Now that you know the basic organization the USG uses for their announcements, you can search for those that fit your NAICS code(s). Yes, you can have more than one. You can—and should—declare as many as you need to clearly, holistically, define your business capabilities.
Some Context: How USG Signals its Intent with Types of Opportunities
An important factor in qualifying a USG opportunity is determining the “type” of opportunity. Is it a Request For Information (RFI), Sources Sought, “Synopsis/Solicitation,” Request For Quotes (RFQ), Request For Proposals (RFP), or “Other” (and there are quite a few “others”)? Generally, a RFQ or RFP is a business opportunity that must be responded to quickly. Smaller opportunities often only have a one or two week turnaround from the day of announcement to the date due. Therefore, ensuring your various USG contracting teams and people are going to be available is critical; ensuring the nimbleness required to respond quickly means accurate planning and analysis AT ALL TIMES.
RFIs, Sources Sought, and similar opportunities also have due dates, but they are not current opportunities. USG is seeking data from interested parties and potential partners. Technical capabilities, size of organizations, company’s ownership characteristics, and other data aid the USG in determining whether to target a segment of potentially qualified companies.
An opportunity may be “Set Aside” for certain categories of companies like small businesses, woman-owned businesses, or one of about 15 other categories, including veteran-owned org's, minority-owned org's, etc. If you fit in any of these "Set Aside" categories, you may be given various degrees of preference, or increased "scores"—and/or you may become more attractive to larger prime contractors looking for subcontractors to team with, in order to fulfill smaller portions of a larger contract. (Note: when searching FBO for opportunities, “Set Asides” is one of the search fields.)
So, now you know a little about identifying and qualifying potential opportunities that will be right for your particular organization. As TFG will show you, those that are qualified as ones to be pursued should be added to your “Pipeline of Opportunities.” Pipelines come in many shapes and sizes and fulfill multiple functions, but, basically, they contain key dates of events along a Timeline. Working between the date the opportunity appeared on FBO to the Due Date, estimates are made of EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY needed to win the opportunity. However, do please remember that, as with most relationships with USG, things can, and most likely will, change. So, your Pipeline is always a fluid, living document (and your internal micro-processes must be tailored and staffed and provisioned, to expect and to reflect this reality).
IF YOU ARE:
YOU should contact us about our program(s) immediately:
Just as every company is unique in how it plans and executes elements of the business development life cycle, each company has different resources to utilize in conducting marketing, business development, capture management and proposal management. Our program empowers individuals to gain knowledge, develop skills, and get the confidence needed to fuel these activities and drive growth—for companies of 1 to 200.
The Fearthainne Group, LLC: Your Partner for Success
TFG’s Programs cover not just the myriad technicalities of USG contracting and business development, but also the context and specifics for truly BEST-PRACTICES management, in a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) environment. You can expect, holistically:
Our integrated “building-brick-by-brick” approach provides you with ongoing, hands-on opportunities to leverage the tactics, tools and context conveyed by—initially—your Bootcamp Instructor, at TFG’s USG Contracting Boot Camp. Each session presents attendees with useful information on a host of government-owned systems and resources that are specifically relevant to executing portions of your business development life cycle. During and outside of our Brick Building Opportunity activities, your Bootcamp Instructor will assist participants with accessing, bookmarking and exploiting four to six of these systems and resources during scheduled Deep Dives. Attendees are required to bring a personal computing device to participate in these activities.
By providing a step-by-step process, from identifying business opportunities to winning those opportunities, our programs are designed for both those new to federal government contracting and those contractors desiring to go to the next level(s) of complexity in their contracting opportunities. We can help you attain your realistic goals PLUS: plan for BOHAGs (Big Ole Hairy Audacious Goals!!). By providing online step-by-step data for learning and applying techniques, to in-house training, to one-on-one coaching and consulting, we stand ready to take you to the next level in federal government contracting. Contact us today:
Significantly, do know that your PROMPT REPLY IS CRITICAL. TFG can only support 5 to 10 new clients at any one time—depending on the depth needed to support the caliber of opportunities being sought. For example, for the last calendar quarter of 2018, and the first quarter of 2019, we are looking to help no more than six new clients (and, perhaps fewer).
Ultimately, TFG can work with various payment schedules, with companies at various stages of their federal consulting business development life cycle. Our typical initial retainer for large enterprises—well into the USG contracting game—would be a MINIMUM of $50,000, for a relatively small effort on our part…but, usually (considerably) more. However, for this new push, we have reduced the initial retainer for SBEs/SMBs, to only $8,999. This retainer will be billed against, for our agreed services and expenses, actually rendered.
