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Unsure where to begin?
Connect the dots to begin your Federal Contracting journey!  

Scroll down to review each step in the process.

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  • Does the Government buy what you sell?

  • What agency is buying? 

  • What agency is funding?

  • Who is your competition?

  • What is your primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code?

  • What is your business size?

  • Which is the better fit for your business--Prime or Subcontractor?

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  • Are you seeking Federal grants and loans, Federal contracts, or both?

  • What is the business structure?

  • What are the gross receipts of the business?

  • What are the specifics of the business's ownership and affiliates?

  • Do you have the required documents you need to register in

  • If you are a foreign entity, have you obtained a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code?


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  • What is your core marketing message?

  • What are your core competencies?

  • What sets you apart from your competitors?

  • What projects or clients reflect your success in the work you seek?

  • What is your private sector experience?

  • What is your Federal experience?

  • Who should interested agencies contact?

  • Do you accept the Government Purchase Card?


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  • Is the business a small business based on its NAICS and the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards?

  • Does the business owner qualify for any SBA Federal Contracting Assistance Programs?

    • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Program?

    • 8(a) Business Development Program?

    • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program?

    • Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program?

    • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program?


  • Read about the different SBA Federal Contracting Assistance Programs and find resources available at SBA & FedSubK Quick Links:​​

  • Fill out the eligibility questionnaire at for the specific program of interest.

  • Review previews, quick start guides, checklists, & tips before starting your application.

  • Collect all documents and scan each into separate electronic files.

  • Complete application.

  • Promptly respond to SBA's inquiries to keep your application active.

  • Market your certification status.

  • Find free local support

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  • Did you know that the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) tool is one of the first places agencies go to start their market research for procurements? 

  • Do you have a complete DSBS business profile to maximize your visibility to Federal buyers?


  • Use our guide, DSBS Profile Update, and collect information for your update. 

  • Establish a account.

  • Follow the steps in the guide to complete your DSBS update. 

  • Link your business website to your profile (if available) or include the website in the description of competencies.

  • Continue to update, as needed.

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  • Do you know understand the roles of the different players on the Federal acquisition team?

  • What existing relationships can you leverage with--​​​

    • Federal Agencies or employees?

    • Current Federal Prime Contractors?

    • Current Federal Subcontractors?

    • Current Federal Suppliers?

    • Your current network?

  • Do you attend any industry conferences or other networking events?

  • Do you AND your business have a LinkedIn profile?

  • Do you have a well-honed elevator pitch?


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  • Do you have a business pipeline or tool to find opportunities? 

  • Are you familiar with the different types of opportunity notices?

  • Who holds current Federal Prime contracts in your industry or with your target agency?

  • What is your strategy to capture opportunities at all dollar thresholds (i.e., Micro-purchases, Simplified Acquisitions, Large Contracts) as both a Prime and Sub / Supplier?  

  • Do you have Federal buyers interested but no contract vehicle to reach you?


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  • Does this opportunity play to one or more of our strengths?

  • What is the contract type?

  • Do you have the capacity to perform with other existing / concurrent work?

  • Can you self-perform or do you need a team?

  • Do you have the right team?

  • What is the agency's contract or order history?

  • What are the most recent prices paid?

  • Does your business have an existing compliance and reporting structure in place to meet the demands of Federal contracts?

  • What other factors impact your decision (i.e., cybersecurity requirements, time investment, politics, business goals, budget)? 


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