The United States is the world’s single largest buyer of goods and services, each year spending over 7 trillion dollars in public procurement. This makes the U.S. government the most reliable customer for business of all sizes selling everything from environmental services and products, lighting, office supplies, construction, and technology to name a just a few.
Contracting with the government provides many benefits to businesses: 1) government customers pay regularly; 2) government agencies will not default on their contracts; 3) contracts can be awarded in single or multi-year terms allowing businesses to plan ahead; 4) government buyers tell private businesses exactly what it is they need and when they need it.
These are just a few reasons why government contracting is great business for companies looking to profit and expand. The trick is knowing where to find the procurement opportunities.
Federal Government Procurement
FedBizOpps.gov is the government-wide point of entry for all contracts over $25,000. On any given day there are several thousands of opportunities to work with over 27,000 government agencies looking to purchase a wide range of products and services from the private sector. Registration on the site is free and allows business owners to save searches, receive updates on tagged opportunities and new award opportunities, to review procurement-related documents and much more.
Searching the site is quite easy but business owners new to the site will also find the training videos and Question and Answer pages very helpful. In addition, business owners and entrepreneurs should check out the “How to Use FedBizOpps to Effectively Find the Right Bid Opportunities” blog for great tips on how to maximize your searches to find the best procurement opportunities for their business expertise or specialty.
State Government Procurement
State procurement opportunities for private businesses are usually administered by each state’s individual purchasing, procurement, or general services departments. Some states have more than one site handling purchases. Here’s a list of where to start in each state when looking to enter government business at this level:
Alabama – http://purchasing.alabama.gov/
Alaska – http://doa.alaska.gov/dgs/
Arizona – http://spo.az.gov/
California – http://www.dgs.ca.gov/pd/Home.aspx
Connecticut – http://das.ct.gov/cr1.aspx?page=12
Delaware – http://gss.omb.delaware.gov/
Hawaii – http://hawaii.gov/spo
Idaho – http://purchasing.idaho.gov/
Indiana – http://www.in.gov/idoa/
Kansas – http://www.da.ks.gov/purch/
Louisiana – http://doa.louisiana.gov/osp/osp.htm
Michigan – http://www.michigan.gov/micontractconnect
Minnesota – http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/
Mississippi – http://www.dfa.state.ms.us/
Nebraska – http://das.nebraska.gov/materiel/purchasing/
Nevada – http://purchasing.state.nv.us/
New Hampshire – http://admin.state.nh.us/purchasing/
New Jersey – http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/purchase/
New York – http://ogs.ny.gov/BU/PC/
North Carolina – http://www.doa.state.nc.us/PandC/Default.aspx
North Dakota – http://www.nd.gov/spo/
Oklahoma – http://www.ok.gov/DCS/Central_Purchasing/
Rhode Island – http://www.purchasing.ri.gov/
South Carolina – http://www.mmo.sc.gov/PS/PS-index.phtm
South Dakota – http://www.state.sd.us/boa/opm/
Tennessee – http://tn.gov/generalserv/cpo/
Vermont – http://bgs.vermont.gov/purchasing
Virginia – http://www.eva.state.va.us/
West Virginia – http://www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/
Local Government Procurement
There are almost 3000 counties in the United States, as well as several thousand more cities, districts and municipalities that might make searching for local government bid opportunities seem overwhelming at first. But business owners should know that some of the most profitable contracts come from local agencies who prefer working with private companies who are entrenched in the local economy and have already earned a great reputation in the community. Local government procurement opportunities are also less cumbersome and much easier to navigate than most of the larger state and federal level contracts.
Local procurement announcements can be found by doing a simple web search for the city, district, or county office you are interested in working with and searching for solicitations in announcement pages, newsletters, meeting agendas and minutes. Many local business owners find it easier to network with other vendors and contract officers when it comes to doing business with the local government. So be sure to take a proactive approach and start searching for these business expansion opportunities.
Once you’ve found a great contract to bid on, be sure you do your due diligence and take all of the steps required to increase your chances of writing a winning bid. Government contracting is a great boon for most business, so don’t let these opportunities pass you by.
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