Procurement Marketing For Entrepreneurs

Searching for procurement opportunities can help a business with government contracts and with other business opportunities too.
Searching for procurement opportunities can help a business with government contracts and with other business opportunities too.

Procurement Marketing

Procurement marketing is a marketing technique that can benefit a B2B entrepreneur in two ways- discovery of new opportunities and strengthening of relationships with clients.

Procurement marketing is where one looks at public announcements for business opportunities from government clients- federal, state, local governments, state universities, military, etc.  Of course one is interested in what opportunities are available for their business.  However, the search does not stop there, they look at all opportunities and forward those that may fit their client's needs.

First, a minority business looking to leverage its MWDBE status needs to be on the lookout for procurement opportunities. On the federal level there is FedBizOpps which lists opportunities valued over $25,000.  I have seen everything listed- there have been calls for people to grow marijuana, provide rat colonies, do prostitution studies, and deliver Spiderman costumes.  The U.S. federal government is the single largest purchaser of goods and services in the world.  FedBizOpps should be checked frequently, how often depends on how soon your products or services come up for bid.  Regardless, it should be no less than weekly and very possibly daily.

Also, there are a lot of local opportunities, and combined there will be more local opportunities than federal.  Some may or may not have minority status preference, but that is OK.  Work is work.  Develop a list of local opportunities like municipality procurement opportunities, county, and state.  Bookmark these bid announcements sites in its own bookmark sub-folder for states, counties, municipalities, and universities.  In my home state even Native tribes are worth being in the bookmarks.  Seek out all the purchasing departments in your business area.  It will take a bit of digging but most governmental purchasing departments keep an updated bid opportunity list.  Plus, developing this list will only need be done once unless you hear of another bid source to add to the list.  Once you have this list, it shouldn't take but thirty minutes to run through the list looking for opportunities for your business.  Review it weekly or daily with the federal bid check.

Now comes the procurement marketing.  As you peruse your list you will see opportunities for your clients and potential clients.  Copy and paste the link, send a quick email saying, "I just wanted to give you a heads up, make sure you were aware that State University is looking for ACME Widgets."  Then paste the link underneath.  That's it.  Do not mention your monthly special or that you should meet for lunch soon, do that in a week or two.  For now, just be the person that thought of them.  I always got a thank you from the people I sent these too, even if they already knew about the bid.

Be careful when you start sending too many bids to one client.  There will be times when odd things happen, like a particular bid is out from three or four different sources.  As an example, suddenly everyone is looking for background checks.  This is fine, as it will subside.  But in another example I see a lot of bids for print jobs.  One option is to send them to different print companies if you know a lot of printers.  If you only know of one or want to be loyal to just one, after a few emails, make a phone call.  Mention you would be glad to keep them in mind and will forward every opportunity with their permission.  But is there anything in particular you should keep in mind, like they don't do binding (books).  Of course, you could just throttle how many you send any one person in a month.  But doing just that little bit extra can help you go a long way to strengthening a relationship with a client.

I find procurement marketing technique a powerful one and best of all- it's free!

Your Procurement Thoughts

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