Marketing tips for small businesses
Small businesses can take several steps to improve the chances of winning contracts with Federal agencies.
- Register at System for Award Management. Be sure your banking and payment information is correct.
- Register at System for Award Management to complete your Online Representations and Certifications Application. Be sure your socioeconomic data is current and correct.
- Get familiar with Federal e-commerce procedures. The Federal government announces all business opportunities using electronic methods. Western’s solicitations are issued electronically on the DOE e-center and FedBizOpps web sites. Visit these sites regularly and register to receive automatic e-mail notices of solicitations of interest to your firm.
- Your initial contact at each agency should be the Small Business Program Manager. Western’s Corporate Services Office has an SBPM and each Customer Service Region has a Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist. Their information is listed on the Contacts page.
- Become familiar with procurement integrity issues. Do not contact technical personnel to talk about specific requirements. You may disqualify your firm from contract opportunities.
- Make appointments with the SBPM/SADBUS and other procurement personnel. Showing up unannounced can make a negative first impression, and you may not be able to meet with the appropriate person.
- Prepare for your meetings with agency representatives. Be ready to provide details about your firm’s capabilities. Bring a product line card or list of major projects your firm has completed.
- Ask the SBPM/SADBUS how to best market your firm to the agency. Remember, each agency is unique.
- Make sure you advise the SBPM/SADBUS of your business classification, i.e. small, minority or woman-owned, 8(a) certified, HUBzone, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business, etc.
- Check Western’s contract forecast to learn about potential contract actions. Direct questions about upcoming projects to the SBPM/SADBUS.
- Network! Become involved in professional organizations, various chambers and committees such as the regional Small Business Councils and the Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Committees.
- Attend or exhibit at business and trade fairs.
- Become familiar with Federal Acquisition Regulations.
- Ask the SBPM/SADBUS about subcontract opportunities that may be available for your firm (other than the ones listed on this site).
- Many agencies use the VISA commercial credit card for making purchases, even for large-dollar requirements. Consider participating in the VISA program if you are targeting Federal government opportunities.
- Be positive, patient and persevere. The government procurement process can be complex and confusing, but the Small Business Administration and each agency's SBPM/SADBUS are there to help you through the process. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Good luck!