As you’re probably aware, federal agencies have goals for awarding a certain percentage of their contract dollars to particular types of businesses (23% for small businesses; 5 % for women-owned; 5 % for small disadvantaged; 3 % for HUBZone; 3 % for service-disabled veteran-owned). How do the agencies find these small businesses?
Contracting Officers are required to do market research, and reach out to small business contractors that can do the work and meet their agency’s goals. One of the important ways they do this is to research the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search website.
Much of the information about your company is taken directly from your SAM registration – but the DSBS can include a great deal more, and can make your company stand out from the crowd. A buyer can narrow their search by keyword; by a specific certification or qualification; or by socio-economic factors. They can also see your Capabilities narrative, your references, and more.
Take a look at the site yourself, and get familiar with how it works. At the SAM website you’ll see an option to “Update the SBA Supplemental database”. Make sure you complete every section that’s applicable to your company.
Each section in the DSBS database has some information taken directly from your SAM profile, but also contains areas where you can add more information.
- Mandatory Data: includes the option to add Keywords. Choose them carefully – think how a Contracting Officer might search for your industry. You have limited space, so you don’t need to include keywords that can be found elsewhere in your profile (minority, veteran, woman-owned, GSA schedule contract holder) – though include them if you have room.
- Identification Data: allows you to include your company website information.
- Organization Data: add any industry-specific certifications, qualifications and registrations relevant to your industry.
- Products and Services: includes a very important Capabilities Narrative option. Add a one-or-two sentence description of your capabilities, focusing specifically on the government arena. Just like in the Keywords section, don’t waste space listing information that’s found elsewhere in your profile, but include them if you can.
- Special Equipment/Materials: describe any specialized equipment or materials you own, bonding levels, Quality Assurance standards, and an Export Profile
- References: try to include at least one reference. While government references are preferred, you can include private commercial references.