Monday, September 17, 2012

Encouraging the Use of Small and Local Businesses

Doing business with the government can be complex.  It can be especially daunting for small businesses to sort through the requirements and regulations, all of which differ depending on the specific public agency involved.  

Business Opportunity Events:  Some public agencies have taken proactive steps to make their processes more transparent and clear, and to encourage the use of small and local businesses.  One strategy that some agencies have used is to team with other local agencies in sponsoring business opportunity events.  At these events, the business community is invited to come and talk with multiple agencies about their bidding processes, upcoming opportunities, and to establish relationships.  Sometimes, these events also include a more formal educational component.

One example:  The City of Bellingham and the Port of Bellingham (Washington) recently co-sponsored a free business forum for consultants, contractors, and vendors on how to do business with about ten government agencies. At the event on September 12, 2012, I spoke to about 40 attendees on "Doing Business with the Government: What You Need to Know."

Outline of speech:  Here's an outline of what I talked about:
  • Types of Public Contracts and Solicitations
  • Find Government Opportunities
  • Read the Solicitation Document
  • How Are Award Decisions Made?
  • How Are Proposals Evaluated?
  • Why Do Bids Get Thrown Out?
  • Keys to Developing a Good Proposal
  • Read Your Contract Before You Sign It
  • Manage Your Contract's Fine Print
  • Prevent Payment Disputes
If you would like a copy of my PowerPoint presentation, please contact me.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

1 comment:

Shelley Temkin said...

Mike: It's great to see Public Entities in your area utilizing forums to notify the business community about their commitment to Small and Local Business Enterprise. There’s another option available to the buyers that would permit more small and local contractors to participate - Pre-Bid meetings Via Webinar. Virtual meetings hosted by Green Proposals encourage more participation while treating all prospective contractors equally. Whether a vendor is across the street, across town or on the other side of the country, they all see and hear exactly the same information, obtain a replay of the webinar and receive a copy of a legible, customizable sign in sheet at the conclusion of the meeting. All this and no one ever has to leave their office!! No more worries about time away, traffic or weather. Interested contractors pay a nominal fee per RFP. It’s a great tool to further contractor participation while reducing protests and promoting a more efficient and effective way of conducting business.