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Top 5 Small Business Opportunities in Government for 2011


by BillGormley Guest Blogger on 10-26-2010 08:43 AM

Finding the best opportunities in government - particularly for small businesses - can be a challenge.

Some small businesses find there are so many opportunities that it's difficult to choose the ones that will provide the most lucrative results. Other small businesses have a hard time finding the opportunities that are most relevant to them amid the noise and the contracts that seem much more appropriate for larger contractors.

That's what this blog post is all about.

There is a lot of government money waiting to be spent on small businesses. A recent report by FedSources, called "FY2011 Top Opportunities Report", maps out the Top 50 Opportunities for government contractors for 2011. Ten of those 50 top opportunities are specifically for small businesses. I thought it would be helpful to discuss the top five small-business opportunities here, to help you get a head start on your planning for the upcoming quarters.

The largest small-business opportunity

The largest small-business opportunity for 2011 is going to be the EAGLE (Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions) contract - worth $22 billion.

Coming from the Department of Homeland Security Enterprise Solutions Office, the EAGLE II solicitation will include two separate source selections - one unrestricted, and one specifically set aside for small businesses. A vast majority of the work will be for technology services and products. If you're in that business, this will easily be your largest opportunity for the year.

The RFP - or, Request for Proposal - for this contact is expected to come out during the first quarter of fiscal-year 2011. In fact, we expect it will come out before November 1, 2010. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Other leading opportunities

Most of the other top opportunities for small businesses are also for technology services and products, although some are for a variety of management services (financial management, project management, contract management, etc.).
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to issue an RFP in the first quarter of FY2011 Chief Information Office - Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3). This solicitation will be for health and research information technology. These IT services will include health and biomedical-related IT services to meet scientific, health, administrative, operations, managerial, and information management requirements. The value of CIO-SP3 is expected to be $20 billion.
  • The Army is expected to issue an RFP in the third quarter of FY2011 for Program Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS). This solicitation will include state-of-the-art CTS, components, associated peripheral equipment, technology insertion, sub-assemblies, data, and ancillary technical support services for life cycle support. CTS is intended to be the primary means of PM DCATS acquisition for hardware and ancillary services. The value of PM DCATS is expected to be $19.5 billion.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is expected to issue an RFP in the first quarter of FY2011 for Technical, Acquisition, and Business Support Services (TABSS). This solicitation will be categorized into three domains: 1) program management, engineering and technology support services, 2) business, financial management and audit support services, and 3) contract management support services. The value of TABSS is expected to be $11 billion.
  • The Army is expected to issue an RFP in the third quarter of FY2011 for Computer, Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS). This solicitation will be for state-of-the-art equipment and related services, including integration, under the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions - 3 Hardware (ITES-3H) contract procurement for worldwide use in support of the Army. The ITES-3H contract will consist of multiple commercial Catalogs that will consist of UNIX-based servers, Windows-based servers, workstations, thin clients, desktops and notebooks, storage systems, networking equipment, Catalog F network printers, video equipment products, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs). The value of CHESS is expected to be $5 billion, with a percentage designated as small-business set-asides.

The dollar value of some of these opportunities may be daunting. That's where teaming comes in. As a small business in the government contracting world, some of your best opportunities will be through teaming arrangements.

On the Business.gov How to Find Contracting Opportunities page, you'll find information on teaming and subcontracting. You can also go directly to the GSA's Contractor Teaming Arrangements page, where you'll find additional information specific to teaming within the GSA Schedules program.

Additional Resources

Bill Gormley is president and CEO of Washington Management Group and FedSources, chairman of the Coalition for Government Procurement, and Director at the Procurement Round Table.

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