US Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District

Quick Tips for Marketing Your Business

  • Realize that their time, like your own, is valuable and limited. If the match is a good one, you may be able to provide them with a cost-effective, quality solution to their requirements.
  • When it is time to market your product or service, present your capabilities directly to the people who buy it.
  • Wherever possible, arrange marketing visits to agency project and program personnel.
  • Provide catalogues and brochures to key personnel within the agencies.
  • Many federal agencies hold small business fairs or matchmaking sessions that emphasize how to do business with the government, and provide information regarding their program activities.

14 Steps for Doing Business with the Corps

It is necessary to know the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s) for your product or service. Most federal government product/service listings and procurements are identified by their NAICS code and/or FSC code. Your business can be associated with multiple NAICS codes, based on what you offer. All the NAICS codes you have capabilities of pertaining to should be listed on your CCR profile (see #4). You can find the codes relating to your business at these websites:

NAICS codes
Dynamic Small Business Search 

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Check with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine whether your business falls within the established table of small business size standards matched to NAICS industries. You may be very surprised just how big a company can be and still be considered "small" in the eyes of the federal government. A great place to start looking into this is the SBA's website.  

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This is a business identification number that is used much like a person uses a social security number. If you do not have a DUNs Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one. There is no charge for assigning a DUNS number and you must have one to proceed. You may call Dun & Bradstreet at (866) 705-5711 or use its website.

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You must be registered in CCR to be awarded a contract from any Federal Civilian or Military agency. CCR is a database designed to hold contractor information required for federal procurement and financial transactions. The information in the CCR also facilitates fast electronic payment of contractor invoices.

http://www.ccr.gov

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Determine if your buisiness qualifies for Small Business 8(a), SDB (Small Disadvantaged Business) or HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) certification. These certifications are detailed. They are essentially for companies that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals or small businesses with a “principal office” in a historically underutilized business zone. When contracting, the federal government sometimes sets aside procurements for or offers preferences to 8(a), SDB, or HUBZone certified business concerns.

http://www.sba.gov/hubzone/

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ORCA is an e-Government initiative that was designed to replace the paper based Representations and Certifications process. ORCA is the primary federal government repository for all of your company's required representations and certifications and can be accessed by federal procuring agencies. ORCA is not required to submit on government solicitations but is an extremely useful resource to organize and keep track of Reps and Certs. See:

http://orca.bpn.gov

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Identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by visiting the FedBizOpps web site at http://www.fbo.gov which is the Federal Civilian and Military Government single point of entry for ALL competitive business opportunities over $25,000.

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Familiarize yourself with both the federal civilian and Department of Defense (DoD) contracting legal procedures. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) can be found at http://farsite.hill.af.mil and/or https://www.acquisition.gov/far/. Individual federal agencies also have supplemental procurement regulations, such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) located at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/index.htm These are the legal regulations for federal acquisitions. If you are serious about federal procurements, you need to know and understand the legal requirements and regulations pertaining to federal contracts.

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Investigate if "getting on the GSA Schedule" is right for you. Federal agencies can use Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Supply Service (FSS) Schedule Contracts to make purchases. These pre-approved contracts are used to buy commonly used products, services, and solutions needed to fulfill their missions and day-to-day operations.

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Seek additional assistance, as needed, in the federal civilian and/or DoD marketplaces. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are federally-funded organizations that offer free help. PTACs can be found at

http://www.dla.mil/db/procurem.htm

. Another website very useful to novice small business contractors is

http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2894

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Familiarize yourself with the procurement forecasts for your targeted agencies. Each federal agency typically produces an Annual Procurement Forecast, as required by the Small Business Act, which is maintained by their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or equivalent. You may contact each agency OSDBU for specifics.

www.usa.gov

Use this procurement forecast to determine good prospects for you.

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Regardless of your product or service, it is important that you do not neglect a very large secondary market - subcontracting opportunities through prime contractors. Although there is no single point of entry for subcontracting opportunities in the federal or civilian procurement marketplace, SBA's subcontract network is a valuable resource for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Prime contractors, government, commercial, and educational entities, may post solicitations or notices on that website. http://www.web.sba.gov/subnet/ For DoD, the Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) Website lists all major DoD prime contractors by state and provides a point of contact (Small Business Liaison Officer) for each contractor. Investigate potential opportunities with these firms. Many of these firms also have websites that may be useful. Partnering with a prime contractor as its subcontractor can be an excellent entry platform to the Federal marketplace. Explore this site for more information: http://www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/

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There are several SBA programs that may be of interest to you, such as the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protege Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), the Small Business Technology Transfer Research Program (STTR), and the Technology Resources Network.

http://www.sba.gov/gcbd/

There are several DoD programs, some derived from the aforementioned programs, that may also be of interest to you, such as the Mentor-Protege Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions Program. Information on these and other programs is available on the OSBP Website.

http://www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/

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Identify your prospective government customers, research their requirements, and familiarize yourself with applicable procurement regulations and strategies. There are many procuring organizations to consider, and educating yourself about their roles and missions will be no small task, but essential nonetheless.

 

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