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Start-Up Checklist for Government Contracting

March 24, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Government Contracting, Uncategorized 

Billions and billions of dollars are spent each year on government contracts! With that said, if you are a new business trying to get started, the below checklist identifies how to get started.

  • Identify “core” capabilities and products that your business can provide and match these with NAICs codes.
  • Request your Data Universal Number System identifier;
  • Register your small business on CCR;
  • Sign up with your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and set up an INPUT, MatchForce, MyBidMatch or other matching subscription.  Note that the author thinks that INPUT is one of the better products for matching NAICs and for forecasting.
  • Conduct additional marketing research.  For example, go to FedBizOpps to research (1) current opportunities to identify what your business can respond to now and (2) past awards to identify forecasting opportunities. Identify agencies that have historically purchased your products and services;
  • If there are current opportunities or forecasts, then identify if your business can perform the Statement of Work (SoW), usually Section C of an RFP, and if so, then (1) identify if you need another business to increase your chances of award, and if so, then you might need a letter of intent or a subcontracting agreement, (2) prepare a draft response to the current opportunity, (3) submit your draft response to your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to review and comment, (4) incorporate revisions by the PTAC, and (5) submit your response in accordance with the contract opportunity. Make sure you keep a copy of your proof of communication (e.g., mailing and delivery receipts, email, etc.) as well as a hard copy and electronic copy of your response;
  • Take a proactive marketing role to find government work.  Consider the following suggestions:
    • Prepare & submit an Unsolicited Capability Statement to the (a) targeted agency’s contracting officials, (b) agency OSDBU, and (c) SBA PCR that administers the agency;
    • Ask for an opportunity to meet with the agency’s contracting officials, the agency OSDBU and the SBA PCR to give a presentation of your business (this is your opportunity to sell, sell, sell);
    • Establish relationships, such as “teaming agreements” with the incumbent contractor providing services and other businesses the compliment your business (again, you may want to consult with an attorney as you enter into these “teaming agreements”);
    • If you are a certified small business (e.g., 8(a) and HUBZone), then ask your local SBA Business Development RepresentativeSBA PCR to discuss your company; and
    • If you are a certified small business, then ask other small businesses that have the same certification to also (a) submit Capability Statements and (b) have it’s SBA BDR submit a letter to the government agency OSDBU office and to talk with the SBA PCR. For some set asides, if there are two certified businesses (e.g., HUBZone & SDVOSB), there are mandatory set asides pursuant to FAR.  Having another CCR registered, certified business compete may mandate or further support that at least a portion of the work be set aside.
  • Consider whether to apply for a GSA Schedule as a procurement vehicle to market your products and services.  Approximately 60% of government purchases come through the federal supply schedule.  And, if you are not on the GSA Schedule, then find out who is and contact them to see if they need help;
  • Consider applying for any small business set aside category that your business qualifies; and
  • If you are awarded a government contract, your business needs to be ready, willing and able to deliver!  Customer service is the heart of your success, and your relationship with the contracting specialist is important.  And, if you need help, then consider teaming with another small business or with a prime contractor.  Your business needs to be able to delivered whatever was ordered and to be able to deliver on time.
  • Finally, government contracts are challenging to review and often involve hundreds of pages of terms, conditions, representations and other language that sets forth legal rights and responsbilities for you and the agency.  Accordingly, you may want to consider consulting a qualified attorney for assistance.