The government has many ways to perform market research, as described in FAR Part 10. One way is to issue a sources sought or request for information. Issuing this type of notice saves the government valuable time of reviewing sources to fulfill a requirement, it also ensures:
◾Access to the market’s capability
◾Determine acquisition strategy
◾Assist with small business goal attainment
Sources sought notices are posted in Federal Business Opportunities www.fbo.gov , and also on an agencies internal portal during the pre solicitation stage. Following the instructions of this document is very important it does not request a quote it only request key points such as:
◾Your company’s relevant experience.
◾The ability to fulfill the requirement at an acceptable level of quality or cost.
Some vendors view this as a waste of time I will have to disagree a sources sought is a big door opener for the vendor. It can be used as an avenue for the you to develop a relationship with the Government, this should be your primary goal–Building Relationships. Not every vendor gets the contract right away sometimes in order to get the contract you need to build a relationship with the agency. Think about it this way you wouldn’t hire just any old contractor to provide a service to you without first knowing if they are capable of doing so would you? well neither would the government and a sources sought is one way of doing that. Some vendors presume this means stretching the truth a little about your company, flashy brochures, or long drawn out sales pitches. Your only marketing efforts when dealing with the federal government should be focused on informing the agency that your company is capable and willing to meet the needs of the Government in a timely manner and at a reasonable rate.
Making yourself available to maintain contact with the Contracting Official that issued the notice can be viewed positively. Before the sources sought closes ask questions of the agency that can enhance the future solicitation. By doing this the agency sometimes 1. Feels a little more confident that your company may be a candidate to fulfill the requirement, 2. May have questions for you regarding the requirement. If you want to be notified of any updates of the notice you can place yourself on the watchlist by clicking the watchlist tab in Federal Business Opportunities.
Has your company responded to any sources soughts, rfi’s, or rfps and did not get the response you were looking for register for our government contract coaching program and let’s get acquainted with where you are in the federal process and how I can assist you in receiving better response.