If I Have A Vendor Of Record Arrangement Or Register With Electronic Portals* The Contracts Will Come Rolling In
Having a Vendor of Record arrangement or registering with electronic portals is a step in the right direction but does not guarantee contracts. You still have to market your company aggressively to the organizations that buy your products and services. Know your market, and get them to know you.
*There are internet-based electronic portals that provide information on bid opportunities in Ontario.
Lisa Firestone Managed Care Advisors
Lisa Firestone launched her employee benefits and disability management consulting firm in 1997, but it wasnt until six years later that she saw an untapped niche: handling case management for workers compensation issues for the federal government.
We went from pure consulting to offering a suite of products that assisted the recovery of employees injured on the job, said Firestone, President and CEO of Managed Care Advisors, who, armed with the technical expertise, partnered with another small, woman-owned firm that was better versed in government contracting to bid for the first job.
Although teaming with another company to try and win a single contract is a strategy lauded by consultants, landing that first one wasnt easy. We were up against large businesses and up against the fact that we never had a contract before, said Firestone. We also had to protest the first bid, where the initial determination was that no small business could handle the job. But we ended up winning it.
From there, Firestone decided to really learn the government contracting business so she could successfully compete for prime contracts, where her company would be solely responsible for fulfilling the job.
Today, Bethesda, Maryland-based Managed Care Advisors generates about 90 percent of its revenue from federal contracts it holds six prime contracts and two subcontracts with a handful of different agencies.
Find Your Companys Naics Code
Most businesses also need a North American Industry Classification System code, which classifies your businessâs industry, country, and economic sector for purposes of government contracting. This code is needed in order to register your business.
Consult the Small Business Administration for guidance on identifying your industry code, keeping in mind that if your business operates across multiple industries or sectors, you might need to report multiple NAICS codes.
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Do Business With The Military
Find out how your business can search and compete for contracting opportunities within the military.
- Learn about opportunities to sell to the military by contacting the small business office within each branch of the armed forces and Department of Defense.
- Find military contracting opportunities using the Contract Opportunities Search Tool on beta.SAM.gov. Search using the name of the military branch youre interested in working with, or the location of a specific military installation.
- If you are a veteran, check out programs and information specific to military veterans.
Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive
The BPS Procurement Directive supports and helps improve supply chain activities at Ontario’s broader public sector organizations.
The BPS Procurement Directive requires designated broader public sector organizations to:
- acquire publicly funded goods and services, including construction, consulting services and information technology, through a process that is open, fair and transparent
- establish clear lines of accountability for delegation of authority and procurement approvals.
The BPS Procurement Directive is based on the principles of:
- quality service delivery
- process standardization
It includes a protocol of conduct and compliance measures in the Supply Chain Code of Ethics and Procurement Policies and Procedures.
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National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council plays a vital role in certifying minority-owned businesses, and those businesses that do get certified with the NMSDC are then able to get connected to new business opportunities. The NMSDC acts as a matchmaker of sorts between certified minority-owned businesses and large public and private entities that seek to hire diverse suppliers. Additionally, the NMSDC also hosts events focused on education, networking, leadership and other topics.
Updating Your Vendor Profile:
If you are a NYC-certified company and your profile in the NYC Online Directory of Certified Businesses is incorrect, you can update your information. If you want to update your:
- NIGP codes: you must log into PASSPort. Please choose *only* the NIGP codes that best describe the products and/or services your business provides.
- Contact information: please call us at 513-6444 or complete our contact form.
- Business address, company description, and/or experience listed in your profile: you must send a signed request on company letterhead with both old and new information to:
NYC Department of Small Business Services1 Liberty Plaza, 11th FloorNew York, NY 10006Attn: Certification Unit, Division of Financial and Economic Opportunity
*Please note that for changes that may affect your businesses’ certification eligibility, we may request additional documentation before updating your profile.
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Small And Medium Enterprises Cannot Compete With Large And Multinational Corporations
The broader public sector does not discriminate when awarding contracts. There are many opportunities for companies of all sizes to participate in open competition for products, services and construction required by health care and educational institutions in Ontario.
Vendors may submit individual bids or come together as a group to submit a proposal. Conversely, a buyer may award multiple contracts for a single competition.
Request For Your Duns Number
Unlike your method of obtaining your NAICS Code, you have to submit a request at the Dun & Bradstreet website to get your unique 9-digit DUNS number. This is a free government service, and you can receive your number via your registered email within 1-3 business days.
To apply for your DUNS Number, you have to fill out the application form with these necessary details:
- The legal name of the company
- Your companyâs physical address
- Your corporate contact information
- Total number of employees
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Make Nyc Your Customer
In Fiscal Year 2021, mayoral agencies awarded more than $1 billion in combined prime and subcontracts subject to the M/WBE program.
