As mentioned in the previous post, the most effective way to market to the government is by knowing where your product/service is needed. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has broken the country into ten different regions. There is at least one SBA office in every state which provides resources for small business survival and growth. Each region offers the same standard resources package for small businesses; however, some are more prolific than others. When logging onto the SBA website, research shows that some SBA contracting regions are more active in the small business community than others.
Below are the states that are in each region.
Region 1 - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Region 2 - New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands
Region 3 - Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware
Region 4 - Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi
Region 5 - Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Region 6 - Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico
Region 7 - Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri
Region 8 - Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota
Region 9 - California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam
Region 10 - Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho
There are over 2,500 government buying offices throughout the US. Being located in one region does not prohibit you from doing business in another; many businesses – even small ones – do business across several regions. One of the many things that a business owner needs to be aware of is that while his business may be in Region 1, their services might be needed badly in Region 4 as well. Marketing to the government can help expand the business nationwide and have a guaranteed check from Uncle Sam. Working with the government doesn’t mean that your business has to be right next to the Naval Yard that needs a new refrigerator. So long as you’re able to deliver the goods per their request, your business is the most able and appealing to the government no matter the location.
There is a flip side to this, though. If your business is relatively new to the contracting game, it is best to try local contracts first to test the waters. Being local and having the ability to meet face-to-face with a contracting officer will give your business preference. Developing a more personal connection with contracting officers can help give you a leg up over your competition. Once your business has completed several contracts, you will have a good feel for the process and branching out won’t be nearly as difficult.
In addition, what type of business you are really counts. For instance, if completing a contract requires you to be on a job site, don’t bid on contracts too far away. Stick to a smaller geographical region in order to make the job easier on yourself.
With Gateway to Government, your company can use our tried and true name to help jumpstart your government contracting career. Our name is established in the Washington, D.C. area and can go nationwide, making your location unimportant as you can share the benefits of having our certifications and name.