The first step to competing for and winning contracts with any government agency is knowing what the agency is currently buying or is planning to buy.
Identifying relevant Washington state bidding opportunities for your business can help get your foot in the door with agency buyers and unlock new sources of revenue for your business. Here’s a few quick facts about just how much the state government in Washington spends each year:
- The state’s official biennial Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget became law in 2015. It totals $38.1 billion in general fund expenditures.
- From 2015 to 2016, Washington state issued nearly 60,000 contracts and made 40,000 contract awards.
- According to Onvia’s B2G Intelligence System Washington state solicits the most work for infrastructure related areas such as architecture, engineering and construction.
Here’s 10 tips you need to know to successfully enter the Washington state procurement market and win more government contracts:
Register for Washington WEBS
The Washington Department of Enterprise Services hosts the Washington Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS) Planned Procurement database. And Onvia clients enjoy the ability to conveniently search through leads posted through WEBS, along with those opportunities issued through all other state bidding portals, in a single tool.
Search for Opportunities on WEBS (and Onvia)
The state posts its current and future contract bid opportunities on the WEBS Planned Procurement database, making them searchable for your company. Each post includes details about the solicitations, such as the purchasing entity, the goods and/or services needed, and deadlines for responses and awards. Onvia subscribers enjoy an opportunity advantage over the competition, with access to public sector sales intelligence that provides line-of-sight into past, present and future government contract leads issued across all Federal, state, local and education agencies.
Get on a Statewide Master Contract
Washington state bids are often limited to companies that have previously be listed on one or more Statewide Master Contract. Learn more about how to get on a Washington state Master Contract here. Agencies often choose to use master contracts as an avenue for purchasing because they help to reduce risk for agencies, while streamlining the purchasing process and lowering prices through the collective buying power of multiple agencies. It’s no surprise then that many Washington state bidding opportunities are only available to companies on a Statewide Master Contract. Getting on a Master Contract with the Washington state government is key to success.
When you find an intriguing solicitation, download the solicitation using WEBS. It seems rudimentary, but downloading it will ensure you receive notification of any amendments. Alternatively, request a free demo to see how Onvia’s suite of sales intelligence and acceleration tools designed for doing business with the public sector can help get opportunity information to you and your sales reps in ways that fit in neatly with your already existing workflows and processes.
Teaming up with another company can make your bid more attractive because you can provide more of the products and/or services outlined in the scope of work. In WEBS, you can search for vendors that have checked “yes”, which means they want to share their contact information to potential partners. Likewise, click “yes” on a solicitation post to share your information as an interested vendor.
Perform Outreach Ahead of the Bid
Be sure to outreach to agency buyers and decision makers well before the opportunity hits the street for competitive bid. Studying agency contact information and performing personalized outreach, such as attending a pre-bid conference or site visits, can help you become a trusted partner with agency buyers. The more you understand about your target agencies, the greatest chance you’ll have of leaving a positive impression and setting your business apart from the competition.
Study the Past
Similarly, use historical information such as award announcements and bid results to analyze the competition, partners and where your next eligible buyer might be.
Small Business Qualifications
Consider connecting with minority- and woman-owned businesses. Washington state procurement officials have annual goals to award contracts to qualifying business enterprises—10% for minority-owned businesses and 6% for woman-owned companies. In addition, Washington has 5% procurement goals for both general small businesses and veteran-owned businesses.
Get to Know Procurement Officers
Contact a procurement coordinator if you have questions about a solicitation or, after the award, to discuss the result.
Pay Close Attention to Detail
Dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Ensure your bid is completely filled out and signed with all required attachments and documentation included. And don’t let all your hard work go to waste by missing the submittal date.
Put these 10 tips into practice and you’ll open up a path to revenue growth by winning more Washington state government contracts.
Ready to get started on winning government contracts with the government in Washington? Currently selling regionally and looking to broaden your horizons and expand into new territories? Request a complimentary copy of “How to Do Business with the Government in Washington: A Step-by-Step Guide to Government Contracting with the Evergreen State” at the link below: