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Wyoming Business Tips for Dec. 11-17

December 2, 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 Brett Housholder, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) program manager

“I am going to attend a local networking event with contracting staff from federal and state government agencies. What should I do to prepare so they know I am ready to work with them?” Sarah, Evanston

If you want to sell to the government, networking events such as the upcoming GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo in Casper Feb. 22-23 are a great way to get your business in front of folks from government agencies who make purchasing decisions. But, just showing up and starting a conversation is not always the most effective way to be remembered when they get back to the office and the whirlwind of everyday work.

Fortunately, there are a few pieces of information you can have prepared that will let them know you are prepared and ready to work with them immediately, and the Wyoming SBDC Network PTAC can help you with the following tips:

-- Have your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number available. This is a nine-digit code that is unique to your business that the government will use to identify you. It is a requirement to do business with the government and can be obtained free of charge from Dun and Bradstreet by calling 1-866-705-5711 or going to https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

-- Have an active SAM (System for Award Management). SAM is another requirement and also is free of charge. After you have a DUNS number, you can register in SAM in about 90 minutes.

-- Bring a capabilities statement. This is a one-page document that replaces your traditional brochure and summarizes information relevant to government work. Most commonly, the document includes your DUNS number, Cage code (from your SAM registration), North American Industry Classification System certifications and past performance.

-- Do your homework. Learn what agencies will be at the event, and do some research into what they typically purchase. This can be done in a number of ways, but a procurement forecast for the agency (if you can find it) is the best way to show you are prepared. Also, the Federal Procurement Data System (www.fpds.gov) is a publicly searchable site where you can find information on past contract awards.

There isn’t space here to go into details on all of these topics but, rest assured, the PTAC is available to help make sure you are prepared. Also, check www.regonline.com/2017grobizidea for updates on the GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo, our biggest networking event of the year.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.wyomingsbdc.org/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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