As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for a business lead. Why not look within your local government?

Local governments (cities, towns, counties, etc.) purchase many goods and services.  Depending upon the amount and other details of the procurement, cities and towns are generally required to advertise upcoming projects or purchases that are open for bid in the newspaper. If working online is more to your taste, allows free access to statewide notices about hearings, advertisements for bids, financial reports, adoption of ordinances and other government activity requiring public notice.

Increasingly, local governments are also posting business opportunities on their websites.  As each website is unique, there is no easy way to locate business opportunities.  Sometimes, available opportunities are on the home page, under a heading such as “Bid Postings,” or they might be listed under a particular department, such as “City Clerk Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Public Works,” “Purchasing,” etc. Opportunity listings can have titles such as “Advertisements & Invitations for Bid,” “Projects & RFQs,” or “Pending and Current Projects,” “RFPs & Public Notices,” to name a few.

Once you find a posting, next steps can include registering as a vendor with the local government and/or to responding to an open RFQ (request for quote or request for qualifications) or an RFP (request for proposal).  Often, there are mandatory pre-bid meetings that will further describe the project and allow for questions.  Depending on the municipality and the type of opportunity, contract documents or plans and specifications could have a fee to download. The Wyoming Association of Municipalities has a list of all 99 of its member cities and towns, with links to their websites, contact information, and municipal codes.

Government procurement, even on a local level, can be a bit intimidating.  If you’re interested in learning more about how to market and sell to the government, consider attending the GRO-Biz Conference & Idea Expo in Gillette this February 17 and 18, where the Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC will be offering workshops on working with WYDOT, proposal preparation, marketing to the government, trends in government contracting and other procurement topics.  The GRO-Biz conference also affords the opportunity for business owners to have one-on-one conversations with federal contracting officers from several agencies and several state agencies.  Please visit our website for more information and to register: GRO-Biz

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