NGLCC Federal Contracting Series | Part I: Is Federal Contracting Right for You?

| By Jason Vita

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (“NGLCC”) in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, Leidos, Northop Grumman and Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has launched a series of virtual education sessions tailored to educating suppliers on the exciting – but often tricky to navigate -- world of Federal Contracting.

NGLCC Federal Contracting Series | Part I: Is Federal Contracting Right for You?
Aired on July 30, 2020

-Click to View PDF of the webinar presentation-

-YouTube recording of the webinar session-

NGLCC Senior Vice President, Jonathan Lovitz, and Statewide Director for Virginia PTAC, Lisa Wood, kicked off the first of these virtual webinars entitled “Is Federal Contracting Right for you?” 

Team NGLCC opened by providing an overview of the NGLCC, the only third-party certifier of LGBT owned businesses recognized by both public and private sectors. As NGLCC continues to score victories in having its certified LGBTBE’s included in public sector procurement policies, leveraging this powerful certification to enter the federal contracting space has become a natural next step for many of its suppliers. PTAC’s Lisa Wood followed by adding expert advice on the following key topics that were discussed:

Who is the government customer and what might preclude you from doing business with them right out of the gate?

These government customers can include the Department of Defense (DOD) and other branches of the military, Federal Agencies, Prime Contractors, and even State and Local governments, which provides millions of dollars-worth of potential business annually, with specific goals/preferences given to small and minority businesses.

What to do before you begin?

Before conducting business with the government, you must ask yourself: do you owe back taxes, do you have student loan defaults. Have you been in business for at least two years with a checking account and history of financial success? Some of these criterium can make one ineligible to conduct business with the government.

Now that you think you’re ready, where and how do you begin?

Do your homework! There is a wealth of free educational resources that will allow you to understand what these potential customers are looking for, many offered by NGLCC and its partners.

For example, FedBizOpps (now part of Beta Sam) shows contacts that are greater than $25,000. Millions of dollars get left behind in sources sought which then become ‘open’ bids.

Participate in Government Contracting training and network, network, network!

Be everywhere (which is easier than ever with all trainings and networking events happening online these days), but also know when it’s appropriate to follow-up with contract providers.

Know your NAIC codes and keywords for the offerings that you provide, and be certain of your differentiating values in the marketplace.  Know who buys what you provide and stay on top of market forecasts— procurements needs may feel set in stone, but can often change as quickly as current events.

Your capability statement is your key sales collateral--- take the time to get it right. Keep it pithy and professional, and be sure it reflects the professionalism and experience of your brand. Do not use Gmail, or yahoo email accounts, and ensure your website is safely accessible behind government firewalls.

Next Steps?

Visit virginiaptac.org to stay abreast of training opportunities. Check out the NGLCC’s next webinar, “Federal Contracting is right for you, so now what?”

For any questions or support in navigating these opporutnites, reach out to the NGLCC Federal Contracting Task Force at [email protected]

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