Government opportunity identification can happen a couple of ways. The first is through direct contact with the customer. Nothing beats direct customer contact when it comes to government opportunity identification.  However, your network of government contacts is finite. Those contacts are susceptible to changes in position, retirement or their need disappears. The second crucial method of government opportunity identification is having the right search engine.

a woman crouching on a mountain looking into binoculars

Expand your search horizons beyond FBO.

Government Opportunity Identification On FBO

Often times, people rely on FBO (Federal Business Opportunities) to find opportunities for their company.  When it comes to using a government agency search engine, FBO is the top of its class.  It’s reliable and has a solid set of capabilities. On the other hand, not every opportunity is going to be listed on FBO. By limiting yourself to the opportunities published on FBO, your government opportunity identification is restricted. Some large contract vehicles, Seaport-e for example, don’t show up on FBO.  Other information, such as SPAWAR opportunities, are not kept current on FBO. If you want to see the latest, you must tune into the SPAWAR website to make sure you’re seeing the most up to date information.

The point is, if you limit your government opportunity identification to FBO or any other government website, you’re spending more time and energy searching, and ultimately, you stand a greater chance of missing new opportunities or updates to ones that are critical to your business. Missing an essential update or solicitation release on a critical opportunity can be devastating.  It can put employees out of work and put a company on the ropes. This begs the question of whether it is worth skimping on the cost of a good tool for government opportunity identification?

Remember, FBO and similar sites were built simply to enable government opportunity identification in order to receive bids. They are not designed to help government contractors conduct research. Alternatively, a good search engine not only helps you find something to bid, helps you gather good intelligence on opportunities.

Finding the Right Tool for Government Opportunity Identification

Finding the right search engine for your company should fall into three buckets: price, capabilities, and security.

Pricing is a lot like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some search engines for government opportunity identification are just too expensive to justify.  Some are cheap, but for what they offer, you might as well stick with FBO. You need to find a search engine that’s right for your company.  That generally means a reasonable cost, but packed-full of capability.  Find the one that is a reasonable cost, accesses a broad spectrum of government databases and has the type of features that fit how you want to search.

So, what are the features that you should be thinking about for your government opportunity identification search engine? There are quite a lot, but each plays a crucial role.

  • Saved searches – Coming up with the right search parameters is an art. Once you’ve perfected your search parameters, saving the search is crucial to cut down on repeat efforts. Capture2Proposal (C2P) provides an easy-to-use saved search capability.
  • Agency – There are times when you want to see everything, and times when you need to limit your government opportunity identification. C2P allows you to drill down to third tier organizational level.
  • Opportunity details – View basic information such as Solicitation number, NAICS Codes, Product Service Code (PSC), Contract Type, Award Type, & Contract number within search results.
  • Facility clearance – C2P is the only government opportunity identification tool with the ability to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ferret out the Facility Clearance for an opportunity. If you don’t have a Top Secret or Secret, you don’t want to have to wade through them when searching.
  • Incumbent data – This is important when you are doing government opportunity identification searches for a couple of reasons:
    • It’s good to know who your competitors are and what contracts they own
    • If you need to build up past performance, use it to identify primes on contracts that you can subcontract on.
  • Value – During your government opportunity identification, you may want to restrict your search to a value range that makes the capture and proposal investment worthwhile.
  • Contract vehicle –You may be looking for opportunities on a specific contract vehicle, for example, Seaport-e or the Army’s RS3. To avoid clutter in the search results, C2P allow you to select specific contract vehicles.
  • Opportunity status – This is a big one. C2P gives you the flexibility to be very general with setting the status, such as Pre-RFP, or you can get specific and search for an Industry Day or Request for Information (RFI).
  • Date range – Here you need a lot of flexibility in your government opportunity identification. This is especially true if you’re looking for contracts that will expire in the future. Companies often do this so that they can position themselves far ahead of the pre-solicitation notice.
  • Set aside status – If you are a small business, especially in a specific category, C2P’s ability to specifically target opportunities by your category is extremely valuable.
  • Evaluation criteria – This is another area in government opportunity identification in which we use our AI to get more information for our users. We let you filter on whether an opportunity is Lowest Price Technically Acceptable or Best Value Tradeoff.

One final thought, the health of a company depends on a robust pipeline. Tools such as C2P allow for government opportunity identification and adding it to your pipeline. This makes your pipeline dynamic and easy to manage.  Be sure to find the government opportunity identification tool that’s just right for your company.