In my experience helping small business owners complete their System for Award Management (SAM) Registration, research available opportunities, develop and implement marketing and publicity programs, and actively bid on opportunity, the one thing my clients have told me more often than anything else is how time-consuming completing everything is. The information is available, I tell them, though the government doesn’t make it readily accessibly or even easy to understand. To get information about opportunities, you have to go to one site; to get information about contracting officers, you have to go to another site; to get information about how much money contracting officers are spending and/or how much they have spent on similar contracts over the years, you have to go to – yep, you guessed it, still other sites.
The government makes the research so difficult that some of my clients have decided after a couple of years trying to make it as government contractors to focus more instead on their retail and/or commercial clients and business. That, they tell me, they understand.
And watching my clients give up – or, if not give up, decide not to focus so much on government contracting – is difficult. But I understand why some business owners decide to do it. Many of them are just starting out, have very few (if any) employees, and certainly don’t have the time to spend to complete all of the research necessary to know how to successfully locate and bid on opportunities.
And that’s why I’m excited by the new Advanced Federal Procurement Data Search (AFPDS) that US Federal Contractor Registration rolled out to its clients and network of contracting officers. AFPDS has in one place government research, instant bid notifications, bid proposal prospecting, and information about government contracting agents. And, what I think I like best about the tool, is that it is constantly evolving. USFCR plans to include information about subcontracting opportunities and a way to see side-by-side available contracts as well as how much the contracts were awarded for previously.
How does the AFPDS stack up against available government information?
Read more of Acquisition Specialist Nicole Smith‘s thoughts on AFPDS, and how it compares to (and, spoiler alert, exceeds) how the government makes information available, here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/us-federal-contractor-registrations-advanced-data-search-smith.