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Get Included on Solicitation Mailing Lists

Another way of receiving bid leads is to get your company included on the Solicitation Mailing List (SML) of the specific buying offices likely to have a need for your product or service. The SML database lists the capabilities of businesses interested in selling to the government, and thus enables a buying office to find potential sources to meet its needs for products and services.

Recently, we've learned that some offices dealing with actions under $25,000 will still use the Standard Form 129, "Solicitation Mailing List," because many are not yet automated. So make sure you ask them if they still use the SF 129. With the federal government quickly moving into e-business processes, this method of finding bid leads will, most likely, eventually go away.

Once again, using the target list of prospective customers that you put together, make an effort to contact them. Be sure to contact the small business specialist at each agency to make sure you do what is necessary to be listed on the appropriate SML.

When the SML is extremely long, the purchasing agency may use only a portion of it for a particular acquisition and rotate the other segments of the list for other acquisitions. In such situations, the regulations require that a prorated number of small businesses be solicited.

Work Smart

Work Smart

Contracting for architect-engineering (A-E) and construction services follows a special procedure and does not use SMLs. For government contracts, A-E firms are selected on the basis of the professional qualifications necessary to perform the required services satisfactorily. Construction companies are selected in a similar manner. Firms interested in such work should file Standard Form 330, "Architect-Engineer Qualifications" (attainable from any federal government buying office or PTAC), with the agency responsible for the geographic area(s) or specialized area of construction in which the firm desires to work.

You can get SF 330 by going to the GSA web site. Use the drop-down menu under "About GSA" and click on "Forms." Change the default to "Standard Forms" and then look for SF 330. Or you can go to the business tools area of this site for the latest downloads.

Remember that sometimes there is a geographical limit on who will be considered for an award.

Business Tools

Among the Business Tools are Standard Form 330 and Standard Form 129. They are in Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf), and you will need the free Acrobat Reader to view and print the file.