Meeting all the requirements to do business with the government, like obtaining a DUNS Number and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM), is only the first step a business must take in winning a government contract. After those tasks are taken care of, a business owner has to then figure out how to actually market their products or services to government agencies. The first step in that process for every business should be filling out a Dynamic Small Business Search Profile (also referred to as an SBA Profile).
The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) website is a tool that government agencies use to find prospective businesses to bid on contracts. When a solicitation has an anticipated value of less than $25,000, a government agency doesn't have to advertise it publicly. Rather, they can use the DSBS website to search for the type of business they need and choose a handful of companies to bid from the list they see after they enter their search criteria. Agencies can search by geographic location, NAICS Codes, keywords, and numerous other criteria.
A business can fill out its DSBS Profile as part of the SAM registration process. However, because completing this profile isn't mandatory to register in SAM, it's tempting for businesses to skip this step. Businesses that don't complete the DSBS Profile, though, are missing a huge opportunity to market their business to government agencies.
For example, when an agency searches on the DSBS site, they see a list of results that includes basic contact information and a Capabilities Narrative (here's a list of results as an example - results are always randomized, so you can't ensure your business appears at the top of the list). This Capabilities Narrative is a vital piece of a business's effort to market to the government. If the Capabilities Narrative doesn't catch the attention of the agency (or, even worse, is blank), they'll move onto a business that has a more effective narrative. Things to focus on in the narrative, which has a limit of 255 characters, include:
- Your experience in your industry
- Any past contract work you may have (whether government or private work)
- A list of the core products or services you provide
The Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC can assist businesses in drafting a Capabilities Narrative that can also be used as part of "physical" marketing materials like brochures that can be given to government agency representatives at matchmaking events like the annual GRO-Biz Conference & Idea Expo. Contact Brett Housholder at 307-259-7931 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.