Business Opportunities with the Federal Government
Information gateway, prepared by the Congressional Research
Service for the U.S. Senate, provides guidance and online procurement
procedures for doing business with the federal government, updated February 2014.
Information and Training
Learning how to sell successfully to the U.S. government, the world's largest
buyer of goods and services, can be daunting. Most of the process is
conducted online: using a computer is essential. Here are suggested approaches:
- Update your company's business plan, highlighting special
skills and expertise that might be of interest to government agencies.
- Review your company's marketing strategy and goals.
- Learn federal procurement processes and terms
- Government Contracting (SBA)
Resources to help you sell your products and services to the federal government.
Business Administration (SBA)
Provides a step-by-step guide for selling to the government, with
tips on bidding, marketing, and competing for government contracts, and
links to free online courses.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Provides an on-line system that allows minority business firms to register the company with the MBDA ’s database to access contract opportunities and other resources.
General Services Administration (GSA)
As the government's chief acquisitions agency, GSA
spends billions of dollars annually on products and services offered to
all federal agencies.
Business with GSA
Covers government procedures, marketing strategies, and bidding procedures
for contracts. Also lists important contacts, such as the 11 GSA
regional centers and technical advisors for small businesses.
of Small Business Utilization
Through outreach activities in regional offices, promotes increased access
nationwide procurement opportunities for small, minority, veteran, HUBZone,
and women business owners.
Online and onsite courses for vendors and small business, for federal employees, and for state and local government officials.
- Contact offices in your state or region
- Speak with a procurement specialist
or contracting officer about federal government buying procedures.
- Ask questions about application
procedures, technical requirements, and marketing suggestions.
- Attend procurement programs, which
provide opportunities for business people to meet directly with government
officials and to learn from other companies involved in federal contracting.
Business Development Centers
Located in every state, these centers advise and train businesses in financial
matters, including certification procedures for small and minority businesses.
They are an excellent first stop for any business, especially those with
little or no previous experience in dealing with federal procurement.
- Minority Business Development Agency
MBDA Network regional enterprise centers provide resources for minority-owned firms.
Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
Although the main focus is providing technical assistance on selling to
the military, the centers cover marketing to all government agencies through
counseling, training, and procurement programs.
The contracting officers are familiar with the procurement needs of the
federal facilities located in their region.
Registration is required to compete for federal government procurement and contracts.
Review Small Business Certification and Audiences.
If your business is classified as a small or disadvantaged business, this
certification may lead to more business opportunities.
Additional statistical codes, required for many government forms:
Federal Business Opportunities
(Federal Business Opportunities)
Single point of entry for announcements of federal contract opportunities
over $25,000, both civilian and military. Serves both federal agencies as buyers and businesses as vendors.
For continuing business, apply to be a
Under the GSA Schedules Program, also referred to as Multiple Award Schedules (MAS)
and Federal Supply Schedules (FSS),
establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial firms. The
application and approval process "to get on the Schedule" may take considerable
time but may be worth it for future business with government agencies.
Application and approval process "to get on the Schedule" can take considerable time but may be worth it for future business with government agencies.
Includes Training for Vendors, such as Need Help Getting on Schedule?
A federal contract may be so large that a single company might have difficulty in providing the products or services required to meet the terms of the contract. A prime contractor may need to use subcontractors to complete contractual obligations.
Identify subcontract opportunities by reviewing the postings of prime contractors.
Identify prime contractors through a listing of contractors, with addresses
and phone numbers, by state.
- Subcontracting Directory (GSA)
GSA contrators with subcontracting plans and goals. Companies are listed within each of the eleven GSA regions. For each, gives products and services offered, and the small business contact within the company.
Selling to the Military and DOD
Specialized Information on Selling to the Military
Many of the DOD
contract announcements and registration requirements for businesses have been
incorporated into FedBizOpps (Federal Business Opportunities), with registration at
System for Awards Management
(SAM). However, there are often special requirements
for selling to the military. The vast majority of DOD
contracts are awarded by DOD
field organizations, or specific mission-oriented agencies within an organization.
Merete F.Gerli, CRS