Fed Biz Opps - Monitoring Fed Biz Opps
Federal business opportunities through government contracts are a good way to turn a decent profit for any company. Government contracts are among the most coveted because they pay well and can lead to a wealth of new opportunities. The U.S. federal government is required, by law, to make publicly available a listing of all opportunities for private contracting work over $25,000. Today, that official listing comes in the form of a government-sponsored website, FedBizOpps (fbo.gov).
Not only can purchasing agents for the government post listings here, but they can also post bids for services and products sought. Vendors can monitor the Fed Biz Opps website and retrieve the bids. The website is maintained and operated by the General Services Administration (GSA), but each specific agency is responsible for the content of their listings. Information in each listing includes the following:
• Buying agency
• Phone number of agency purchaser
• Address for further information
• Links to additional information
• Specific products or services needed
An email notification system makes the monitoring process very simple. Any company can fill out a subscription form on the website detailing criteria they wish to be notified about. Criteria that can be specified include, location, type of supply or service, buying office, and agency.
Not only are agencies required to post all attempts of procurement over $25,000, they are also obliged to list all information on subcontracting opportunities by companies they have already contracted. Most contracting listings greater than $25,000 result in several subcontracting opportunities, and the names and addresses of the contractors are listed.
Some exceptions to the Fed Biz Opps are possible. In emergency situations, opportunities do not have to be listed. In addition, some opportunities are reserved for businesses meeting certain requirements such as being a small business, veteran-owned, minority-owned, etc.
Being able to monitor FedBizOpps requires a vendor to understand the system. This is made more difficult because the GSA often updates and changes the functionality of the website without notice. The primary method of navigating the website is through the search function. Users can search through a variety of criteria, such as date range, codes, cities, agencies, and more. The website also contains a plethora of related information and articles put out by the government to help businesses make informed decisions and teach vendors how to use the FedBizOpps website.
When searching for government contract opportunities, it is important to know the classification codes, called Federal Supply Groups (FSG). FSGs are further divided into two subgroups: service and product codes and supplies, equipment, and material codes. Each service or product is then given a Product Service Code (PSC). Each PSC has several Federal Supply Classifications (FSC) under it to more specifically identify subcategories of products and services. The code system is very important to understand. The federal government writes over 10 million contracts each year, so without a proper search, you will be bogged down with much more information than you can look through.
The Fed Biz Opps website is very efficient, but this means it takes some getting used to. For information that may need to be repeated in a listing, numbered notes are used. These numbers link to additional information and act as footnotes would.
For those interested in learning everything possible about being a government contractor, the website posts news of upcoming events and meetings for vendors. These conferences are great tools for further marketing your company.
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