- Know your capabilities
- Sources Sought
- Set Asides
Know Your Capabilities
The first thing you must know before attempting to respond to a Federal Government solicitation, is you must know your companies capabilities. What is your company good at? What have you done in the past? What can you provide to the Federal Government? The wrong idea is to first find what the Government is purchasing and then trying to produce that.
Sources Sought is one of the best tools to compete against large companies in the Federal Government arena. This is because the Government contract sector is highly competitive, and small businesses must use every advantage they can to win contracts. By responding to a Sources Sought, this is a way to get your foot in the door. This does not mean that by responding you will win a contract, it does not even mean you will be considered for a contract, but it does mean it will increase your chances. It will increase the likelihood that the Federal Government will provide opportunities which meet your company’s capabilities, and set aside contracts which meet your set aside classification.
What are Set Aides? According to the Encarta World English Dictionary, “Set Aside” means to reserve something, to keep something, especially time or money for a specific purpose. This is exactly what a set aside is, part of the U.S. Government’s Small Business Act states that the Federal Government is required by law to reserve a variety of procurements which are partially or totally for small business participation. Which means that the Government must set aside a percentage of all Federal opportunities which meet certain small business set aside classifications. For more information regarding “Set Asides” and codes for classifications please go to http://lame-store.flywheelsites.com/set-aside.
In conclusion, if you are a small business, and you would like to respond to Government solicitations, first know your capabilities and set aside codes. Second respond to all sources sought relating to your business. By taking these three very simple steps you will greatly increase your chance in winning more Federal Government contracts.