Winning Federal Contracts
for your Small Business
8-Step Series to Success in Bidding and Winning
Who should attend this course: This series of workshops is for any business owner who has been established for over a year, and who is interested in working with the Federal Government. We will focus on the requirements of the Federal Government, how to find bid leads, acquire technical data, and write and submit proposals. Along the way, we will share real-world examples, dispel myths, and discuss the reality of doing business with the Federal Government.
What this course will do for you: Attendees will learn the Ten Steps of doing business with the Federal Government, from finding and identifying customers, to locating bid leads and packages, to pricing and proposals and finally, to submitting bids.
Did you know? Being registered in SAMS is not the total answer to finding bids from the 2,500 buying activities around the country. Using FEDBizOpps is just the start of finding bid opportunities. In this series, we review what to do once you have found the “ONE OPPORTUNITY” to bid on. We answer questions like, what is a Gantt Chart and why does that matter to me?
These workshops will assist you if you are just entering this multi-billion dollar market; if you are a mature company wishing to expand, these workshops will help you assess and realign your business practices.
Winning Federal Contracts is a ten-week series
When: Thursdays, July 12 – Sept 13, 2018 Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: University of West Florida, Emerald Coast Campus, 1170 Martin Luther King Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Cost: $487 includes all handout materials to be given out on CD
• Certificates of completion are awarded and participants MUST attend all classes to receive a certificate.
Session 1: Think Like The Government July 12
Before you can address what the government is looking for, identify what you really want to offer. As you look for contracting opportunities, it is crucial that you think the same way. Think of your business in terms of your output—the products or items or services that you make and, perhaps more importantly, the items that you can make. Think of how you can use your same equipment and process to make things that the government needs and wants—perhaps things you never even considered before.
If you think in terms of your process—for example, if you think of your company as a screw machine shop—you will be facing a much bigger challenge in trying to find government opportunities. Why? Because the government does not purchase items described as “screw machine products”—it buys nuts, bolts and screws. This first session addresses what are the opportunities, how to find your niche and the basic agenda on what else we will cover.
Session 2: Identify Your Customers July 19
Use the Personal Touch
Subscribe to a Bid-Matching Service
Work with a PTAC
Get To Know the GSA
Now that you are thinking of your business in terms of the end items you are capable of providing, you are ready to identify prospective customers—the buying offices within the federal government that have a need for your product or service.
A simple rule of thumb is that if the item is a commercial-type or general-purpose item, there is a good chance that the General Services Administration (GSA) buys it for both the military and civilian offices. Think of the GSA as the “Sears and Roebuck” of the government. This doesn’t mean that the military or a civilian office won’t be using the product; it just means that the GSA may issue the contract, and other government offices—both military and civilian—can buy off of that contract.
If the item or service is predominately military in nature, then one of the Department of Defense buying offices would be the place to go. The same is true for civilian agencies; if energy related, you may want to check out the Department of Energy as a probable customer. There are a number of ways to find the appropriate buying offices:
• Search FedBizOpps
• Use the personal touch
• Subscribe to a bid-matching service
• Work with a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Do your best to get to know the GSA
Quality Assurance Standards
Contract Quality Requirements
Higher-Level International Standards
Higher-Level U.S. Standards
Certificate of Conformance
How to Develop Your Own QA Program
Session 3: Get Registered July 26
Registering with the SAMs
Online Representations and Certifications Application
Deciphering Government Codes
One of the most important things you need to do early in the process is to let the government know that you are ready and able to provide the products or services it needs. To do this, you must register your company with SAMs, the primary database of government vendors and suppliers. The SAMs collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of federal projects and missions.
Both current and prospective government suppliers are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. In order to receive a federal contract, or grant for that matter, a company must be registered in CCR prior to the award. However, note that registration does not guarantee business with the government. Learn everything you need to be registered, find out what it’s for, how to use it to your advantage, what is the Dynamic Business Search and more.
Did you know? If you haven't been in SAMs yet there is a new requirement that for any new SAM registration to be activated the entity must submit the notarized letter identifying the Entity Administrator. According to the FAQ page there has been fraudulent activity identified so this is a proactive interim step in the process to address the fraudulent activity.
Session 4: Find Bid Leads August 2
How do you go about finding leads on all those millions of contracts that the federal government awards each year? We discuss several ways:
Get Included on Solicitation Mailing Lists
Use Electronic Bulletin Boards
Check Agency Bid Boards
Submit an Unsolicited Proposal
Get Registered on Qualification Lists
Session 5 : General Services Administration August 9
GSA, one of the government’s largest agencies, helps other federal agencies acquire the products, services, consulting advice, space, real estate, and vehicles they need from federal and commercial sources. It acts as a catalyst for over $50 billion in federal spending annually, which accounts for more than one-fourth of the U.S. government’s total procurement dollars. Learn what you need to know to “get on schedule.” Speaker: Todd Wood, GSA
Session 6: Get the Bid Package August 16
Once you have found a bid that you are interested in, the next step is to get the bid package (it is also sometimes referred to as a solicitation package). Getting the bid package is often as easy as downloading it off the Internet.
Getting the Specifics
Contracts and Pricing Arrangements
Special Bidding Techniques
Buying Offices’ Terminology
Review the Bid
Here is where you get to look at your first bid package. And here is where we let you in on the secret to winning and making a profit on the contract you are bidding on.
Types of Bids/Solicitations
How to Read a Typical Bid
RFID and UID
Get the Technical Data
Now that you have reviewed and understand the contents of the bid package, it’s time to start gathering information needed to complete the offer, including the technical data related to a particular bid.
Technical data is comprised of the specifications and standards, such as engineering design and manufacturing documents and drawings that describe the requirements for a material, product or service. It also includes the criteria for determining whether those requirements are met.
Types of Government Specs
Getting Correct Specs
Session 7: Federal Government Accounting and Pricing Matters August 23
Learn from Carr, Riggs and Ingram, LLC just what you need to know to be complant in a government contract, how to respond to an audit, direct and indirect rates, “what accounting system is the right fit for my company”? We then dive into pricing and contract types. Learn from experienced CPAs what you need to look for when evaluating your contract prices.
Speaker: Denise Fitzpatrick Accountant and business Consultant.
Session 8: Writing your RFP Sept 6
Write Your Proposal
Once you have reviewed the bid, received the specs, gotten pricing history, and priced out the items or services, you are ready to put it all together and write your proposal.
There are two situations that you should be prepared for:
• Writing a proposal when the solicitation is an Invitation for Bid
Writing a proposal when the solicitation is a negotiated bid, such as a Request for Proposal. Factors Influencing Bid Outcome
How Is the Competitive Range Established?
• You Won It! Now What?
Session 9 : Celebrate the Conclusion of the Series - September 13th
Follow up to the Series will be casual meeting to discuss how attendees are doing, where they are at in the process, lessons learned and Best Practices.