Government procurement is the process by which government entities obtain needed goods and services. Securing government contracts is a process that can be learned. Keep in mind that a business does not have to be big to sell goods and services to the government. The most important thing is the company’s ability to fulfill the obligations of its contract, not the number of employees on its roster.
Procurement opportunities can be broken down into three levels – those at the Federal level, with New York State and New York City government, and government authorities (MTA, Port Authority, Dormitory Authority etc).
These are the general steps when embarking on your government procurement journey.
1) Obtain a http://Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number
2) Enroll your business in the System for Award Management (SAM), the official website to register to do business with the Federal Government. There is no cost to use SAM.
3) Create an account with the New York State Contract Reporter (NYSCR), NYS' official source of contracting opportunities . All state agencies, authorities, state universities and public benefit corporations advertise bid opportunities valued at $50,000 or more on this website. In addition, many New York municipalities, museums, libraries, and elementary and secondary schools, as well as eligible not-for-profits, advertise bid solicitations on the NYSCR site.
4) Complete your CAPABILITY STATEMENT, a one- or two-page document that summarizes your (you guessed it!) capabilities. It's an at-a-glance cheat sheet for government agency procurement officers and prime contractors that tells them the essentials about your business to help assess your experience and whether you offer the products/services they're seeking. It is effectively a resume for your business.
5) Complete the application for relevant certifications. As you gather required documents, be sure to keep copies as some will be required for more than one application.
6) Contact your SBDC Business Advisor to sign up for BidLinx™ , New York SBDC's government contract “bid-matching” service. It is a Web-based program that monitors thousands of Federal, State, County/Local Government bid sources and sends email notices of opportunities tailored to match a firm’s products, services and capabilities. BidLinx™ is free to SBDC clients in New York State but you can only be enrolled by an SBDC Business Advisor.
For further procurement information guidance check our website or call us at (212) 618-6655 to set up a free 1:1 meeting with a business advisor to explore contract opportunities.