Coaches Corner: Doing Business with the Government
Meet Michelle Cunningham (we call her Shelly), MO PTAC director of the Kansas City center. Here, she talks how to know when your business is ready to sell to the government. Have questions for her? Call her 816-235-2891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your business market plan include selling your products or services to the government? Should it?
MO PTAC (Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center) can help.
MO PTAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed in the government market. The government marketplace has some significant differences from selling commercially, so before you jump in, it’s important for you to have a good foundation of how it all works.
Your MO PTAC counselor can help answer these questions:
Is my business suitable for government contracting?
Not all businesses have the resources this market requires or are ready to move through the unique challenges of government contracting.
MO PTAC can help you determine whether your business is ready. We also offer a monthly class titled Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps that covers what governments buy, how they buy, what buying methods are used and what is required of suppliers.
This class training along with follow-up free one-on-one counseling from PTAC helps your business to be in the best position to succeed.
Does the government buy what I sell?
Not only does our Federal government buy almost every product and service, they spend approximately $460 billion per year.
MO PTAC can help identify the top agencies that buy what you sell, how to effectively market to those agencies and who your competition is.
How do I find bid opportunities?
MO PTAC helps you to connect with bid opportunities specific to your industry through our bid match program.
We develop a company profile for you with codes and keywords that match electronically to federal, state and local opportunities. You receive your bid notices in a daily email, which saves you time from searching multiple websites on your own. When you see an opportunity of interest, we are here to answer any questions you may have about the solicitation requirements while guiding you to create a winning bid response.
Are there required registrations to sell to government?
SAM (System for Award Management) is the central vendor registration for federal government. MO PTAC can assist you with this registration, as well as SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS), and other government vendor databases for state and local contracting.
The government market can be quite competitive, so a general rule of thumb is that you should be in business for at least two years before pursuing prime contracts.
What are certifications and do I qualify?
Certain businesses are eligible for federal certifications. which allow them to compete in restricted (set-aside) procurements.
MO PTAC can determine your eligibility as well as assist you with the application process for the SBA Certifications (HUBZone, 8(a) and Woman-Owned Small Business) and VA’s Veteran/ Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business verification.
On the state and local level, PTAC also offers assistance with WBE, MBE, SDB, and SDVE certifications.