The US Federal Government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world, and webinar participants were able to learn about best practice from two excellent speakers.
Robert Connolly (Director, Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U.S. Department of Justice) and Jose Arietta (Director, Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U.S. Department of the Treasury), joined the webinar to provide insights on doing business with the federal government.
Mr. Connolly stressed the importance of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). It is the standard used by Federal agencies in classifying business establishments. You need to register for vendor outreach sessions and refine your approach so that the NAICS on your profile match exactly with your capabilities. The Department of Justice has thresholds for awards; micro (under $3,500), Micro to simplified ($3,500 $150,000) and Above simplified ($150,000 and up). Most small businesses start at the micro level to get meaningful work on their resume. If you do a great job, more will come (and bigger!).
Mr. Arietta expanded on Mr. Connolly’s comments, as the agencies have many similarities in terms of process. He shared some great examples of businesses that used the system wisely. Mr. Arietta talked about how it’s important to be strategic in your selection so that you can use the system to your advantage. The Federal government has a large acquisition system, and multiple award vehicles that they are required to use. For the opportunities that you target, the total award should be no larger than 80% of total revenue.