Break the Government Contracting Code Using an OSDBU, Small Business Specialist!
The OSDBU is where you find your small business specialist, but who is this person and what is the use of this office? Read this blog to learn more!
WHAT IS AN OSDBU?
Each federal agency has an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) that acts as a liaison between the small business entity, the SBA, and the government buyer.
They help prepare you to do business with that agency and connect you within their network of opportunities and to their organizations and people that help further your particular mission.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED AN OSDBU?
1. Gain access to the forecast list.
A forecast list is an agency’s projection of all upcoming projects. This is where an agency puts all the costs, the contacts, any of the products and services they wanna buy in the upcoming fiscal year. So, why not ask about this list directly to that agency’s OSDBU?
To learn more on how to find what agencies are buying using a forecast list, then check this video that we created.
2. Win contracts and be a subcontractor.
The small business specialist would likely know some of the players at that agency and who’s winning the contracts on a regular basis.
3. Learn about non-public bid opportunities.
There are tons of bid opportunities that don’t reach the public and if you want to know about this, you better contact that agency’s small business specialist.
4. Find out who can help you grow within that agency.
As the liaison between the small business entity and the government buyer, the OSDBU will be able to tell you where you can go.
This way, you can introduce your company and your service to the direct people who need what you offer.
HOW DO I FIND AN OSDBU?
1. Type the agency’s name and add OSDBU.
You can actually just go to any search platform like Google or visit usa.gov and type the agency’s name and add the keyword OSDBU.
Afterwards, you will be presented with that agency’s website and OSDBU page. Just then, you can navigate their page and learn about their tools and resources, services, and contact information.
2. Call the Washington headquarters.
You can just actually call the Washington headquarters and ask the person at the headquarters for the contact information for the particular OSDBU office in your territory or region.
WHEN SHOULD I CALL AN OSDBU?
Immediately after you’ve built your target market list, you should call an agency’s OSDBU because at that point, you already know who buys your products and services. What you just need is that agency’s forecast list of upcoming projects that you can do.
Aside from that, you can also call them when you’re actually ready to start doing contracts because that’s when you can actually start making connections and on roads within that particular agency.
WHAT TO DO IN MEETING AN OSDBU?
Before the Meeting
The things that you need to prepare and bring to the meeting is your capability statement, that agency’s forecast list to discuss specific opportunities, a list of potential prime contractors that you can connect or subcontract with, and any document or certifications that highlight what you do.
During the Meeting
What you should expect during the meeting is that the quality of the OSDBU person depends on their level of experience.
Apart from that, expect that this person will give you insight on how that agency buys goods and services and on how to sell these to their agency, as well as provide you directions in making connections with contracting officers, officials, and other contractors within that agency.
On the other hand, you should not expect that that person will remember you once you leave, be impressed with your capability statement, or to give you a contract and a referral.
“Just remember that people are people. They’re human beings first. You’re not gonna resonate with every and each individual that you meet. However, the point is to make a connection and to start taking steps towards that direction.”
After the Meeting
After that, you need to take into consideration all of the recommendations of the small business specialist and make a follow up after taking the actionable steps that they recommended.
Also, you want to stay on top of any specific forecast list projects coming out in the near future and be part of any particular industry event.
WHAT IS ERIC’S EXPERIENCE WITH AN OSDBU?
More than five years ago, we were doing a lawn maintenance contract at Homestead Air Force Base.
Now, before being awarded that contract, we actually went to meet with their OSDBU person and let them know about our services and what we were doing. However, that person just told us to join SAME and participate in the monthly luncheons at the SAME events.
Well, a few months later, that small business specialist called us and let us know that the particular agency who awarded the contract was not happy with the contractor, so they asked us if we could step in and take over their existing contract.
Well, within probably a three to four month window, we had negotiated a contract and we ended up getting the entire landscape maintenance contract over at Patrick Air Force Base.
So, that’s the story of how connecting with the OSDBU and a small business specialist could yield some really significant results.
With this, I’ll leave this quote by Zig Zigler:
“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”
Again, you should only trust the process. Go out there, get the target market list, schedule meetings with the OSDBU, and start making yourself known within a government agency.
With this in mind, let me help you become an incumbent and achieve your goal and your lifetime dream of earning all that you can in the federal marketplace.
You can also check these resources below to learn more about the topic above:
Break the Government Contracting code using an OSDBU! Small business specialist!