The start of the fiscal year is a stressful time for federal agencies and businesses alike. Despite this, as we close out FY13, I’d like to stress to all businesses who hope to do work with not just NASA, but any agency, to not let your plans for the future start to slip. One point I make at every speaking engagement or counseling session for businesses is that you must do your homework and plan ahead. Some businesses see this as a cursory glance of upcoming procurements a few months before they are released; however, to be successful, planning must start up to years before that point.
It is necessary to know what is happening in your realm of business before opportunities are posted in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) database. By then, for many, it’s too late to seriously compete. NASA offers multiple avenues to get information regarding upcoming procurements. First and foremost, networking is essential any small business into opportunities with plenty of time to prepare. This includes events that NASA holds regularly, such as our Industry Days, or events that are attended by federal agencies. Business to business networking is a great way to share information and potentially come up with teaming or subcontracting opportunities that may not have been on your radar.
Another, NASA specific avenue is the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS). NAIS posts competitive NASA acquisitions over $25,000 that businesses can sort by date, classification, location or key word. The NASA Consolidated Acquisition Forecast also provides a forecast for this fiscal year and upcoming fiscal years directly from the centers. This will provide even more time to being planning for upcoming acquisitions.
NASA has built one of the greatest small business teams in federal government, with the Small Business Specialists providing valuable information. If any small business has a question regarding a specific opportunity at a NASA center, these individuals provide a great first contact to learn more about the acquisition.