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Locating Government Opportunities

A fundamental concept of finding government prime contract opportunities is to ensure you are registered with as many government procurement agencies as possible and have all your industry codes in your registration.  We call this putting the systems at work for you.  Many government procurement agencies you register with will send you automated email notification of opportunities.  This approach provides a range of solicitations for you to consider that come from Federal, State, and Local government.

But before you arbitrarily register with any government agency, it is important to understand if the agency buys your products and/or services.  There are several ways to do the research necessary to determine if you can do business with an agency:

  1. Develop a Government Marketing Outreach Strategy based on utilizing publicly-available systems that allow you to conduct research on what agencies buy.  Examples of these systems are the Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG) (www.fpds.gov) and USASpending (www.usaspending.gov); both of which provide you information on what the Federal Government buys.  You can also review active solicitations on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website (www.fbo.gov) to gain insight into what the Federal Government is buying.  If you are interested in state of Texas opportunities, the Legislative Budget Board (http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/) and the Electronic State Business daily (ESBD) (http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/) can help you understand what the state bus.
  2. Reach out to the agency’s Small Business Representative (SBRs).  They may be known by other similar names, but their role is to help you understand what the agency buys and the contracting methods the agency uses to buy products and services.  It is recommended you have a marketing strategy, to include a professionally-completed Capability Statement, and your Elevator Pitch refined and practiced before you contact the SBR.  But they are instrumental in helping you understand the agency’s need; as well as, introducing you to the decision makers within the agency, so you can market your company further to improve your name recognition and increase your chances for doing business with the agency.
  3. Attend meet-the-buyers events.  Typically, when a government procurement agency conducts a meet-the-buyers event they do once annually.  For example, the City of Houston typically holds their annual meet-the-buyers event in December of each year.  If you want to keep up with the City of Houston events visit their Calendar of Events page at http://www.houstontx.gov/obo/events.html.  Additionally, when you register with a government procurement agency they will  include you in their e-mail notification list and this is another way to stayed informed on what the agency is sharing with the business community.  Prior to attending the event make sure you have your targeted Capability Statement prepared and your elevator pitch refined.  You may only get 10-15 minutes to market your business to the buyer.
  4. Attend matchmaking events.  The largest matchmaking event in the Houston area is jointly sponsored by the Small Business Administration and the UH PTAC.  It is generally held in the first quarter of each year and provides invited business owners to meet with area large prime contractors and local government agencies.  This event is by invitation only and invites are typically sent to established companies that have been in business a few years and have established a positive record of performance.

Each of these recommendations are not only applicable to businesses pursuing prime contracts, but can also benefit businesses pursuing subcontracting opportunities.  The UH PTAC has developed a comprehensive client-advising program called the Three Rs of Government Contracting – Register, Research, and Respond, to educate and guide you in doing business with government to include understanding how to conduct research and develop a marketing strategy.  Each step in the program is defined to get you ready to do business with government:

Register

The first step in the process.  If you want to do business with the government you will need to register to become eligible.  Our advisors will guide you through the process of understanding what is required for you to register with each government agency.

Research

Once you are registered, the next step is to conduct market research to determine what government agencies buy your products and services and the contracting method(s) they use to buy them.  Our advisors will show you how to conduct market research to identify your target agencies and where to find the opportunities.

Respond

Once you have identified an opportunity our advisors will review it with you to help you understand what is required to submit a responsive offer.  As you prepare your offer we are available to guide you through the process and answer questions along the way.  Finally, we will review your offer before submitting it to the government.

We have experienced advisors that can help you understand what it takes to do business with government following the Three Rs program.  If you are not currently a UH PTAC client, I invite you to select the Application link on this page to submit an online application and then sign up for our PTAC New Client Initial Meeting.

Below you will find a link to our list of Federal, State, and Local Government procurement agency websites.  This is a list of government agencies that you can register with and potentially sell your products and/or services.

Procurement Website Links