a PTAC counselor to learn how to navigate the contract opportunities portal.
Work with a PTAC counselor to establish a bid match profile - this will help you be more efficient in finding federal as well as state and local opportunities. In addition to scanning federal contract opportunities, our bid matching service also queries top state and local government websites and sends you a daily email of opportunities specific to a unique set of search parameters established by you and your counselor.
Tweak your bid match profile. As you begin monitoring opportunities coming into your email box, check in with your counselor to adjust your profile to hone in on more of what you want to see, and exclude some of the irrelevant results you don't want.
Finding Type 2 Opportunities
Ask your prospective buyer (who buys the types of products and services you sell) where they post opportunities between $15,000 and $25,000. Contracting officers have their preferred way of publicizing this type of acquisitions, which may vary from one office to the next.
Create a relationship with the agency’s end-users. Quite often, they will collect quotes directly from the marketplace and forward them to the buyer for acquisition. If you are among the three quotes requested, you will likely not have to worry about where the government is publicizing these opportunities. In this case, publicizing the requirement is more of a formality to satisfy the law.
Work with one of our PTAC counselors to ensure your SBA profile is optimized. If a buyer is looking for quotes from SAM-registered small businesses, they often query and solicit quotes directly from contractors listed in the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search website at DSBS.SBA.GOV.
The problem is that the majority of contractors do not fully complete their SBA profile when they register at SAM.GOV. So, be among the few who optimize their profile, and your chances of getting an invitation to provide a quote, bid, or proposal will improve.
Finding Type 3 Opportunities
When it comes to micro-purchases, it's all about creating relationships and ensuring that your target end-users know about your product or service. Remember, micro-purchases don't have to go through the formal contracting process and are typically made through a department or unit-level purchase cardholder.
Keep your products or services visible and in the minds of these potential customers any way you can. If you have an established sales process outside of government that works well, you may be able to use it for government opportunities at this level, even if it requires a minor adjustment. The key is to establish and use a repeatable process that works.
Ensure you can accept credit cards and ask your merchant processor if there is any additional setup required or a separate fee structure associated with accepting a government purchase card.
Make sure your vendor profiles indicate that you accept government purchase cards.
Finding Type 4 Opportunities
Position yourself as a prime contractor on the parent contract where the delivery orders and task orders are flowing. Work with a PTAC counselor to help you do some market research to identify these parent IDIQ contracts and develop a strategy to win a spot on these highly sought after contract vehicles. Some of these IDIQ contract solicitations are always open for competition on the contract opportunities portal at beta.sam.gov, and some come around only once every few years.
It’s important to have advanced knowledge of upcoming IDIQ solicitations, so that you can begin crafting your win strategy before they are posted.
Look for subcontracting opportunities by building relationships with prime contractors who currently hold the parent contract. You can find these incumbent contractors with a little bit of market research and some help from a PTAC counselor and contracting personnel at the agency you seek to do business with.
Finding opportunities can be challenging, but if you take the right action, seek support from a PTAC counselor, and ask agency buyers the right questions, you will quickly start building a pipeline of opportunities.