The Interior Business Center (IBC) supports vendor and federal customer partnerships. Business development between government and industry includes mandated goals for small business, created by the Small Business Administration. In turn, each federal agency via their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization negotiates these goals throughout their contracting offices.
For industry interested in networking the System for Award Management (SAM) is the required gateway for all federal contractors.
The System for Award Management (SAM) website is the primary vendor database for the U.S. federal government. Federal government vendors, both current and potential, are required to be registered in CCR to be awarded a federal government contract.
As you begin to become familiar with the federal government as a place to do business, it can be overwhelming. Agencies, contracting offices, program managers, small business specialists and a host of others will become known to you over time. The key is to focus on your core capabilities, where you believe and understand initially that you would like to concentrate your time, and create in-roads that will put you in front of the right people.
Begin with the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in the area where your business is based. These organizations can give you one-to-one attention, advise you on your marketing plan, collateral material, and often times, give critical guidance and direction to you. In addition, they are closely linked with the Small Business Development Centers which can work with you on the financial side of your business.
Review online any events and conferences that seem to be streamlined with your specialty. Go to some of these events that are both promoted by the government and by the private sector. Recognize that all of these opportunities may lead you not only to individuals within the government, but also other vendors that you could potentially team and partner with for government business. Create contracts that solidify those relationships when it comes to having a prime/subcontractor partnership.
Create a one page capability sheet that defines your business. If you are a small business, consider noting your small business designation on your business card.
Whether you sell a product or service, you need a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code. You can have multiple codes, but choosing them is important.
Reach out to program managers, not just contracting officers. Program managers are the 'technical' representatives, and perform market research that enhances the development of their project plans.
For more information on small business, please visit the IBC Small Business page and the Department of the Interior Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) website.