Your risk is minimized: at any point, YOU decide how best to move forward. If you’re not comfortable, then we part ways with no hard feelings, and the retainer will only be assessed for TRANSPARENT services and expenses, to date. The remainder will be cheerfully returned—again, with no hard feelings. So, contact us, today:
In 2017, one client won 4 out of 4 opportunities from DoD; another 2 of 2 from DHS. What USG contracting wins will YOU and TFG amass in the near future? Ready to schedule that first meeting? Let us explore opportunities, together. I want to hear from you!
David Michael Sullivan, M.B.A., (A.B.D.)
CEO, The Fearthainne Group, LLC
Let’s look at a simple example. If you are an IT company, at first review you may wonder where you fit. Never fear. Within each of these NAISC codes are sub-codes. IT falls under Code 54, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. A little exploring of this code and reading some of the examples provided by the government will get you on your way to determining, then declaring, those codes that identify your company. In turn, when the government is looking for a partner, they use these codes in their solicitations, or opportunity announcements.
Continuing our IT company example, when you click on “54,” about 20 sub-codes appear. Four of them are for IT:
Clicking on any one of these codes reveals detailed information. For example, this appears for code “541511”:
541511 Custom Computer Programming Services
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in writing, modifying, testing, and supporting software to meet the needs of a particular customer.
Cross-References. Establishments primarily engaged in--
For further illustration, here is a breakdown of NAICS, Code 541511:
Copyright © The Fearthainne Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
WIN the US Government Contracting Game
I am David Michael Sullivan, CEO of The Fearthainne Group, LLC, and I am happy to convey some news that I trust you and your organization ultimately will find provocative, exciting, rewarding on many levels—and extremely lucrative.
The Fearthainne Group (TFG) is now able to offer its unique and proven system to WIN United States Government (USG) contracts to an even wider audience, including Small-to-Medium-sized Business Enterprises (SBEs/SMBs). If you own or manage a private for-profit, or a private not-for-profit, business or organization—and desire to break into the lucrative USG contracting arena—or already are contracting but don't understand fully the myriad complexities—or desire to maximize your efforts, productivity and successes—then The Fearthainne Group's unique systems can now help you, too, to WIN. TFG will help you to develop a culture of "doing it right," to in-build proven procedures at every micro-step in your processes, that will maximize both your options and your successes.
You CAN win millions of dollars in USG business, and TFG will not only show you how, but will help you develop and build the appropriate processes and internal teams to continue to do so, near-automatically, as you grow ever more successful.
I have decided to expand TFG's target audience to include SBEs/SMBs like your organization, for a few excellent reasons:
1) TFG and I have had tremendous success winning, ourselves—and helping the very largest enterprises to capture truly jaw-dropping USG contracts.
2) Among these large successes were not just the winning of the over-arching contracts themselves, but also the "wins" we chalked up by selecting, grooming, integrating and teaming with many promising SBEs/SMBs as subcontractors in these larger efforts—organizations JUST LIKE YOURS.
3) We are acutely aware not only of the special problems SBEs/SMBs encounter in preparing to capture (or help capture) their fair share of USG contracts, but also have witnessed—and mitigated—the SELF-CREATED barriers to entry many SBEs/SMBs NEEDLESSLY ERECT, themselves.
4) While even the very largest enterprises often need considerable help with their contracting efforts (sadly), SBEs/SMBs are usually even more needful of help...yet, the processes and procedures necessary for winning ARE FUNDAMENTALLY THE SAME FOR ANY SIZE ORGANIZATION!
5) There is NO REASON for any SBEs/SMBs to be excluded from the USG contracting arena—and therefore NO REASON for them not to have equal access to our proven, systematic programs for capturing THEIR FAIR SHARE. This means YOU!
6) While we at TFG undoubtedly feel successful when we help capture some ump-teen million—or BILLION— dollar contract for a large enterprise, I and TFG truly feel most gratified in our efforts—that our efforts are most worthwhile (and most appreciated)—when we guide relative neophytes on their early paths to what becomes exponential, jaw-dropping growth and success...Why? Because—YES—I've been right where you are, on the ground floor, looking upwards, hopefully—and sometimes a little bewildered—myself...
TFG Has BEEN There!
For example, early on, I worked as an employee for some small IT contractors, looking to develop their businesses—just how could I go about "blowing them up" and help them scale, at a much higher level? (I learned—the hard way, painstakingly—to do just that—and also, how to MANAGE THEIR OWN GROWTH. Perhaps counter-intuitively, growth, itself, becomes problematic and a hindrance to efficient management...TFG is a fully-featured management consulting company, able to help you mitigate many detrimental effects of your own success.) I then worked for several management consulting contractors—always looking to grow their clients—after all, that was what we promised to do. I learned to develop teaming relationships for SBEs/SMBs with prime contractors. Later, I became an entrepreneur myself, and sought reliable consultants to assist me with the development of my own company.
