Finding Federal Buyers: Can be like finding a needle in a haystack with a rather large magnet
There are over 60 federal agencies with in excess of 2MM civil employees. Knowing who to call in the federal marketplace can be a daunting task.
Because of this some small businesses with unique service offerings obtain GSA Schedule Contracts knowing that is where federal Contracting Officers will go to do market research. This can be a good strategy but these federal contractors are only being discovered by happenchance. For those with a more proactive business development strategy this is likely not enough to insure your success.
The needle example: IT cloud project
An IT firm that specializes in Cloud Programming is seeking initial contracts close to their headquarters in Texas. What are the considerations, how should I select my target market?
If travel is a consideration than the firm should limit themselves to the agencies that have offices in the state of Texas. This would be to minimize costs while the firm got its feet wet, but for firms wanting to be more aggressive a broader geographical region can be chosen. We would also recommend that the firm focus on three agencies and work to target their marketing towards those agencies as well.
In the state of Texas the number of Federal Contracting Officers that have inked a deal in the past 2 years in this NAICS code of 541511 is 160. There were six active agencies for Cloud Computing Department of Homeland Security, DoD (Army, Airforce), NASA, US Courts, DEA, and Defense Health Agency. Therefore the firm should target agencies they feel they have the best opportunity in which to succeed.
The Large Federal Contracting Magnet
If the firm was to focus on Homeland Security, US Courts and the DEA it could build a nice federal law enforcement niche. This would limit the number of contracting officers they needed to follow-up with on a continuous basis to around 25-40. Building these relationships would eventually lead to a trial run with the agency and good performance would led to more work down the road.
Therefore small businesses should consider low cost federal list building services in order to begin the process of fostering relationships with the right people within the federal government.