Need help navigating the complex but potentially lucrative government marketplace?
The Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center can support you on your journey.
The center was established in 1989 to help increase federal, state and local government contracting awards to companies in Louisiana. Since then the agency has helped businesses in 54 parishes secure more than $4.5 billion in government contracts.
Program Director Sherrie Mullins says many businesses miss out on lucrative work with government agencies because they don’t understand the often-complicated bidding process. “Doing federal contracts is nothing like doing commercial contracts,” Mullins says. “There are so many rules and regulations.”
LA PTAC counselors are specially trained to guide businesses of all sizes through the complex world of government contracting. The agency’s experts help companies navigate every step of the contracting process — from assessing whether you can successfully compete in the government marketplace to marketing your services and bidding to understanding your obligations once you’ve landed a contract. “Our work with both small and large businesses gives the LA PTAC the opportunity to make a difference in the economy of Louisiana,” Mullins says. “If you are successful, we are successful.”
Here is a closer look at some of the services LA PTAC can offer your business:
Any contractor looking to land a federal government contract must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. Before registering in SAM, a business must first secure a nine-digit DUNS number, assigned by Dun & Bradstreet. LA PTAC counselors offer assistance with both registrations, which are free of charge.
LA PTAC counselors assist businesses in determining which socioeconomic classifications — such as being classified as a veteran-owned business — you may fall under, and can assist you with the required application processes. “Having these certifications can give you an edge in getting a contract,” Mullins says.
Once your company’s profile is set up in the database, you will start to receive a daily bid lead email listing all the open bid opportunities matching your search criteria. Business owners can review the list daily and determine whether there are any open bids they would submit a bid on.
LA PTAC counselors will assist you with bid preparation by reviewing your bids and proposals to ensure you have completed all of the required documents correctly and have addressed each issue spelled out in the solicitation.
Counselors can help your business interpret and understand the many complicated provisions and clauses contained in government contracts.
LA PTAC counselors will assist you with issues that arise once you receive a contract. Issues can vary from contract to contract, including interpretation of contract requirements, helping with invoicing and payment issues.
LA PTAC helps businesses identify bidding opportunities as a subcontractor to large prime contractors. “We work with the small companies to prepare them to be able to work with the prime contractors and the federal agencies,” Mullins says.
Counselors can help businesses determine which markets to focus on when looking for government contracts. The agency can provide your company a sample elevator speech and help you compose a one-page capability statement to use when meeting with a government purchasing agent. It also provides lists of points of contact for federal and state buying agencies, as well as prime contractors within the state.
Louisiana Business Connection is the state’s first comprehensive database to connect small businesses and prime contractors statewide. Simply create a free account for your company then publish your small business profile or find qualified local business partners based on your needs.