Harman's Guide to Doing Business with the Government

Office of Small Business Programs Director, Emily Harman, provides information and resources to learn how you can do business with the government.

Published Tuesday, August 1, 2017
by Emily Harman

Last week, I had the pleasure of conducting a small business workshop titled, “Doing Business with the Government” on behalf of the Department of the Navy (DON) during Green Bay/ Fox Cities Navy Week.  I, along with help from Aina Vilumsons, CEO, Wisconsin Procurement Institute and James Strube, Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA-Wisconsin District Office helped educate small businesses on how the DON's acquisition process works and what resources are available to assist them at the federal and local levels.

Although we could not reach out to everyone; the workshop was a success. To build on the success of the workshop, I wanted to present this blog for those of you that were not able to attend. The below information and resources will guide you in doing business with the government.   

In fiscal year 2016, the Department of the Navy, which includes the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, awarded about $10 million in contracts to small businesses in the state of Wisconsin. More than $3.1 million of those contracts went to small businesses located within a 50 mile radius of Green Bay. Overall, the Navy awarded about $27.5 million in contracts to both large and small businesses in the state of Wisconsin during fiscal year 2016.

While the above numbers are impressive, we are confident that small business can play an even bigger role in the DON’s acquisition process going forward. DON needs to expand additive manufacturing, adapt force packaging, grant rapid prototyping, and allow experimentation which creates opportunity for small businesses. We know that small businesses help support the warfighter by providing the products and services to support our Navy and Marine Corps sailors and marines.

The DON OSBP website contains information to help small businesses compete for opportunities to support our Sailors and Marines. It also provides links to the DON's 10 major buying activities, information on the long range acquisition forecast (LRAF) of those activities, DON OSBP’s strategic framework, and other resources that will help you understand the Navy and Marine acquisition process.  You can also follow DON OSBP on Facebook and Twitter to get updated information on DON OSBP’s upcoming outreach.

In addition to our 10 buying activities, the DON Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, also provides opportunities for small businesses to solve tough naval capability and performance challenges by providing the DON with innovative solutions, cost savings, and schedule efficiencies.

 As you can see, the (DON) is committed to building a robust industrial base by creating a small business friendly culture through policy, training, and advocacy. To create this culture, our office has been raising small business awareness amongst our small business and acquisition professionals and advocating for small business inclusion throughout the acquisition lifecycle.

However, we need your help.  In order to compete and win contracts with the DON you must do your homework. The below list are things that will help prepare you to do business with the government:

  • View each buying activities LRAF to find out which activities are buying the products and services your organization provides.
  • Attend an industry day, matchmaking session, workshop or conference to understand how Navy and Marine Corps acquisition process works. (A list of DON OSBP outreach events can be found here)
  • Contact your local Small Business Professional, SBA Representative and PTAC Representative to help you find out what local resources are available to you.
    • Aina Vilumsons, CEO, Wisconsin Procurement Institute, (414) -270-3600, ainav@wispro.org, wispro.org
    • James Strube, James Strube, Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA-Wisconsin District Office, (414)-297-3951, Strube@sba.gov, www.sba.gov/wi

Last but not least, when you get a contract…. Deliver! I can’t emphasize this enough, your ability to deliver is critical to providing our Sailors, Marines, and their families the support, services and equipment needed to win the fight.

 

We believe that small business inclusion is, and will continue to be, an integral part of the acquisition process. It’s through the efforts of you, small business professionals in the field and other small business advocates that will help spread that message throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.

 

All the Best,

 

Emily

 

Emily Harman

Director

Department of the Navy

Office of Small Business Programs 

 

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