M/WBE awards by sector
To do business with the City, you must register as a vendor in the City’s Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal and Payee Information Portal . A PASSPort account puts your business on the Citywide Bidder List, while a PIP account provides you with a NYC Vendor Number. This lets you manage your financial transactions with the City. Registered vendors receive alerts about contract opportunities, including contracts not advertised anywhere else.
Find State Government Contracting Opportunities
The Department of General Services Office of State Procurement has the authority to procure commodities and services on behalf of other state agencies and departments when the amount of the contract is expected to exceed the using agencys purchasing authority. Most all state agencies conduct procurement through eMaryland Marketplace Advantage to solicit contract opportunities that exceed $15,000.
The eMaryland Marketplace Advantage is the online procurement system used to connect the vendor community with contracting opportunities from state, county, and local government entities. Registered vendors can search and receive notices of bid opportunities, submit bid responses online, obtain bid results online, and self-certify for the Small Business Reserve and the Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise programs. More than 200 state and local government organizations use the system.
The University System of Marylands Office of Procurement has an independent system, although it follows the same purchasing guidelines as all state agencies. Eleven USM institutions have procurement authority and manage procurement offices and day-to-day procurement business operations.
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Seek A Subcontracting Opportunity
While the SAM.gov database handles direct contracts with government agenciesâknown in government terms as prime contractsâthere is another form of government contracts for small businesses to explore: subcontracting.
As the name suggests, subcontracting opportunities involve negotiating contracts with current government contractors to complete a portion of the work designated by the prime contractors. In other words, subcontractors are the vendorâs vendor. Subcontracting on government contracts can be both a lucrative business opportunity and a chance to learn more about government contracting before attempting to bid on prime contracts directly with the U.S. government.
Similar to SAM.gov, the SBA maintains a searchable database called SUB-Net that highlights available subcontracting opportunities. If youâre just getting started with government contracting or would like a layer of experience between government agency clientele and your own business, searching SUB-Net for subcontracting opportunities is a great starting point.
What Happens At The End Of My Trial
If you do nothing, you will be auto-enrolled in our premium digital monthly subscription plan and retain complete access for CA$95 per month.
For cost savings, you can change your plan at any time online in the Settings & Account section. If youd like to retain your premium access and save 20%, you can opt to pay annually at the end of the trial.
You may also opt to downgrade to Standard Digital, a robust journalistic offering that fulfils many users needs. Compare Standard and Premium Digital here.
Any changes made can be done at any time and will become effective at the end of the trial period, allowing you to retain full access for 4 weeks, even if you downgrade or cancel.
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Department Of Veterans Affairs Veterans First Contracting Program:
Within the Department of Veterans Affairs , the procurement hierarchy for open market acquisitions places the highest priority on SDVOSBs, followed by VOSBs, putting Veteran owned businesses ahead of 8, HUBZone, Woman owned and other small businesses. This is the only program that gives first priority to veterans and the only program that provides a preference for veteran business owners who are not service-disabled. The VA is one of the largest federal procurement organizations, awarding over $3 billion to Veteran owned small businesses.
Verification:To qualify for the Veterans First Contracting Program, businesses must be found eligible through the VAs Verification process, which is administered by the VAs Center for Verification and Evaluation . The eligibility requirements outline above apply to both veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned, and the verification process and requirements overall are outlined in 38 CFR part 74.
The Applicant bears the burden of proof of adequately establishing its claimed status.
Verification Assistance: To help Veteran business owners more easily navigate the verification process, the VA has developed a number of tools and guides in addition to creating the Verification Assistance Program through which assistance counselors have been specially trained to provide free assistance to veterans seeking verification. near you.
How The Sba Can Help
The SBA’s mission is to stimulate andfoster economic development by helpingnew businesses get started andestablished firms grow. While smallbusinesses often face considerablehurdles when trying to win federalcontracts, the SBA can help overcomethese barriers. The SBA works closelywith other federal agencies and thenation’s leading federal contractors toensure that small businesses obtain afair share of government contracts andsubcontracts.
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Us Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce , founded in 1979, serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce and Hispanic business organizations around the U.S. The USHCC works to develop national programs to help Hispanic businesses, promotes trade between Hispanic businesses in the U.S. and Latin America and provides technical assistance and training to Hispanic entrepreneurs. Additionally, the organization hosts events and programming to help businesses stay connected and informed.
CO aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
Want to read more?
To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.
COis committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.
Protesting Or Disputing A Government Contract
If your business bids on a contract and the government makes a decision that you disagree with, you have options to protest or dispute the decision. In general, there are rules in place that give you the right to file a bid protest or to protest the award of the contract to another bidder. You also have the right to dispute a decision if a problem arises after you have won a contract.
