Everybody’s Business: Watching for new markets key to success

Business owners should always keep an eye on new markets. The federal, state, and local governments are markets that may be overlooked. Government entities have a need for products and services that small businesses provide.

There are several methods government entities use to purchase products and services; including the use of solicitations for individual jobs/bids, government purchase cards, GSA Schedules (Government Services Administration/Acquisition), and additional procurement processes.

A strong business and marketing plan is important for any business, but especially for those who want to do business with the government. Selling to the government is different than selling to other entities. Planning and background work needs to be accomplished before one can expect to effectively do business with the government.

There are a variety of registrations and additional official procedures businesses must complete. The terminology and acronyms used in the processes are daunting to business owners not familiar with them. It is at times a fearsome task to market a business to government entities.

The New Mexico SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) is a valuable resource that can make this task easier for business owners. A PTAP office is now located in Clovis. The SBDC and PTAP work together to give business clients the best possible advice and training to help them succeed.

PTAP Advisors are experienced in government contracting and provide a wide range of services including individual counseling and training at little or no cost. These services enable businesses to successfully compete for government contracts. Advisors offer one-on-one counseling, workshops and training on:

• Becoming “Contract Ready”

• Marketing yourself to the government

• Government terminology, processes, and regulations

• Government procurement requirements

• Registrations, federal certifications, and GSA Schedules

• Effective responses to Requests for Proposal, Requests for Quote, and Site Selection Network

• Proposal assistance

• Federal accounting and invoicing practices

• Post-award assistance

• Research strategies for accessing federal, state, and local government markets

• Receive government opportunities through PTAPs Bid Match program (free)

• Become a NM SBDC/PTAP Certified Business

Business owners who are interested in doing business with a government entity and need assistance may contact the local PTAP office for more information, 935-7827.

The preceding article was written by Jonnie Loadwick, PTAP Advisor.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer is director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College, submits: “It’s Everybody’s Business.” Call the center at 769-4136 or visit www.nmsbdc.org/clovis