You’ve completed your System for Award Management (SAM) Registration, or you’ve hired us to help you do it, and you’re waiting for procurement officers to reach out to you with the contract of a lifetime – except your phone doesn’t ring. That’s the way it goes with government contracting. Registering to work as a government contractor is the first step – searching for and bidding on contracts is the second step. But if you’re like many other government contractors and don’t know where to look for contract opportunities, then it’s time to meet Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), which you can access at fedbizopps.gov and at fbo.gov. FBO.gov is the central website where all federal agencies post open procurement opportunities.
All federal contract solicitations with a value of at least $25,000 are published on FedBizOpps.gov, and procurement officers also include information about how and when vendors (that means you!) should respond. Other information you’ll find on FBO.gov includes sources sought, award notices, and sole source awards. You won’t find task order solicitations for multiple award contracts, which are restricted to MAC contract holders.
You can search FBO.gov by:
- Keyword/solicitation number
- Opportunity/procurement type
- Posted date
- Response deadline
- Last modified date
- Contract award date
- Place of performance state
- Place of performance zip code
- Set-aside code
- Classification code
- NAICS Code
- Agency/office location
- Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
- Active vs. archived status
- Justification & approval statutory authority
There is also a keyword search box on the main page of FBO.gov where you can enter a solicitation number (if you know one). And you can use an advanced search function to search by all of the above options and also by multiple set-aside codes and multiple procurement types. Procurements using Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have a separate search button.
When you select a particular solicitation, you will get three types of information: The date of the original solicitation and any amendments to it; a brief description of the solicitation and the contracting office; and the date responses are due and other information, such as applicable NAICS Code(s). From this overview, you can access additional information about the procurement opportunities as well as download/view supporting documents (which you’ll find under “Packages”). You also can see a list of all vendors who have expressed interest in the procurement (under “Interested Vendors”).
This “Interested Vendors” information is particularly helpful for businesses new to government contracting, or smaller firms mostly interested in subcontracting opportunities. Interested vendors post information about the company’s contact person, contract information, business type(s), and NAICS Code(s). With this information, you can reach out to the contract person and pitch how he or she may benefit by using your company’s service(s) and/or product(s) and also the capabilities you add to the team. (If you have a Capabilities Statement, you may want to send it as well).
FBO.gov is how you’ll learn about available opportunities as well as the information procurement officers want vendors to submit. Be mindful when preparing your response. If you do not provide all of the requested information, the procurement officer likely will not consider your bid. If you want help preparing a bid for a specific contract, we can help – and also provide bid training to companies new to government contracting. And if you want more help searching for contracts, we do that too. The more time you spend on FBO.gov, the better you’ll understand the contracting process and opportunities available to you, and the sooner you’ll land your first contract.