Melba E Ketchman
Contract Administration and Management
August 11, 2012
Contracting with the Government is very competitive. It’s especially competitive for a small business trying to get its first federal contract. There are many electronic marketing resources that a small business can utilize. A business does not need to be in the same state as the federal opportunity they are competing for which makes electronic marketing the way to go when dealing with the Government. Also there are programs to help small businesses to get started into competing for government contracts. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a one stop shopping for help in government contracting. If a small business sales office supplies, equipment and furniture ranging from pens and pencils to computer monitors, desks and chairs, wants to compete for government contracts then they need to market themselves to the government. There are many electronic marketing resources for the small business to use like Fedbizopps.gov, GSA and bidders list. Also another resource is the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA can help by providing training courses on how to get started competing for Government contracts. FedBizOpps lists synopses, notices of proposed contracts, amendments/modifications, subcontracting leads, contract awards, solicitations, and other opportunities. FedBizOpps is mainly for acquisitions over $25,000 (Stanberry, 2008). This is least useful for a small business unless the small business is looking for opportunities involving office furniture then FedBizOpps would be the place to go since a Federal agency isn’t going to buy one desk. The agency is going to need at least desk, chair, filing cabinet, shelves plus the supplies for the person to use. Plus most agencies replace everything of one item at the same time. An agency may need 95 computer monitors, 25 office chairs, or 15 desks. Any one of those could cost over $25,000 depending on what specifications the agency is looking for.
Federal agencies directly post procurement opportunities to the website. Businesses can search, monitor and retrieve opportunities from the database (Stanberry, 2008). FedBizOpps helps level the playing field for small businesses. It also broadens the federal marketplace and minimizes the effort and cost of finding federal business opportunities. Small businesses do not have the money to get into a costly bidding process so the easiest and cost efficient way to compete is the best way to go.
Another electronic marketing resource is GSA. GSA is the gateway to getting a business’s foot in the door with government contracting. The federal supply schedules on GSA help businesses develop long-term government wide contracts. It’s especially good for small businesses that sell office supplies because every October federal agencies replenish their supplies. Each department is responsible for their own supplies. The more employees in the department the more supplies are needed.
Using the eBuy system, federal agencies (buyers) may prepare and post Requests for Quotations (RFQ) for specific supplies and services offered under GSA Schedule and Technology contracts ("How does ebuy," 2012). The RFQ has to be posted in the eBuy system for a designated period of time and assigned a GSA Schedule Special Item Number (SIN) category or GWAC/Network Services and Telecommunications functional category by the buyer. The category assignment determines which Schedule, GWAC, or Network Services and Telecommunications vendors may receive the email notice to submit quotes. Vendors are automatically listed under their awarded SINs or functional categories ("How does ebuy," 2012).
Buyers may notify all vendors listed under a particular SIN category or may choose to notify a lesser number of vendors. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405 states that buyers must provide the RFQ