Avoid Doing This When Attending GovCon Events
I attended a NASA webinar and found myself surprised that many people were doing this during the event, and I want to share it with you. However, before we dive deep into what I am referring to, here are some of the NASA Webinar takeaways.
The webinar was an opportunity for small businesses to find out what NASA has been currently up to. Speakers gave their respective presentations on updates, current opportunities, and program requirements.
More specifically, they had shown presentations on what’s new with the agency, active MPAs, NASA-approved mentors and their requirements, protégé eligibility requirements, getting started with the agency, and things to consider when preparing an MPA.
NASA WEBINAR TAKEAWAYS
One of the most asked questions during the webinar pertained to the current and future NASA small business opportunities.
Although understandably, most opportunities offered by NASA go to small businesses in the research and development industry, they actually have opportunities in other sectors.
“What we spend is roughly 70-75 percent of what I call “space stuff,” so it’s that R&D, it’s engineering, it’s the building and the hardware of the rockets and the spacecraft, the manufacturing. Then, everything else, the remainder, 25-30 percent, would be the everyday government stuff”- Richard Mann, NASA Office of Small Business Programs Manager.
There are opportunities on both sides of that spectrum for small businesses, whether it is a prime contract or subcontract, but it depends on the industry.
So, just monitor sam.gov, or you can take a look at the acquisition contract list to know whether or not you could provide services for NASA.
If you are interested in doing business with NASA, you can head on over to www.nasa.gov/osbp/nasa-vendor-database to see information on how to register as a small business.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO
1. Don’t ask generic questions.
This is the one and the only thing that I ask you not to do. Don’t ask generic questions! The intent of these types of events is for you to gain insight into specific projects and opportunities.
Most people during the Q&A portion of the webinar were asking typical questions. Questions that could be answered by information that is publicly posted online.
When you join government contracting events like this, you should be asking specific questions that you can’t find the answers to.
The speakers at these events are busy people. It is not often that you get a chance to communicate with them directly, and it would be such a waste for you, the other participants, and the speakers, to spend time on questions that, frankly, could be answered in less than 5 minutes by google.
“When you have generic questions, all they do is put you in a group of people who are not ready to start doing business. You don’t want to be lumped in that group.”
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The major advice that could be taken from this webinar is for small businesses to do research. You should research the requirements, opportunities, and resources available for you before presenting yourself to any agency.
“My recommendation is to know your market and do your research” -Joyce McDowell, NASA Small Business Specialist.
Research is the key to making your way in this industry. Even when it comes to breaking through email noise, you have to make sure you do your research so that your email is pertinent to an upcoming acquisition because only then are you noticed by these contracting people.
Remember that for every contract, you are competing with other businesses. So, when you prove to the government that you know your stuff and understand what these agencies are buying, that could be used as your weapon in getting ahead in the competition.
If you want to learn more about the tips and tricks in winning government contracts, then join us here at GovCon Giants.
You could also visit our website and other social media platforms or check the new GovCon Edu, where you learn everything about government contracting!
To learn more about the topic above, check these resources below:
NASA WEBINAR Live with Commentary!