So, you want to break into the federal market, but where do you start? Federal projects are posted on FedBizOpps, but this is a very competitive bidding pool. Also, each agency website also has a Business Opportunities section. It is daunting to keep up on federal bids and often times, GSA contract holders wonder if all this trouble is worth the effort.
There are several third party companies that are a clearing-house for posted federal bids, and using one of these agencies can greatly automate the process. Almost all services offer a free version of their service, but free trials are only to showcase the paid service and are not a practical option.
As a service to my readers and customers, I am pulling together information and commentary on the top bidding services.
Fed Bid Speed
Free Trial, Single User for $19/month
Bidspeed is web-based software that manages federal opportunities by holding all documents in one place, offering follow-up reminders, and keeping notes on projects. Bidspeed offeres direct integration with FBO, but does not mention Agency, State or local government opportunity integration. No long term contract required.
I was impressed with FedBidSpeed’s dashboard and the Bid Management aspect to it, allowing for a team of federal salespeople to work together. However, this tool is also great for a small business where only one person will be managing federal bidding.
This is a local company to me, and I sat down with one of the owners, and was very impressed with the vision for the service, and their philosophy on constantly improving and updating their services, which are very affordable, and in my opinion, the best on the market. I recommend trying FedBidSpeed out, with their Free Month Trial.
Free Trial, Quotes Upon Request
GovEdge pulls bid data from FedBizOpps, state and local websites and makes the information very easy to manage. Features allow users to build and organize sales territories, receive automatic notification of new opportunities, and access competitor information. Input also offers support and training for paid customers.
Offered Free from the Federal Government
FBO is the major place that third party services gather their opportunities from. If you spend some time to learn the filtering, you can receive interval emails to notify you of prospective projects for your company. It is good practice to look out for signs that a project is “claimed,” where a company is already a heavy favorite, and the purchasing agent is only going through the legal process as a formality.
Various Packages, $41/month for federal, State & Local
Their most popular package notifies you of the most recently released bid opportunities from Federal, State, City and County governments as well as special agencies. Their focus is on being the best at gathering the bids, and organizing the information by either industry or region.
5 Free Leads, Custom Pricing for Regions/Industries
With the Onvia Online Database you will receive daily notification of government, commercial, and residential project opportunities and leads related to your business. Annual subscriptions are based on geographic region and are fully customized to ensure that the information you receive is timely, some training included.
Free Bids Account, $39/month, $97/quarter, $350/year
Their Free Bids Account gives you access to federal government bids updated daily. Our Paid Bids Account gives you access to the federal government bids plus all the state and local government bids. They also allow you to search the database of bids, which is likely the most helpful feature if you are looking to target a small niche market.
Free Market Analysis, No Prices Posted
BidNet’ s specialty is tracking government buying and planning at the local, state, and federal level. Much like Onvia, BidNet creates custom profiles and email alerts, which contain the opportunities which match a company’s specific needs. BidNet services offer a function to identify which agencies are buyers of your products or services.
This was definitely an interesting project. I highly recommend using some form of a bid matching service, even if you just use the free FBO notifications. State and Local opportunities might be helpful, and if you are interested in them these services can save a good deal of time and grief. Services that include organizational features are interesting, because they weren’t around a few years ago. Keeping track of the projects you have bid on is a real value-add. Hope you find this helpful, and please post your thoughts and opinions.
Bid Sync, Free Registration, 6 months for $389, 12 months for $499
BidSync sections their bids by region and agency. With the paid service, called BidLync, with a number of beneficial services. BidLync offers Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), links to the agency pages for bids, Email notifications, and an unlimited number of users. BidSync also has automation services for government buyers.