Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)

Guide to Marketing to the DoD

A Step-by-Step Approach to the DoD Marketplace

  1. Identify Your Product or Service: It is essential to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC)External Link codes and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)External Link codes for your products or services.
  2. Register Your Business
    • Obtain a DUNS Number: The Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number is a unique nine character identification. If you do not have a DUNS Number, contact Dun and BradstreetExternal Link to obtain one.
    • Register with the System for Awards Management (SAM): You must be registered in System for Awards Management (SAM)External Link to be awarded a contract from the DoD. SAM is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. SAM affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices. Beginning July 29,2012, SAM assumed all of the capabilities and functions of CCR, FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. Small businesses will now only need to register with SAM. Contracting officers, contract specialists, etc. utilize SAM to identify small business concerns for potential prime and subcontracting opportunities.
  3. Identify Your Target Market within DoD: Contact Small Business Professionals within the ARMYExternal Link, NAVYExternal Link, AIR FORCEExternal Link and other Defense Agencies (ODAs).
  4. Identify Current DoD Procurement Opportunities: Identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by checking the electronic version of the Federal Business OpportunitiesExternal Link website, which can assist you in identifying DoD, as well as other Federal procurement opportunities.
  5. Familiarize Yourself with DoD Contracting Procedures: Be familiar with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)External Link and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)External Link.
  6. Investigate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contracts: Many DoD purchases are, in fact, orders on Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts. Contact the General Services Administration (GSA)External Link for information on how to obtain a FSS contract.
  7. Seek Additional Assistance as Needed: There are several important resources that are available to assist you in the DoD marketplace:
    • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)External Link are located in most states and are partially funded by DoD to provide small business concerns with information on how to do business with the Department of Defense. They provide training and counseling on marketing, financial, and contracting issues at minimal or no cost.
    • Electronic BusinessExternal Link (eBusiness) provides assistance on getting started in the DoD electronic marketplace.
    • Small Business Professionals: The Military Services and some Defense Agencies have Small Business Professionals at each of their procurement and contract management offices to assist small businesses, including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, small disadvantaged, and woman-owned small business concerns in marketing their products and services to the DoD. Among other services, these specialists provide information and guidance on (1) defense procurement procedures, (2) how to be placed on the solicitation mailing lists, and (3) how to identify prime contract and subcontract opportunities.
    • DefenseLinkExternal Link is the official web site for the Department of Defense and the starting point for finding U.S. military information online, including links to the Military Services and ODAs.
  8. Explore Sub-contracting Opportunities: Regardless of your product or service it is important that you do not neglect our very large secondary market, Our guide Subcontracting Opportunities with DoD Prime Contractors. This directory provides, by state, the names and addresses of DoD prime contractors, the names and telephone numbers of Small Business Liaison Officers (SBLOs), and the products and services supplied to the DoD. The report is generated from data mined through DoD Prime Contractor's contracts and subcontracting plans. Please note that the DoD OSBP does not maintain the data on this website. The directory reflects data as of September 30, 2005. We encourage you to investigate potential opportunities with these firms. Many also have websites that may be useful and we encourage you to explore teaming options. In addition, many of the larger organizations may have subcontracting opportunities at the lower tiers (beyond the first and second tiers).

    The SBA's SUB-NetExternal Link is another valuable resource for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Solicitations or notices are posted by prime contractors as well as other government, commercial, and educational entities.
  9. Investigate DoD Small-Business Programs: There are several programs that may be of interest to you such as: Veteran-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, HUBZone, Small Disadvantaged, Woman-Owned, Small Business Innovation Research, Small Business Technology Transfer, Mentor-Protégé, and Indian Incentive. Information on all these programs is available on the DoD Office of Small Business Programs website.
  10. Market Your Firm Well: After you have identified your customers, researched their requirements, and familiarized yourself with DoD procurement regulations and strategies, it is time to market your product or service. Present your capabilities directly to the DoD activities that buy your products or services. Realize that, like you, their time is valuable and if the match is a good one, you can provide them with a cost-effective, quality solution to their requirements. Additional helpful resources, posted on our website, include Government Contracting: The Basics [PDF] and Marketing to the Department of Defense: The Basics [PDF].