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Does the Government Buy What I Sell?

 In Govcon Learning

In this article, we’re going to talk about the answer to the question, “Does the government buy what I sell?” We’ll even take it a step further by discussing what entities are buying products and services and how much are they buying. Read this article to learn more!


The first thing that you should look at is the kind of products or services that you sell and analyze the NAICS code related to it. 

For instance, if you’re providing janitorial services, then what is the NAICS code under that service? Upon searching, 561720 is the code for janitorial services. 

To learn more about the complete NAICS code list, you can view it from the U.S. Census Bureau or by contacting the bureau through 1-888-756-2427 or on their email address

If you also want to know about this code and how to choose one, then check this video entitled “Primary vs Secondary NAICS Code.”


Getting Contract Opportunities

You can easily check all of the contract opportunities without logging into the database. All you have to do is choose “Contract Opportunities” in the search bar, type your NAICS code, and then click search. You will then see hundreds of results, depending on your NAICS code.

You can also filter that result by adding more keywords or changing other information on the left side of your results page. You can edit your preferred date, types of notice, federal agency, DUNS, PSC code, and place of performance. 

Then, if you’re okay with the results, you can already check all of the contract opportunities and see which fits you. 

If you click for a specific result, you can then check its notice ID and the agency posting it. You can also see its general information, classification, description, attachments and links, history, and contact information. 

Apart from that, these are the things you should consider:

  1. The place of performance might be different to the address of the agency.
  2. While you can easily see the results without logging in, you might need one if you want to:
  • Save and rerun searches
  • Download search results and display it into .pdf or .csv files
  • Follow opportunities to keep up to date to its changes
  • Add yourself to an opportunity’s Interested Vendors List
  • Run customized reports on opportunities data
  • Request access to controlled, but unclassified attachments

Getting Award Data

Through the integration of FPDS and SAM, you  can now analyze award data through the SAM database. With this, you can already do historical research and determine the opportunities that have already been awarded to companies. 

Suppose you are a small business and fits the Small Business Administration’s size standard table, then there are a handful of companies that you can solicit for work.

What I usually do is build a target market list where I put the top vendors that are being awarded by my target agency. Then, I look for their contact details to start soliciting work from them. 

You see, these vendors are the incumbents, not your competition. In fact, you should consider them as allies because they are always looking for small firms to either solicit joint venture teams and partnerships or build good subcontract partnerships. 

“I can promise you this, every one of these companies, they have good companies that work for them and bad companies. So, if your firm delivers a quality product and service, they want you. I mean they want you, like desperately. They’re wanting you bad.”

USASPENDING is similar to FPDS where you can look at historical data, it just presents it in a different format.

The only thing that you need to do is do a keyword search and type in your NAICS code. Upon typing the code, 561720, the result showed almost 200,000 contracts and less than 30,000 of these are Indefinite Delivery Contracts. 

Other than that, you can also do an advanced search where you can filter it in terms of time period, award type, and others and download all of this information. 

Now, you can do some data mining and continue making your target market list. Who are the people in your backyard that are doing janitorial stuff? Who do you need to call? Start doing some data mining based on that information. 


Now that you have information from SAM and USAspending, you already know that the government buys what you sell. 

This is the beauty of the government because this is public information and you can use this to analyze your next step, unlike the private marketplace where you have no idea who was awarded what, how much, and when.

With this in mind, if you want to learn more on how to do government contracting, then check the resources below. 

You can also join us here at GovCon Giants or check the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

Does the government buy what I sell?

Build a Target Market List using FPDS -Federal Procurement Data System

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