by Elke Mosholder
Senior PTAP Advisor
Sometimes when I get asked about federal contracting the question comes from a new client who alludes that he or she is going after that $50 million contract. That’s great, but it does take awhile to get to that point, especially if you’re a small business owner doing it for the first time. There are so many facets to getting from point A (getting registered) to point Z (contract administration).
And although some businesses successfully get through the process without PTAP, doesn’t it make more sense to have someone who walks you pass the pitfalls and hurdles, takes the red tape out of the red tape, and keeps you informed of what the federal agency is looking for?
I’ve spent more than 25 years working for or with federal government, first starting with the Department of Justice in El Paso, and now with PTAP in Alamogordo and Las Cruces. My work includes personally knowing the agency directors of small business operations, including those at Holloman Air Force Base, U.S. Border Patrol and White Sands Missile Range. My job also involves knowing what the agencies want and what type of businesses they are looking for to do it.
At White Sands, often road repair or IT-related services are put out to bid. At Holloman, they’ll look for construction, janitorial, equipment repair, lockers, unmanned aircraft operation centers, tables, oxygen, petroleum products, copier repair and target cleanup — although it can vary. And the Border Patrol will often look for alfalfa suppliers, as well as horse shoeing or farrier services. Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, it gives you an idea what services or products the agencies need. In fact, the federal government is the largest buyer in the world, spending more the $600 billion annually going to private sector businesses on thousands of different products and services.
State governments also represent excellent opportunities for small businesses. The government buys almost every type of product and service, providing opportunities to large and small businesses –including yours!
I’ll also receive calls from the agencies or from a prime contractor who are looking for another company to partner with and offer goods or a service they do not provide. I’ve been very successful at pairing companies up and planting those seeds for those partnerships.
Best advice (particularly to doing federal contracting in Southern NM):
DO Let the Alamogordo and Las Cruces PTAP offices assist you with providing your products and or services to the government.
DON’T Go anywhere else!
Federal contracting can be a great way to grow your small business, especially in rural New Mexico. Let all of us at PTAP help you get started today.