One of the central goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is the appropriation of billions of federal dollars to be used to fund thousands of public construction projects in the U.S.
Construction procurement opportunities can be found in one of several places, but the best places to start is to search on FedBizOpps.gov which lists all federal contracts over $25,000. Business owners can also expand their construction business by checking and getting on a GSA Schedule for construction projects. The GSA Schedules program simplifies the process of purchasing products and services for each the government buyer and vendor.
Get Registered Before Doing Anything Else. All contractors wishing to do work with the federal government must first register in the System for Award Management (SAM), which consolidated the capabilities of CCR/FedReg, ORCA and EPLS. Registering in SAM is a free and simple, one-time process that collects basic information about a vendor and the products and services being provided. Registering in SAM is only required when working with the federal government – not when working at the state or local level – but it’s a great idea for business owners to do so regardless because it will save time and will be one less step to cover in the future. A great checklist to assist you with all registrations required before you start working with the government can be found here.
Check the Small Business Administration for Special Programs and Opportunities. The government makes it no secret that it wishes to increase small business’ involvement in the government market. The U.S. government has several set-aside awards and outreach programs aimed at increasing small business involvement. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great place to start to find resources and tools to take advantage of these great procurement opportunities. Usually, there is less competition for these small business set-aside awards, which greatly increases chances of winning government business. And often times, businesses benefit from networking with other experienced businesses, opening up doors for subcontracting and joint business ventures.
Know Your Industry, And Know It Well. Use whatever tools are obtainable to learn where the money is, and how to get a portion of the spending. SmartProcure, the company out of Deerfield Beach, Florida,that maintains the database of government contracts, provides access to government business on the state, local and federal level. If you were not awarded a contract, use this data to network with those that have, to learn who is doing the spending, what companies are receiving the awards, and how to get in there before the next purchase is made.
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