Helping businesses find, win and perform on government contracts •
Optimizing Your SBA Profile
Bryan Wallace, Senior Procurement Counselor

I’ve been working with a number of clients recently who are optimizing their profile within the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). Incomplete and inaccurate profiles make it difficult for government buyers and prime contractors to find a business for opportunities they have available. Here are two of the most common items I see in profiles that need to be addressed.

  • Issue # 1: Your Capabilities Narrative is missing (or not optimized). Potential buyers use DSBS to identify qualified candidates for a current or upcoming opportunity. Your Capabilities Narrative is one of the first fields these procurement professionals will see when searching DSBS, so it needs to have an impact. It should be well-written, provide an overview of your business's capabilities, and differentiate you from your competitors.
  • Item # 2: Your DSBS profile doesn’t provide your website. If you have a website, use it! Your website should be a tool for prospective customers to learn about your business and your capabilities. Not only does your website need to be in your DSBS profile, but the URL must also be formatted correctly. It needs to have the, http:// or https:// before

Bottom line: When completing your DSBS profile, take your time, do it right, and be thorough. Doing so will increase your odds of being found by procurement professionals working in government agencies and prime contractors seeking specialized subcontractors. PTAC Counselors are happy to provide insight with your search profile, help you be creative, or just be an extra set of eyes. Don’t hesitate to reach out. 
Avoid This Common Mistake When Marketing Your Socio-Economic Status
Miranda Pelkey, Procurement Counselor

When it comes to government contracting, we all want to leverage anything we can to give us an advantage on the competition. Having gone through the process of becoming certified as an economically or socially disadvantaged small business, your instincts may be telling you that your certification is a terrific marketing tool and one that should be a dominant focus in your marketing strategy to federal agencies.

While being a Woman Owned, Veteran Owned, 8a certified, or HubZone business does provide certain advantages in the federal contracting arena, agencies do not award contracts based on your status. Agencies award based on your value as a business. They are interested in hearing more about your product or service and how you can provide them with an exceptional and dependable service. Therefore, when you lead your marketing strategy with your socio-economic status, what you are communicating to the contracting officer is that your status is your value. This is not the message you want to send.

Think of your socio-economic status as the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. It is a terrific bonus, but if the ice cream underneath is freezer burned, no one is going to want to eat it. By no means should you not advertise your socio-economic status, but understanding how to do it effectively is of the utmost importance. Lead meetings with contracting officers and agency officials with the value that your business brings to the table and mention your status as it comes up naturally in the meeting. Include your status on your capabilities statement but resist having the certified logo being as big or bigger than your business logo. Emphasize your business accomplishments and competencies and how you will be an asset to work with. You have worked hard to make your business a success and that should be the dominant focus in your marketing strategy. And as always, when in doubt, contact your local PTAC counselor for advice.
Let’s Go SLEDing
Mike Ludwig, Business Development Specialist

The snow is melting but you can SLED all year long. State Local and EDucational government contracting is a vast market with more buyers than all the federal agencies combined. A quick search on Google reveals there are over 19,000 cities and towns and 3,000 counties in the United States. Throw in the State governments and you get the picture. Maine alone has 16 counties and nearly 500 towns and cities, and they buy all kinds of services and products.
SLED purchasers might include public schools and universities, water and waste water districts, transportation systems, housing authorities, and more that are governed by elected commissions or "authorities" or a variety of other bodies.
Contact your PTAC Counselor or reach out to me if you are new and don’t have a Counselor yet.
Maine PTAC 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine 04401