A PSA for PTACs
A Pro Tip for those who want to do business with government
I frequently interact with companies that are curious about how to do business with the government but don't really know where to begin. When that happens, I offer a piece of advice that is surprisingly helpful: go to your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center, also known as a “PTAC”.
PTACs, which receive funding through the Defense Logistics Agency, exist to help “expand the number of business capable of participating in government contracts” and to “businesses pursue and perform under contracts with the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, state and local governments and with government prime contractors.”
This is quite literally a program paid for by the government to help companies work with the government. And the program is not some beltway insider thing; throughout the country, there are 94 PTACs with over 300 local offices, so chances are there's one near you. There's even an interactive map to help you find the PTAC.
Although I obviously can't speak for every PTAC, my experience has been that the individuals working at PTACs are quite knowledgeable about the ins and outs of procurement and are eager to help small businesses succeed. I mean, that's their job!
Oh, and did I mention that most services are free?
If you ever find yourself interested in doing government work as a prime or a subcontractor, it's definitely worth scheduling some time with your local PTAC.