The first question you may be asking yourself is “How do I get my products or services in front of my city, county, or local school district”? This process may be more complicated than anticipated. You must first be registered in their system and be up to date on your compliance documents for them to even consider you as a supplier. Even if your best friend is the purchasing director at your child’s school, everyone must abide by the same rules and regulations to be considered as a contracting partner.
Next, you may want to know how to register to get on a government municipality’s list. Every government entity, whether it be a federal department, military department, or local municipality, partakes in the same bidding system, albeit each one may do it in a different way. A good place to start is to search for the government entity’s website online, then search for their purchasing page. An easy way to do this would be to search for the entity name, the state, and the word “bids”, and ideally, you will find the purchasing page where there are further instructions to register to be a supplier. Each government agency will use a registration system of their choice, such as PeriscopeS2G.
This is where many businesses get stuck. Being updated and compliant with forms and documents requested by the government agency is an extremely important process. A supplier will sometimes not even be considered for an opportunity if this is not complete. You will want to prepare yourself to have important documents ready. Please note, the required documentation differs from one government agency to another. Some of the important documents you might want to prepare are:
Some government agencies may ask for one or two compliance documents to upload, and some may ask for 10 or more and may have their own documents to download, fill out and upload into the online registration system.
To better prepare yourself, it is recommended to keep a file on your computer with all important documents that may be needed when registering with governments. If you have any questions about the required documents, you can certainly contact the procurement office for help. The registration company may also be able to guide you as well.
If your business qualifies as a small or disadvantaged business, it is suggested to get your certification. Governments acknowledge the importance of working with small and disadvantaged businesses and will award certain acquisitions exclusively to SBE-certified businesses. These are called set-aside contracts and they help small businesses to win more government contracts. You can find more information about the certification process at certify.sba.gov.
Periscope S2G can help you to find hundreds of matching bids for your business and alert you via email, so you do not miss any in your area. Instead of struggling to search for bids, sit back and relax as they roll into your inbox for you to pick and choose which ones you would like to respond to. You will receive bid alerts from your local school district and county as well as bid alerts from other government entities such as water districts, transit authorities, park districts, and hospitals. You can also use the “favorites” tool to keep organized with the bids you want to work on.