Doing business with agencies of the U.S. Government as a contractor or subcontractor can be a great opportunity for many different types of businesses. Whether you are a new company or an established one, federal contracting represents a tremendous number of dollars moving from agencies to industry and between industry organizations, too.
Besides that, agencies buy pretty much anything. Last fiscal year (the government calendar runs October 1st through September 30th) federal agencies, boards and commissions referenced over 1100 NAICS Codes (‘NAICS’ is the North American Industrial Classification System) and more than 2500 PSC Codes (‘PSC’ is Product and Service Codes). NAICS Codes indicate the purpose for which procured products and services will be used by the Government, and PSC Codes indicate the primary product or service purchased in a procurement transaction.
#Ask@GovConGuy is a resource for you to get accurate and experience-based answers to questions to better understand the steps to take in getting started as a vendor to the federal government.
What Questions Can You Ask?
In a nutshell, anything that has to do with the function of being a government contractor or helping you develop a base of knowledge so you understand what’s going on around you, as it relates government contracting. We’ll point you in the direction of good (mostly free) resources, articles, blogs, podcasts and webinars from a variety of movers, shakers and thought-leaders we know and more.
Ultimately, there’s no set list of what can or cannot be asked, but some of the questions we’re already fielding include:
- What is a small business for federal contracting?
- What certifications are needed to be a government contractor?
- How much does it cost to register as a federal contractor?
- How do I know what agencies are buying?
- How do I know which agencies buy what I sell?
- What is an OSDBU/OSBP?
- How do I meet potential teaming partners?
- Where can I get information about agency buying programs?
If it’s on your mind, toss it over the fence. We have lots of friends and colleagues whom we trust implicitly, who represent most of the essential disciplines and areas of expertise anyone would need to be well-informed.
What Are We Selling?
Nothing. That’s the point. Many of the practitioners and experts you’ll meet here have companies doing business as government contractors or supporting them, just as we do at The American Small Business Coalition. But the rules we’ve established for our LinkedIn group, our Twitter handle and our Vimeo group is they are ‘no soliciting or promoting allowed’ zones, even for us. You’re welcome to contact any of us outside of those forums if you’re interested in what we do, but in those groups, a promise is a promise.
Who Are We?
For starters, I’m @GovConGuy (also known as Guy Timberlake) and I’m the co-founder of The American Small Business Coalition. I’ve been in the business nearly thirty years and have a pretty good head on my shoulders when it comes to many aspects of leading a company, finding and winning business and developing and executing strategies for getting the information and relationships needed to succeed in this marketplace.
Today, most of us make direct or near-direct contributions to the growth of small, medium and large companies as advisors, employees or key-services providers. By the time I name two or three of my friends who’ll support this effort, we’ll surpass the century mark in front line experience and expertise in the areas of legal and FAR compliance, business development and capture, proposal development and management, accounting and finance (to include DCAA compliance), industrial security, federal acquisition and much more.
How Do You Get Started?
If you have questions right now, jump over to LinkedIn and join our group or you can send us a tweet. We’ll also be creating and posting informational videos and hosting discussions on our Vimeo group. In fact, there’s one out there now that will show you fifteen reasons a small business would consider pursuing opportunities purchased a certain way that happens to be much easier than most of the ways agencies purchase. All of this and a lower initial cost of entry, too!
By the way, we don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘stupid’ question. The only thing potentially ‘stupid’ would be not asking a question that could impact the time and money spent by your company!
We look forward to receiving and responding to your questions!
Guy Timberlake, @GovConGuy