Top Tips for Finding Federal Contracts
Searching the web for contracts can be extremely frustrating. If you are not familiar with the process a simple search can present a list of contracts that can take days to review. How can you simplify the effort while still keeping it effective?
Tip 1: Make sure that federal agencies can find you by registering on Central Contract Registration (CCR) at https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/
Tip 2: Federal agencies are required to publish procurement forecasts. Check them out at Acquisition Central at: https://www.acquisition.gov/comp/procurement_forecasts/index.html.
Tip 3: Use FedBizOpps at https://www.fbo.gov/ . This site lists almost all contracts over $25,000 being solicited by the federal government. There are three or more ways to search on this site. The first method is to search “ALL”. You may do this once just to get a feel, but it can easily cause information overload, too much information to be useful.
With experience you will find the best method is to search FedBizOpps by keyword and enter your product/service or zip code. Using this method you can find all solicitations for “cheese”, or “computers” or “socks” or “food services” or whatever you may wish to sell/provide to the government. You can most easily limit the listing of interested contracts by using the keyword search.
If you are interested in working with a particular agency, you can also Search by Agency. You can then check the site for contracts with the agency that best fits your product or service.
Tip 4: Once you find a solicitation you are interested in … Print it out! Print the page and save all the information you find as a hard copy. You may find a contract on the internet and then lose the site or bookmark. When you go back to the site you can’t find it again. If you didn’t print it out it could be gone forever.
TIP 5: You can set FedBizOps up to do searches or you can become a client of the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC). APAC will provide a bid-match service for you at no charge. The use of a bid-match service is by far the best approach to finding federal procurement opportunities. The bid-match service will also limit the number of opportunities identified at a realistic level. Remember that APAC provides additional federal contracting services, all free of charge.
Tip 6: Keep the name of the Contact person, and write to them when you have questions. Read the entire solicitation, write your questions down and submit them all in one letter or email. Before you do this, check the solicitation website to see if these questions have been addressed by other parties. Although there are times when contact should be made by telephone, it should always be reduced to writing. Agencies are required to provide a response to all interested parties as an amendment to the solicitation. There is no assurance that this will happen in response to a telephone call.
Tip 7: Check web sites often for updates and amendments. You must make sure your bid reflects all amendments, and the individual amendments should be acknowledged in accordance with the procedures provided..