Small Businesses

Steps Toward Success: How to Get Started

  1. Review and become familiar with solicitation (bid) packages.
    Once you have looked at two or three solicitation packages, you will notice that a substantial portion of it is repetitive, that is, it is government "boilerplate" that you must master in order to compete, win and perform contracts for USTDA. A relatively smaller portion of the package will relate to the specifics of the contract and the project you are interested in.
  2. Prepare your proposal and send it in!
    On the basis of this specific information, prepare your proposal and submit it to USTDA. Selection is based upon the qualifications and price submitted by the proposers. Your proposal should address the method and approach you will use in completing the scope of work and writing the report required. See Tips for submitting a DM Proposal to USTDA.
  3. Visit USTDA's library
    It would be well worth your while to spend a hour or so in the USTDA Library on the 15th floor at our offices at 1000 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia, going over DM reports done by other contractors for the sectors you are focusing on. This review will give you an idea of the caliber of reports your competitors are producing, and will enable you to write your proposal to make clear how your services and report will be better. If you are not able to get to the USTDA Library, contact our library staff and ask them to send you one or two DM reports in a specific sector.
  4. Don't Become Discouraged!
    The competition for DM contracts is very keen, and it is entirely possible that you will not win your first competition. Between the information you learn from the Contracts staff and your review of the DM reports done by your competitors, you probably will be able to put together a winning proposal!
  5. Don't Limit Yourself to Just DMs!
    Small businesses with the requisite technical and engineering capability are also encouraged to compete for larger contracts with project sponsors that have received USTDA grants in host countries. These contracts can be for technical assistance or training programs or early investment analysis or feasibility studies. The competitions for these contracts are announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fbo.gov) and are noted on the Business Opportunities page on USTDA's website.

If your firm does not have all the expertise necessary to conduct a large program or study for a USTDA grant recipient, consider forming a consortium with other U.S. businesses with complementary technical and financial skills to enable you to compete for a contract.

Another way to get involved is as a subcontractor with a larger firm. When a competition is concluded, the U.S. firm that won the competition is announced on the Contract Awards page on USTDA's website. Listed with the name of the winning firm is a contract that you can reach to inquire about subcontracting opportunities. If a subcontractor has been specified for that particular activity, small businesses can also inquire about subcontracting opportunities in other projects, or discuss whether particular products or services could be specified in the contractor's report as the preferred source recommended to project sponsors.