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How Big is the Opportunity?

Procurement programs are Big Business for Small Businesses.

According to the 3/23/04 press release by the Small Business Administration, the federal government awarded more than a quarter of its prime contracting dollars to small businesses in fiscal year 2003. The FY 2003 data indicate that small businesses did $62.7 billion of business with the federal government as prime contractors. The dollars awarded in these contracts created or retained approximately 469,632 jobs.

According to Fortune magazine, minority owned businesses sold over $50 billion in goods and services to Corporate America.

In 2000, 10 of the largest corporation collectively purchase more than $18 billion in products and services from minoirty and women-owned suppliers. Source: Billion Dollar Roundtable

Where is your company in the Supply Chain???


DEFINING THE MARKET

The U.S. government is the world's largest buyer of products and services. Purchases by military and civilian installations amount to nearly $200 billion a year, and include everything from complex space vehicles to janitorial services to cancer research. In short, the government buys just about every category of commodity and service available.

By law, federal agencies are required to establish contracting goals, such that 23% of all government buys are intended to go to small businesses. In addition, contract goals are established for women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, firms located in HUBZones and service disabled veteran-owned businesses. These government-wide goals, which are not always achieved, are 5%, 5%, 3% and 3%, respectively. They are important, however, because federal agencies have a statutory obligation to reach-out and consider small businesses for procurement opportunities. It is up to you to market and match your business products and services to the buying needs of federal agencies.

Selling to the federal government is, in some ways, similar to selling to the private sector. While federal procurement procedures may have a different set of rules and regulations, many of the same marketing techniques and strategies you already employ may work here. Use your common business sense.

Some tips: Get to know the agency and understand the context in which your product or service could be used. Obtain available information on past awards, quantities, costs and awarders.

Become known to potential purchasers. Before going forward, take a moment to think about your company's products and services. Take a close look at your company and consider what the government will look for when considering your company for a contract award. Financial status, staff capabilities and track record are all of interest to the government.




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