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Mailed info, web profile both useful in marketing to government

Oct 3, 2013 - By Brett Housholder

Question -- "I'd like to get some government work for my business, but I'm not sure how to market my services to government agencies. Are there any special marketing materials I should create?"

-- Gary, Sheridan

Answer -- When working with government agencies, a lot of interaction is done online through websites like the System for Award Management and the Dynamic Small Business Search. But that doesn't mean you have to simply create profiles on these sites, and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

In addition to relying on online registrations and profiles, many companies prefer to create physical marketing materials to send directly to government agencies that are catered specifically to the business's ability to work in the government market.

A vital piece of this information is a Capabilities Statement, similar to the Capabilities Narrative that is a part of your DSBS profile. However, the physical Capabilities Statement prepared gives you a bit more room to market a business. Here are a few tips on how to create an effective Capabilities Statement:

- Keep it brief. Contracting officers like to scan a one-page document and get a sense of your strengths and expertise.

- Keep the format simple. Bullet points and brief statements are easier to scan.

- Include relevant information. Any certifications such as woman-owned small business or veteran-owned small business help your cause.

- List your core competencies -- the major goods or services you provide that are particular strengths compared to your competitors.

- Include any past performance your business has conducted. List your major jobs. Prior government experience is best, but a few examples of private or commercial work will help if you have no government contracting experience.

- Include company logo, address and relevant contact information.

A Capabilities Statement can be sent directly to an agency if you are willing to do your homework. If you know of a specific agency you'd like to work with (National Parks Service, for example), do research and find offices near you and find an address where information can be sent. Ideally, you will find a contracting office to mail the packet. Also, you can tailor your Capabilities Statements to the type of work needed by each agency.

The Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC has templates available to help create a Capabilities Statement, and is willing to assist and review when the statement is completed. For assistance, call 234-3203.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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Editor's note: Brett Housholder is the Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC program manager, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, email at wsbdc@uwyo.edu or call at 1-800-348-5194.

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