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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 7-13

January 29, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Andrea Lewis, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) procurement specialist

“How do I find business opportunities within my city?” Bill, Gillette

As a business owner, you are always on the lookout for a business lead. Start by perusing your local newspaper or surfing your town’s website.

Local governments (cities, towns, counties, etc.) purchase many goods and services. Depending on the amount and other details of the procurement, cities and towns generally are required to advertise in the newspaper upcoming projects or purchases that are open for bid.

The website http://wyopublicnotices.com/ allows free access to statewide notices about hearings, advertisements for bids, financial reports, adoption of ordinances and other government activities requiring public notice.

More local government agencies are posting business opportunities on their websites. As each website is unique, there is no easy way to locate business opportunities. But, with a bit of careful sleuthing, they can be found.

Sometimes, available opportunities are on the home page under a heading such as “Bid Postings,” or they might be listed under a particular department, such as “City Clerk Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Public Works,” “Purchasing,” etc. Opportunity listings can have titles such as “Advertisements & Invitations for Bid,” “Projects & RFQs,” or “Pending and Current Projects,” “RFPs & Public Notices,” to name a few.

Once you find a posting, the next steps are to either register as a vendor with the local government or to respond to an open RFQ (request for quote or request for qualifications) or an RFP (request for proposal). Often, there are mandatory pre-bid meetings that will further describe the project and allow for questions.

Depending on the municipality and the type of opportunity, contract documents or plans and specifications may have a download fee. The Wyoming Association of Municipalities has a list of all 99 of its member cities and towns, with links to their websites, contact information and municipal codes.

Government procurement, even on a local level, can be a bit intimidating. If you are interested in learning more about how to market and sell to the government, consider attending the GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo in Gillette Feb. 17-18, where the Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC will offer workshops on working with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, proposal preparation, marketing to the government, trends in government contracting and other procurement topics.

The GRO-Biz conference also is an opportunity for business owners to have one-on-one conversations with federal contracting officers from several agencies and several state agencies.

For more information and to register, visit the GRO-Biz website.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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