You are ready to seek opportunities with the federal government as one of your business development strategies. You have completed your System for Award Management (SAM) registration now where do you go to see opportunities? That is today’s topic on Federal Contracting Made Easy.
Federal Business Opportunities Website
Federal procurement opportunities over $25,000 are listed on a website called Federal Business Opportunities, FBO.gov for short. This is a central website where opportunities are listed for almost all federal agencies. The reason I say almost all is that the Federal Aviation Administration has its own website where it lists its opportunities call faaco.faa.gov. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.
You cannot sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Contracting officers are not going to be knocking on your door or calling on the phone and offering you a chance to bid on a contract. You must be proactive and seek out opportunities. Let’s go the fbo.gov website and learn more.
As I said earlier, all solicitations valued over $25,000 are published on this website. Contracting officers will include information about how and when vendors are to respond to each solicitation. What is great about this website is that it does not just list solicitations but includes other things such as sources sought, award notices, and sole source awards. The one thing you will not find is task order solicitations for multiple award contracts as these are restricted to the multiple award contracts awardees.
This website has multiple search options. They are:
- Keyword/solicitation number
- Opportunity/procurement type
- Posted date of the solicitation
- Response due date of the solicitation
- Last modified date of the solicitation
- Contract award date
- Place of performance state
- Place of performance zip code
- Set-aside code
- Classification code
- NAICS code
- Agency/office location
- Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
- Active vs. archived status
- Justification & approval statutory authority
There is also a keyword search box on the main page of FBO.gov where you can enter a solicitation number (if you know it). And you can use the advanced search function to search any option.
This may seem overwhelming at first but to make it easy for you, I will tell you the search criteria that I believe you will use most often. That is by state, then by NAIC code. The problem that I see when searching by NAIC code is contracting officers may have elected to use a code that is like the one you are searching for. That is why I generally only enter the state code and go through the listing. However, I live in a state that will only have 30 solicitations a day so it is easy for me.
Now that you have searched the website and have found a solicitation that you are interested in, open the solicitation. You will see the date of the solicitation, and any amendments t it. A brief description of the solicitation along with the contracting office. Pay attention to the date responses are due and other information. What is nice is that you are offered an opportunity to download/view the supporting documents for a more detailed information.
I wanted to take a minute and discuss “Sources Sought”. Sources Sought is where a contracting agency may have an opportunity in the future and are seeking companies that have the capability to perform the work. The contracting officer is performing market research to determine if the solicitation will be offered to all businesses or restricted to a certain set-aside. I cannot tell you the number of times, that a contracting officer reached out to me to tell me that they are going to offer an opportunity to all businesses when it should have been restricted because no small businesses responded to the sources sought. So, do everyone a favor and respond to sources sought. It will make everyone’s life easier.
Please sign up and register your business with Federal Business Opportunites. This will allow you to have the system generate emails with solicitations that match the criteria you create. Just open your email and solicitations will be there. However, I would still go to the website and make sure that you don’t miss anything!
As always, we hope you enjoyed today’s topic. If you have suggestions for future topics you can contact us. Please remember to subscribe. Till next week, be safe.