If you want to compete for available contracts with federal agencies, implementing new strategies to make your company stand out will be a great business move. Here are some recommendations to help market your business effectively.
1. Know your company — Draft your value proposal so that reading it takes two minutes or less. Be prepared to provide more details if you’re asked to. Answering these questions will help you briefly define your business:
- What does my business do?
- What makes me different from the competition?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
It’s important to define your products and services using federal government language. For example, classify your business according to the pre-established codes in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Find out which codes describe your business by industry, according to the list in the Product & Service Code (PSC). This will help you maximize your profile in the System for Award (SAM) (https://sam.gov) federal bidders register.
2. Gather information and create a strategic plan for your business — As part of the research process, and to understand agencies’ purchase tendencies, it’s important to be familiar with how they work and what they’re looking for. The following questions can help decide whether you’re ready to do business with the federal government or whether you should re-visit your strategies:
- Does the federal government need what I’m offering?
- What agencies are buying my products or services?
- How often do they buy them?
To help you answer these questions:
- Study what has happened. Find out how the federal government invests its money by going to the webpage USA Spending. You can do searches by fiscal year and by agency to learn how they use their funds for contracts. On the other hand, at the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) website, you can do a search for recent or prior years contracts. You can do simple searches by codes and locations and by more advanced searches to find what you need.
- Learn what’s happening now. The Federal Business Opportunities website allows you to see procurement opportunities. Analyze them based on workplace, deadlines, services or products they want to buy, agencies, and requirements. The website allows you to check an option to receive email notifications.
- Be alert to what’s coming. Go to the Agency Recurring Procurement Forecasts website to learn about procurement projections and various agencies’ projects. The projections mostly include contact-person information for each project. Call that person for more details and add him or her to your list of contacts.
3. Develop a good Capability Statement — Consider it as your business’s resumé to federal agencies. A good capability statement can open doors to new business and attract buyers. Keep it constantly updated and adjust it to the agency you’ll be negotiating with. The document should:
- Be no more than one page long (front and back);
- Detail your business’s specific features and characteristics;
- Provide a list of what differentiates your company from others;
- Provide a performance history (with examples of other projects);
- Include business information (Codes, NAICS and PSC, certifications, contact person, email, telephone, and website).
4. Update your business’s information — Maximize your online presence. Be sure your website is up to date and contains relevant information. Create an email address that includes your company name.
5. Establish business relationships — Take part in networking events and create a list of contacts with buyers, federal officials, other companies, and contractors. Remember, competitors can become allies and with them you may be able to create subcontracting opportunities.
6. Request certifications and self-certifications — Agencies have a percentage of opportunities reserved for companies with certain federal certifications and self-certifications. Learn more about these certifications here.
7. Request free counseling — The Puerto Rico Federal Contracting Center (FeCC) is a division of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Corporation (PRIDCO) where you can receive free orientation on how to do business with the federal government. Call them at 787-758-4747, ext. 3181, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (Popular) has no affiliation or relationship with the Federal Contracting Center (FeCC), with the entities or with the information provided in the links mentioned in this article. This article is informative in nature and does not constitute an endorsement or a guarantee of its accuracy. Popular or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or related companies are not and will not be liable for special damages, direct or indirect, incidental or consequential, including, but not limited to loss of profits ensuing from or related to communications, articles or advice provided, or that may ensue from the information contained in this article. Popular is devoted to providing banking services and therefore does not offer (directly or indirectly) any type of advisory service towards contracting with the federal government. If you require any of these services you should seek advice from a competent professional of your choice. Popular is not liable in any way for the outcome of any related endeavor if you choose to voluntarily communicate with SAM, the FeCC or any of the entities mentioned in this article.