You may want to file a protest or dispute if the winning bid is:
- A bid that is vague or lacks detail, making it difficult to understand whats needed.
- An overly detailed bid .
- A bid that is too restrictive or lists specs that are not needed.
- A bid that contain ambiguous language.
- A bid that conflicts with HUBZone issues.
- The failure of the agency to list the contract for small businesses.
When you dispute or protest a contract, the agency typically prefers you try to resolve it with them prior to filing with the General Accounting Office an independent agency that provides government agencies with information to help save money and work more efficiently. GAO provides an efficient and inexpensive forum for the resolution of bid protests.
Why You Should Apply For Contracts With Government Agencies
Federal agencies require that your small business adhere to certain labor regulations and laws to get accepted. But that doesnt mean there arent big advantages to working with a government agency.
Granted, its a tough process to get to be a federal contractor. However, these projects last from one to three years usually.
Tap Into A New Market
Small businesses are always looking for new work. You can grow and mature your enterprise by entering the public sector. There are new industry opportunities here that small businesses like.
Taking advantage of upcoming contracts is easier as a contractor. Businesses can change government jobs quicker than federal employees. Small business contractors arent tied down with as much red tape.
These Are Easy To Land
The registration process is time consuming. Its a big task, but there are set asides for a successful business. You ll need to qualify, but then some federal contracts are reserved.
Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contracts
The government awards an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract if they cannot determine an accurate number of supplies or services needed during a specified time. So instead, the IDIQ contract will define a range where selected government contractors can bid for the lowest price.
Under IDIQ, the government can place delivery orders for supplies or task orders for services for the needs of a specific federal agency or the government as a whole.
As you can see, the federal government spearheads various efforts to level the playing field for small business leaders like you. By offering diverse contract arrangements, you can finally find a contract that not only aligns with your needs but also plays to your strengths.
However, despite these attractive government contracting options that are up for grabs for small business owners, there are still several small-time industry players who steer clear from the federal marketplace due to the industrys overwhelmingly tedious registration process.
But, dont worry! We got you covered.
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Finding Opportunities And Providing Services To The Federal Government
Knowing how to start selling digital services to the federal government can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned business owner.
This guide is intended to walk through some of the initial processes required in an effort to reduce the time it takes to bring innovative digital service companies into the government marketplace.
How The Government Buys
The government buys many of the productsand services it needs from suppliers whomeet certain qualifications. It appliesstandardized procedures by which topurchase goods and services. That is,the government does not purchase itemsor services in the way an individualhousehold might. Instead, governmentcontracting officials use proceduresthat conform to the Federal AcquisitionRegulation.
The FAR is a standardized set ofregulations used by all federal agenciesin making purchases. It providesprocedures for every step in theprocurement process, from the timesomeone in the government discovers aneed for a product or service to thetime the purchase is complete.
The FAR can be accessed electronicallyatwww.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
As of October 1, 2001, the governmenttransitioned from Commerce BusinessDaily to Federal BusinessOpportunitiesto “post” all procurement opportunitiesexpected to exceed $25,000. FedBizOppsis a web-based application and is thegovernment-wide point of entry tocommunicate its buying requirements topotential suppliers. This very importantwebsite can be accessed atFedBizOpps.
When the government wants to purchase acertain product or service, it can use avariety of contracting methods.Simplified acquisition procedures,sealed bidding, contracting bynegotiation and consolidated purchasingvehicles are key contract methodologiesused to purchase products and services.
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The Lowest Bid Always Wins The Contract
While price is a factor, it is not the only factor when purchasing. The greatest value for money is increasingly a major consideration when assessing an innovative solution and long-term benefits of a product or service.
Buyers will make the final determination on how your product meets their expectations. The information you provide through the Request for Information process, for example, will help buyers develop a procurement strategy for the product or solution that best meets their business need, cost and product life cycle considerations.
Price Your Bid Appropriately
Federal contracting officers are expected to ensure that supplies and services for government agencies are purchased at fair and reasonable prices, and they conduct a significant amount of market research to understand typical pricing before making a proposal solicitation. At the same time, most solicitations are met with a competitive number of bids, leaving you as the business owner tasked with issuing a competitive bid while still reasonably maximizing your profit potential.
As you can imagine, setting your contract pricing well will be critical to your ability to win profitable government contracts. You need to consider your costs both during bidding and the fulfillment of the contract while allowing enough room for day-to-day overhead.
Remember as you bid that contracting officers arenât necessarily seeking the lowest price, but rather the best value with all factors considered. Look for ways to add value in your bid without increasing overhead costs to maximize your companyâs appeal as the âbest valueâ offer.
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