Government contracting can certainly be an effective way to increase sales and supplement your business, but some business owners assume the federal government doesn’t buy what they sell. However, it might surprise you to find out just how large and diverse the pool of government procured goods and services really is.
But smart business owners aren’t going to enter a new market without evidence that there’s an opportunity. Fortunately, there are resources available that enable us to actually determine what the federal government buys, how much it buys, and what types of companies it buys from. There are two very basic resources that can be utilized to find this information:
- USA Spending (www.usaspending.gov) – This website can be used to perform a very quick search by keywords. Simply type in a keyword phrase and view the results on the following page. You will also have a map you can use to click on individual states. Below the map, you’ll also find a list of past awarded contracts with the names of the companies that received them. This gives you some outstanding competitive intelligence. If you know who is receiving contracts, you can do some research on them to compare your strengths and weaknesses. You can also use other search criteria on the right side of the results page to narrow it down even further (by government agency, for example).
- Federal Procurement Data System (https://www.fpds.gov/) – This website requires a log-in (free) and offers similar search features as USA Spending and offers yet another resource for determining what sort of government market exists for your products or services.
While the numbers on these websites can’t be considered definitive proof of your potential success in the world of government contracting – ultimate business success will always depend on reliable goods and services, after all – they can be a great way to test the waters to get an idea of what and how much the federal government actually buys, especially on a state-by-state basis.