If you are running any type of business in the U.S., you can offer your products or services to the government. Learn how to win a federal contract.

federal contractThere are plenty of bid opportunities in all levels of government, whether it’s federal, state, county, or municipal. If you want to find the right government contracts for your business, you just have to access databases that federal agencies use to find contractors.

Dynamic Small Business Search

The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) is a database that government agencies use to find small business contractors for upcoming contracts. Small businesses can also use DSBS to find other companies to work with.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains the DSBS database. The information you provide when you register your business in the System for Award Management (SAM) is used to populate DSBS, so you should create a comprehensive business profile. 

Federal Business Opportunities

Federal business opportunities for contracts over $25,000 are now listed at beta.SAM.gov.

GSA Schedules

Securing a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), is another excellent way to start. According to SBA, if you are interested in getting on the GSA Schedule, you may want to pay for a Past Performance Evaluation report from Open Ratings.

This report assesses your performance relative to businesses in the same industry, and is often requested as part of a vendor bid process.

Subcontracting opportunities

Subcontracting Network (SubNet) is a database of subcontracting opportunities posted by large contractors looking for small businesses to serve as subcontractors.

The SBA maintains a directory of federal government prime contractors with subcontracting plans. In addition, the GSA publishes a subcontracting directory for small businesses that are looking for subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors.

Besides, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) maintains a similar directory of large prime contractors that small businesses can use to find subcontracting opportunities.

Marketing to the government

If you want to market your small business directly to a government agency or prime contractor, you have to learn what agencies or prime contractors need, and then show them how your business can fulfill that need.

Federal Procurement Data System

Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation is the repository of all federal contracting data for contracts over $25,000. With this system, you can see which agencies have contracts and with whom they have contracts, what agencies buy, and which contractors have contracts.


USASpending.gov tracks government spending through contracts awarded. This searchable database contains data for each federal contract. You can use this information to help identify procurement trends within the federal market and potential opportunities.

Small business offices

Many federal agencies have an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or an Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). These offices work to identify opportunities to contract with small businesses.

Each agency releases a procurement forecast that includes contracting opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. Once you have reviewed an agency forecast and used systems like the Federal Procurement Data System and USASpending.gov to identify opportunities at a specific agency, you can contact that agency’s small business office.

At the same time, each office hosts training and networking events to help small businesses identify contract opportunities.

As you can see, there are a number of options for you to find federal contracts. Remember you might get preferential treatment from government if you certify your business as Minority/Women-owned or Veteran-owned.

Contact Rafael Marrero & Company today to learn more on how to win a federal contract and find out how your firm can successfully enter the federal marketplace.

Call 1-888-595-6221 for a free consultation or email rafael@rafaelmarrero.com.

A nationally recognized expert in federal contracting, small business entrepreneurship, vendor, and project/program management. A graduate of the prestigious Stanford and Cornell Universities, Dr. Rafael Marrero is a former Fortune 500 procurement executive, two-time Inc. 500 honoree, network news commentator, and Amazon best-selling author.