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Where's the business? (A brief reminder or some new education about opportunities in the federal sector)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, June 03, 2007
Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2008

A lot of you have seen or heard me describe my "Push-pin, string and pencil" philosophy for those just entering the federal marketplace. If you haven't, feel free to drop me a line as it's a very basic and sensible approach that can save you a lot of headaches and wasted dollars.

What's behind the "starting point" exercise is designed to be the beginning of helping folks understand where the business is, and where it ain't!

I see a lot of chatter online, in seminars and from so-called experts preaching their virtues for helping novice organizations find business opportunities. Often, the flurry of information delivered ends with "...be sure you check FedBizOpps" or "...get yourself a subscription to Input or FedSources."

Uh-huh.

Let's see, during my previously described philisophical exercise, I try to make sure the folks I talk with don't fall into that trap. FedBizOpps is a fine system, don't get me wrong (Quiet all of you in the peanut gallery!) but the amount of business NOT going anywhere near it would knock your socks off. And I have nothing against Input or FedSources but my advice is to be sure you have the appropriate expectations before you invest in those services. Just like a GSA Schedule or a Socio-Economic Certification (e.g., 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, etc.), they are merely tools and not solutions.

Anyway, in a recent article by Jason Miller at FCW entitled, OFPP pushes for more competition, there was a very revealing statement for the masses of industry neophytes by the OFPP Administrator, Paul Dennet.

The article states: "Paul Denett, OFPP administrator, said the amount of federal procurement money going to task orders grew to 52 percent in fiscal 2005 from 14 percent in 1990. Additionally, he said, a substantial number of these purchases were done by modifying existing contracts instead of competing them."

Hmm. For all of you newbies just coming to the federal sector, let me sort of explain what this means.

The GSA Federal Supply Schedule accounts for roughly one-third of all federal procurement transactions. Note: That is transactions versus dollars.These transactions are not advertised/posted on FedBizOpps.

That's a big chunk of the roughly $350 billion procurement dollars spent annually by Fortune One.

Now take that and combine it with the 52 percent of all federal procurement dollars going to task orders, which also are not advertised/posted on FedBizOpps, kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it? 

So, the next time some snake-oil salesman tries to convince you of what you need or that he knows just how to get you business for a hefty monthly retainer, talk to someone who knows and is reputable. I've got several of them on my Advisory Board and many others on speed dial. The good ones are out there.

The moral of this story? There is still a lot of money to be made in the Federal Sector, you just have to be even smarter nowadays about knowing where to look for it. 

Happy hunting!

GT

Tags:  business  competition  fbo  gsa  gwac  procurement 

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