Amplifying Innovation & Impact
By now you may have heard about Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) evolving into APEX Accelerators. The nationwide evolution is more than a name change; the APEX Accelerators program roll-out provides business owners with the knowledge, resources, and relationships they need to scale, innovate, and contribute to America’s industrial base as well as Florida’s economy. This effort also represents a new level of collaboration.
The program is a catalyst for further connection between the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and APEX Accelerator Network, with new resources for businesses looking to pursue opportunities available with the government. These resources include more specialized expertise from a statewide network of procurement specialists, enhanced access to training, new partnership opportunities at the state and national level, as well as deeper research and innovation support.
In summary, your Florida PTAC at UWF is now your Florida APEX Accelerator at UWF. Watch for updates about the growing program!
Your Florida APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense. Our government contracting consulting, training, and information services are available at no cost to Florida small businesses, which possess the interest and potential to perform work — as a prime contractor or a subcontractor — for federal, state, or local government agencies.
Our government contracting specialists provide high-value, confidential consulting to help Florida businesses research and bid on government contracts. Our consultants are knowledgeable, experienced, and eager to assist you in making selling to the government less complicated and more profitable.
One-on-one consulting services
- Determining suitability for government contracting
- Understanding the language and basics of contracting
- Securing necessary federal, state, and local government registrations
- Assistance applying for small business programs including agency-certified programs (SDVOSB, 8(a), HUBZone) and self-certifying programs (SDB, EDWOSB, MBE)
- Researching procurement histories and forecasts
- Connecting with government buyers and prime contractors
- Identifying proposal and bid opportunities
- Helping customize profile on automated bid match service
- Reviewing solicitations, proposal documents, and making recommendations
- Aiding in contract performance requirements, audits, and post-award contract administration requirements
Government contracting specialists strive to bring the most relevant and informative workshops and training opportunities for helping navigate the government procurement process and identify the critical steps in winning government contracts. Our classes cover a wide range of government contracting topics at the federal, state, and local government levels. They’re also taught by industry experts who have many years of government contracting experience. (Nominal fees may apply for some workshops and events.)
Moreover, we sponsor government contracting and matchmaker events to connect business owners with agency buying officers and prime contractors.
We offer many events and workshops throughout the year.
Florida government contracting specialists help you find information related to government contracts, including federal and military specifications and standards, commercial and data item descriptions, as well as agency procurement histories and forecasts.
- Disaster relief contracting – APTAC-US.org
- Florida Disaster Recovery Contracting Information Guide (PDF) (updates coming)
- Federal, state, and local government agency registration and certification documents
- System for Award Management (SAM) support
- My Florida Marketplace registration
- Marketing to government agency resources
- Government agency procurement histories and forecasts
- Statistical business information
- Competitive and market assessment information
- Federal, state and local acquisition regulations
- Requests for proposals, solicitations, and bid documents
Government Contracting FAQs
Do you have questions about government contracting? Wondering who the government purchases from? Is government contracting right for your business? Not sure where to look, how to start, or who to contact? We can help you find the answers needed to succeed.
Please review the below, and if you have further questions we recommend you submit an inquiry to receive individualized assistance for your business.
Who does the federal government purchase from?
The federal government purchases from business of all sizes, located throughout the country, for all types of services — from professional services to commodities. Look for opportunities you’re interested in and see what company was awarded the last contract and the terms — you can search www.usaspending.gov or www.fbo.gov for recent awards.
Who am I competing with locally?
You can find out which local small businesses in your industry have registered to be able to sell to the government at the System for Award Management (SAM) website.
What are some of the steps for applying for and securing a contract?
- Get a DUNS number
- Find your NAICS codes and Product Service Codes
- Register with the System for Award Management (SAM)
- Work with a government contracting specialist
- Search bids
- Go after opportunities
- Seek subcontracting or partnering opportunities
- Build relationships
- Attend classes and networking opportunities
- It’s OK to start with a smaller contract than you would prefer. It will build past performance.
- Take reasonable steps. If you’re at $50,000 in sales, don’t take on a $300,000 contract unless you’re partnering with someone or have done it before in another capacity.
- Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Remember past performance is important. You can also run out of cash.
How do I leverage my business for competitive bids?
- Be prepared — know if what you offer is publicly bid and when it’s expected to go out next.
- Know your competition and the needs of the agency.
- Know how the bid usually goes out. If it’s narrow in scope (say only X manufacturer), let the contracting officer know the value of competitive products with proven history. If they want the same scope, see if you can create new relationships before the bid goes out.
What can I do to help promote my business?
- When talking to someone who can make referrals, make sure the person you’re talking to understands what your business does and who would be interested in it (don’t assume they’ll know).
- Work with the person you’re talking with to determine if you offer a product or service that’s being purchased within their dollar thresholds. Keep in mind, there are often publicly bid contracts for frequent purchases.
- If you have existing contracts with other agencies — provide a copy! If you have other customers that show you can perform, share a list of customers/completed projects. Your past successes will help you greatly.
- Identify the agency’s process for accessing the individuals you want to promote to, and provide your information in a clear format that clearly describes and markets your capabilities.
I applied for a contract and was not successful. Now what do I do?
- Always request a debriefing:
- Ask who won the contract.
- Ask how you can improve for the next opportunity.
- Ask about what future opportunities will be available.
- If you feel there are opportunities with that agency for small purchases with companies like yours and you feel your contact was not interested in your business, identify if cold calling purchasing/departments would be appropriate. You can often find these contacts by doing creative searches on their websites or calling the general number on their website.
- Build relationships (support their goals; don’t do pressure sales).
- If all else fails, review your marketing plan.
This APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.
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