Blindly submitting proposals because you think you’re a good fit will have you wasting valuable time and money. Educate yourself on where you need to be and who you need to talk to before you make the move.

Just to be sure that you’re generating up-to-date information, I generally like to use the federal procurement data system which can be found at FPDS is a database where all government agencies report the purchases that are made, the great thing about these reports is anyone can view them for free, you just have to know how to use it.

There are several ways to use this information, such as locating agencies that buy what you sell, how often they buy, what companies they buy from, actual dollar amounts of purchases, and points of contact information. So as you see you get a lot of useful information from these reports and you can use this to your advantage when you start looking for work. Yes I said looking for work just because you filled the paperwork and you set your goals doesn’t mean that someone is going to find you out of the blue.

When you go to the site look towards the middle of the page and type in what your product or service is in the EZ Search engine, and then click the search button and a page of categorized data will show up. On the left side of the page you will find the top 10 agencies that have awarded contract actions in your search category. Those are the agencies that process the most contracts of what you sell, these agencies will be considered your customer.

Underneath the top 10 agencies are the top 10 vendors that have received contracts for what you sell, these vendors can be two things to you; your competitor or your teaming partner. If they’re going to be your teaming partner that’s when the subcontracts come in.

If you’re not ready for a prime contract fpds is also a great way to find subcontract opportunities as well. I know it’s every companies dream to close a big contract all on their own, but you also make money through subcontracts too. For those of you who don’t understand the terms subcontract or prime contract let me give you a brief explanation.

A subcontract is when your company performs a small portion of a larger contract; or a prime contract. For example you find a company on fpds that was awarded a prime government contract through Department of Defense, and they have a small portion of that contract that they are not able to perform. Well that’s where you come in and fulfill the small portion as a sub under the prime contract. Follow the below step by step instructions I have for you below and get on the road to growing your business in the federal market.