Yes, for all my most visible successes and relationships with the largest enterprises, I've also been there, in the trenches with the little guys; I well know the trials, the tribulations of aspiring to grow with (it always seemed) far too few resources and too little holistic knowledge and expertise. So, I developed what I and my employers and my clients needed, by painstaking accretion of experience and knowledge and SUCCESS—the same experience I and TFG ultimately have offered Fortune 20 companies and the largest USG Departments and Agencies, and now offer...to you.
We will further expand on our present, ultimate, credentials, in a moment. Firstly, however, let me foreshadow a little of what we offer to YOU, the SBE/SMB.
Navigating the USG Contracting Minefield with TFG, the EXPERTS
Make no mistake: USG contracting can be a minefield, even for the wary. TFG will take a step-by-step approach to walk you through this minefield, unscathed. There are three major processes along the twisting, tortuous path to successful USG contracting outcomes (among a plethora of micro-processes, each of these critical to success):
Briefly, we at TFG have become experts—the hard way—at negotiating the minefield these three major processes present. To date:
1) As “insiders” actually MANAGING projects—taking them further after having won the contracts—I have managed projects for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), what is now Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of the Treasury (DoT)—so we know USG internal requirements and needs FROM USG's OWN TYPICAL PERSPECTIVES.
2) I built a nationwide network for the Department of Energy (DoE), then managed their data center in Washington, DC, which we later moved to Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC.
3) As an employee leading efforts to win USG business, I won contracts from the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Energy (DoE), and Defense (DoD), NASA, and EPA. I also won grants from USDA and the Department of Education (DoEd).
4) As a consultant managing the whole process of Business Development, Capture Management, and Proposal Submission, my and TFG's clients—including Lucent Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Optimum Systems, USfalcon, and others—have been on winning teams for over $50B worth of contracts.
5) For each major effort, I built teams which included a total of over 300 small-medium-sized enterprises (SBEs/SMBs). So, again, we know the particular milieus SBEs/SMBs occupy amid their desire to leverage their unique and valuable resources upwards—and how this MUST be done, effectively, in the USG contracting arena.
6) We have a "win" rate of over 95%, on properly qualified and executed Development/Capture/Proposal opportunities, where we had holistic authority and control of the processes.
A Deeper Dive
Since you're still with me—and presumably more than a little intrigued—allow me to dive a little deeper into what we offer you, and will help you to completely internalize into your business processes. Finding—identifying, qualifying, building teams or going solo—and winning USG contracts and subcontracts requires timely, accurate data and scheduled, highly-planned, disciplined decision-making AT EVERY STEP. And, ALL STEPS ARE CRITICAL.
Defining your product or service, properly targeting the appropriate government agency, and understanding the basic rules and regulations for government contracting are just the start of the over-arching process. Scheduled, planned decision-making demands obtaining targeted data and information, understanding and cementing relationships, developing or acquiring various levels of market insights and accurate competitive analyses, and creating appropriate levels of context regarding how each of these pieces fits among the others, together.
Why? To give an example from an early part of the process, you need to know that you have a product and/or service that someone in the government is ready to or planning to BUY. No buyer, no reason to expend TEEM (time, energy, effort, money) needlessly. Answers to the right questions such as “Who buys?” and, “When do they buy?” or, “How do they buy?” are needed at the right times to determine the next set of questions, such as “Is this something I am currently able to provide—ABSOLUTELY IN FULL?” and, “Do I need a teammate?” or, “When do I make a Bid or No-bid Decision?”
TFG's "Phase I of Being a Government Contractor" prepares companies to enter the realm of USG contracting with basic, step-by-step instructions for defining your products and/or services; identifying those government agencies that need your offerings; fully qualifying announced opportunities; preparing for teaming with other companies; defining your company status with the federal government; and, preparing to win your fair share of opportunities. Our comprehensive guidance and training deliver practical information within proper context for reducing and eliminating the mystery of doing business with U.S. civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.
Let us dive a tiny bit deeper into just one of these Phase I modules (there are several, and many micro-components, too), and an early one, at that: “Defining your Company Status with USG.” (Also, in this micro-module we will look at how and where you will begin to find opportunities to contract with USG).
Interfacing with USG for the First Time: FBO and NAICS
USG uses many tools to find capable, qualified companies to partner with on thousands of projects or tasks. Generally, every single one of their opportunities is published, in some form, on the Federal Business Opportunities (referred to as FedBizzOps or FBO) website: https://www.fbo.gov/ . (Note: login information is free and easy to obtain once you go to this site. Sure, go ahead and do this, now!)
However, to find, or identify, opportunities for your company or organization, you must first determine your “NAICS code.” The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy: https://www.naics.com/search/ . Here is a snapshot of the relevant part for this discussion, of the first page on that site.