Writing a response to an RFP can be overwhelming. You may be wondering, “What is a DBE certification?,” “Where do I begin?” or even “Is this worth my time?” In this blog, you will learn some best practices to make this process less challenging. And YES, it IS worth your time!
If you are a minority owned business, it is highly recommended to get your DBE certification (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise). The DBE program aims to level the playing field by providing small, disadvantaged businesses with a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded contracts. These are called “set-aside” contracts, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal of 2021 increased this share of federal contracts going to small, disadvantaged businesses by an unprecedented 50 percent! Obtaining your DBE certification is a fairly easy process that can be done through your state website. This process can take up to a couple months to complete, but you can still respond to bids until you get this certification. Do you qualify?
Each government agency will devise their contractual papers differently and ask for different compliances, so each response will be different. You can begin by researching past bids that match your products/services and read the documents. You can register with Periscope S2G and start searching for past bids in your area. You may be able to pick up on certain industry verbiage used by a particular buyer so you can try to match the tone and lingo of the buyer in your response. Researching past bids can give you a great start to write a winning bid response.
Once you understand the main parts of an agency’s bid documents, you may be able to compile useful template fragments when responding. You can get your cover letter, executive summary and “about us” templates ready, but also be on the alert to make changes to fit the needs of the agency and buyer. The buyer is responsible for procuring the goods/services and ensuring they meet the agency's needs in the most cost-effective way. Keep in mind the buyer is a person and this person will read many responses. You want the reader to be receptive to your response, not feel like they are reading a template you send to every other buyer. Knowing how templates can guide you will make this process quicker with time.
Yes, it is most certainly worth your time. It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, the playing field is leveled for government buying. There are hundreds of lucrative opportunities in your area that many business owners never realize are out there. You may be one of them!
With an unending supply of bids across the United States and Canada, it is possible to grow your business across state lines and into neighboring provinces with these contracts. One term contract can ensure stability for many years and having these government contracts in your portfolio adds value to your company when applying for a loan or selling your business. When first starting out with government procurement, responding to bids may seem arduous, but don’t let that deter you as there are numerous benefits to winning a government contract.
First, you will need to find bids that pertain to you. With Periscope S2G, you can get alerts to bids in your area matching your products/services, delivered right to your inbox. You can then choose which bids you want to pursue and follow the prompts to register and respond. We are here to help you choose the right package and get you started. Feel free to call us with any questions by phone at 800-990-9339 or by email S2G@mdfcommerce.com. Also, be sure to bookmark this page for more best practices and to keep updated on industry trends.