Many companies believe that winning government work is too complicated, too competitive and not worth the return. While there is a degree of skill in becoming an approved government vendor, many of these other concerns can be easily overcome through education and by taking advantage of community resources.
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) recently unveiled a new, powerful tool to help small- and medium-sized businesses learn about and profit from government contracting. G.O. Contracts, Government Contracts Online, offers Brevard businesses simplified and fast access to government contracting opportunities.
The genesis of G.O. Contracts was inspired by Greg Weiner, the EDC’s senior director of business development. Collaborating with companies to work on backend operations and tweaking it to ensure prime usability for clients, Weiner created a system that serves as an all-in-one system that not only helps identify opportunities, but also provides in-depth access to historical pricing information and connectivity to thousands of purchasing managers who are driving the decisions. This comprehensive database offers opportunities from more than 600 counties across the United States and information from at least 15 different sources.
Having a streamlined service saves valuable time for the small-to-mid-sized companies that may not have the resources to spend large amounts of time looking for contracts. “You can spend hours looking up contracts,” said. Weiner “When there are three people in your company and you have 17 other things you need to accomplish, you tend to walk away from trying to secure government contracts because it’s such a heavy lift, but the reality is you don’t have to walk away, especially from such a lucrative sector.”
Helping Businesses Find Contacts
The work put into developing the system has led to a premier database that has truly benefited local companies such as Alluvionic, The Integration Factory and Up-Rev. Weimer noted one company received a contract for $700,000, allowing the one-person shop to hire another employee. The bottom line is that the system’s efficiency has been well received by clients.
“G.O. Contracts provides a great way to obtain daily streamlined opportunities that we would not otherwise be able to find,” said Karen Gregory, president and CEO of HRSS Consulting Group. “The system pulls it all together for us, and we’ve incorporated it into our daily review, so we don’t miss a beat.”
With this system, the possibilities for local business growth are endless. Users can search the G.O. Contracts database in almost an infinite number of ways depending on the type of work they are seeking. The system allows users to set email notifications for opportunities that could be of interest based on a variety of criteria. Additional uses include finding partnering opportunities on contracts that have been awarded, offering a place for local companies to sell inventory, and providing an avenue to offer assistance to contract winners that may be in the market for niche products or services.
“This system has allowed us to penetrate the federal and public market place in a way that would not have been possible for us before,” said Pamela McCarthy, regional sales specialist for The Integration Factory. “The system also offers support that is almost unprecedented.”
In the coming months, the EDC will expand the program by adding more companies to the system and increasing the number of licenses available for the software. The EDC is also arranging for training and assistance to help companies better understand the process so they can maximize their opportunities to succeed. To accomplish this, those selected for the program must agree to attend training before access is provided.
“We must continue to be creative in helping businesses stay and grow in our community,” said Weiner. “This tool has the potential to add value and increase revenue numbers for local companies of varying sizes and industry focus.”
“G.O. Contracts provides a great way to obtain daily streamlined opportunities that we would not otherwise be able to find.” – Karen Gregory