The biggest problem Riesinger sees in procurement is businesses unsure of how they should bid themselves.
“As a business, you have to know your strengths, and you have to know how to put them together into a bid,” said Riesinger. “There’s a lot you have to consider when making a bid. Businesses don’t always see the big picture.”
For bids, businesses have to carefully consider a number of costs and possibilities.
“You need to be able to show how your bid was created.”
While calls for state bids are posted online, the process for local bids can vary from county to county. For Lowndes, the county posts calls for bids online and in The Valdosta Daily Times.
While the Procurement Academy is encouraging bidding, they caution businesses not to jump into it too quick.
“You can actually hurt yourself by going in unprepared, bidding before you know what you need to do,” said Gerhardt. “It’s much better for businesses to get the whole scope first.”
For each class in the Procurement Academy, VSU SBDC brings in speakers who are experts with various subject matters. The first speaker for the first class this past Wednesday was Lloyd Atkins. A consultant with the University of Georgia’s SBDC and the Office of Minority Development, Atkins talked about mapping out a business plan.
“The biggest things that decide procurements are past performance and potential for success,” said Atkins. “That has to start with being a good business, a better business. You can’t get a contract without being a good business, and when you get it, you have to be responsive and responsible.”
While the highly competitive marketplace for government contracts might not be for every business, Atkins stressed that that’s a decision for each individual business to make.
“Not all business is good business,” said Atkins. “But you have to be in touch with your own business. And that’s a tough lesson for some people to learn.”
On top of teaching classes, Atkins looks forward to learning from future speakers.
“We’re teaching businesses to improve generally, first, then about how procurement works and how they can position themselves in the marketplace.”
More information: VSU SBDC can be reached at (229) 245-3741.