As you continue your business strategy to enter into the government contracting marketplace, it is essential to understand the databases where the government officials post solicitations. Today, we will be discussing the most popular database in government contracting, called FedBizOps or FBO for short. Contracting officers will post opportunities to this site valued at or above $25,000. FedBizOps does more than keep track of upcoming opportunities. It also can search for pre-solicitation or sources sought.
What is a Pre-Solicitation?
So, what is a pre-solicitation? A pre-solicitation helps the government determine if there are qualified small businesses to perform the work. It will tell you when the solicitation will be released and asks companies to respond. Most importantly, the responses received from businesses will help determine a set-aside. (i.e., Small Business, HUBZone, SDVOSB, Woman-Owned, etc.). Don’t let these opportunities pass by without responding to them. It is the only way to get them set-aside for small businesses.
What are a Sources Sought?
A Sources Sought is one of the government’s market research tools to determine the number of capable businesses that are available to perform a planned contract. A contracting officer will use sources sought for three purposes:
- Determine the geographical market capability.
- Determine the appropriate acquisition strategy.
- Small Business Goal achievement.
It is essential that small businesses respond to these requests. I have seen some opportunities for small businesses go to large companies because of a lack of response from the small business. Also, you can find past solicitations. Lastly, the system will notify you of changes to opportunities.
Create a FedBizOps Account
You do not have to create an account. However, those serious about government contracting will so so.
What can an account do for you?
- Automated emails to you based on your search criteria and keywords.
- Allows for a watch list of opportunities
- Join interested vendors lists
- Keep track of pending contracts
Account creation is effortless. Then you can also generate a search for an opportunity that matches your business strategy. You can also schedule your search criteria to run for a period. If you need assistance, you can always contact one of the free resources that we have discussed previously.
Found a Solicitation, Now What?
Now that you have successfully found an opportunity on FedBizOps that matches your core business strategy. The Synopsis/Solicitation phase is where the opportunity is up for grabs. But before you begin typing up your proposal, you need to know how to analyze the solicitation properly. You will want to grab a pen and paper and make a note of the following:
- Type of Solicitation (RFQ, RFP, IFB, etc.)
- Set-aside category and SBA Size Standard
- NAICS code
- Significant FAR Clauses/Provisions
- Point of Contact
- Full synopsis
Make sure to click the “Watch this Opportunity” to keep abreast of changes through FedBizOps. Now is the time to take action and 1.) create your FedBizOps account, 2.) Update your business strategy, 3.) subscribe for necessary updates.
For more interesting articles on government contracting or to listen to our podcast called “Federal Contracting Made Easy” click the links. Until next week.