EARLY REQUIREMENT TARGETING IS
THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN SET ASIDE MARKETING
Effective set aside marketing
reaches the agency decision makers with technical, budget and schedule
authority before a synopsis of the requirement is posted on FEDBIZOPPS.
The objective of this form of targeted marketing is to get
concurrence from the government to set the program aside sole source if the
company has an 8(a), or Hub Zone Certification or reserve it by one of the
above group designation classes to eliminate the prospect of full and open
competition involving large business.
Become known to targeted
agency personnel by visiting their program offices and meeting the decision
makers. Bring a capability
qualifications openly, objectively and specific to their needs. You must determine what those needs are
through market research, trade magazines, research on what they are buying
on FEDBIZOPPS, as well as postings on their web site that are
Subscribe to periodicals
like "Washington Technology" and other trade magazines. Observe agency trends and analysis that
impact your market segment. There
have been set aside programs marketed by small companies through
acquainting agency management and technical personnel with capabilities
they were not aware existed in the small business community or fulfillment
of needs they in fact did not know they had.
to FEDBIZOPPS "Sources Sought" or “Requests for draft RFP
Comment” on programs that have yet
to be formally solicited. Obtain an appointment to present your
capabilities to the decision makers (not the gate keepers). Be
courteous to contracting officers but
understand they are not the individuals who make source selections.
Understand that once the requirement is formally published on
FEDBIZOPPS the gate closes on informal visits to the customer and the
competition begins in the form of proposals by competitors. It is too
late at that point to set the program aside for a sole source or a small
business designation if it has not occurred by the publication stage.
relationships with other firms in your industry and look for early
opportunities in agencies, not only to prime a program but to bring a team
of qualified contractors in lesser roles to fulfill them with you or join
a team being led by a more experienced firm:
Understand the small
business start up past performance challenge and work to meet it:
Attend small business
outreach events by agencies and prime contractors. Stay attuned to who is attending and
research their needs and requirements.
Make a point to be present
at bidders' conferences for existing solicitations that you may not choose
to bid but which may lend insight into the agency needs and prime
contractor relationships in the future.