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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 set up and ready to sell to the government, but I don’t have time to monitor all these different resources for upcoming opportunities. Is there anything to make finding opportunities easier?” Jerry, Wheatland
Once you have completed the required registrations and are officially open for government business, it can still be a chore to find out what opportunities are available and those coming soon; from which agencies; and how much they are worth. There are many different websites to monitor, and it can be a challenge to keep up with it all.
One way to make it easier is to set up a bid match profile through the Wyoming PTAC. It is a free service that uses specific search criteria determined by you that automatically searches several sources each day and sends you a single email with results relevant to your business. Instead of making time each day to check several resources for upcoming contracts, you can receive a single email that compiles everything for you.
There are several ways to search for opportunities, but the two most common methods involve searching by codes and keywords. Searching by codes involves figuring out where your business fits within a system that categorizes all types of businesses.
To keep it simple, there are codes for products and services and, within those broader categories, specific codes for almost every type of business. The trick is figuring out which codes are most applicable to your business and including them in your search profile.
You also can include keywords in your search profile. The easiest way to think about keywords is imagining a person who does not know your business exists, but really needs your product or service.
If they did a Google search to find your product or service, what words would they use? This time, the trick is thinking in reverse: What types of words are government agencies likely to use in the summaries of their opportunities? These keywords should be included in your search profile.
The PTAC can assist in setting up these search profiles and revisiting them anytime you would like to make adjustments. It is not a perfect science, and it usually takes a few tries to get the best results. So, don’t be discouraged if you do not get perfect matches right away.
Once you have a search profile you like, it saves you the time of monitoring all these different resources yourself and makes finding opportunities much more convenient.
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 email@example.com or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.