Break the Government Contracting code using an OSDBU! Small business specialist! – Eric Coffie

Break the Government Contracting code using an OSDBU! Small business specialist! – Eric Coffie

– Hello and welcome. You ever seen this letter before, OSDBU? Okay, let me tell how’s it’s pronounced. Osdbu. It’s pronounced Os d bu. So when you think of that,
what do you think of? The FBI? CIA? When I think of OSDBU, I think of this little creature ostrich. Today’s video, we want you
to think of small businesses and helping hands. So when we think about
OSDBU, we’re gonna talk today about what is the Office of Small Disadvantaged
Business Utilization? That’s what ODSBU is. And that’s where you will find your small business specialist. So stay tuned, watch this video, you’re gonna learn the
benefits of the OSDBU, how they help you, what
kind of things can you do with an OSDBU, when do you call them, when’s the right time to
start working with them. This is one of the very key ingredients to putting together your marketing plan for going after companies
in the federal marketplace. So quiet, stay tuned, watch this, this is gonna be a really good one. (funky music) All right, so what the heck is an OSDBU? OSDBU stands for Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. And in today’s video,
we’re going to discuss who are they, what do they
do, why do I need them, how to find them and when should I call? And then we’re gonna
take it a step further and we’re gonna get you
prepared for the actual day of the meeting, give you
some expectations to set, and then what to do following
up with the meeting, okay? So the first thing, let’s
jump in, who are OSDBU? OSDBU by now we should know stands for the Office of
Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. They’re essentially the
small business office for each federal agency. And I would say, let’s
take it a step further, that they’re the first point of contact that you want to make when speaking with a government agency, okay? Now here’s a sample chart
taken from CMS’s website, and essentially it talks about how they look at achieving small business goals through collaboration. So at the bottom you see
the SBA and the OSDBU, and then at the top, CMS. And effectively, it’s
supposed to be a win-win-win, a trifecta for everyone working with their contracting officers, the OSDBU small business specialist and the program center representative on behalf of the SBA. So what does OSDBU actually do anyways? Okay, I would say they’re the liaison between the small
business entity, yourself; the SBA; and the government buyer, okay? I will go a step further
in saying they help prepare small businesses to do
business with their agency. And then last but not
least, they connect you within their network of
opportunities to organizations and people that help further
your particular mission. So why would you need an OSDBU? The first thing I would say
is when you want to gain access to the forecast list. And if you don’t know
what a forecast list is, I’ve got a slide coming up on it and I also have a special video dedicated just to forecast list alone. It’s a very important topic,
and so I want to make sure it’s covered in great detail. Now one is obviously you
need the forecast list. Number two is you want to
learn who is winning contracts and maybe looking for subcontractors. And the small business
specialist would likely know some of the players in that agency and who’s winning the
contracts on a regular basis, a consistent basis. And then you may want to learn about some of the non-public bid
opportunities out there, okay? The small biz specialist
would also know about those. And then last but not least
to find out who can help you grow within that agency, okay? So you want the small business specialist to also tell you where you can go and have introductions
made to your company and your service so that
they know what you offer and how do you start doing business with these particular entities. What is a forecast list? A forecast list, I would
say, is a wish list that basically it’s done
by every particular agency, it gets put into a
spreadsheet of all the costs, the contacts, any of the
products and services they want to buy in the
upcoming fiscal year. In short, it’s a list
of future upcoming needs and wants of projects for each agency in the federal arena. Now how do you go about
finding an OSDBU and/or these forecast lists
that I just discussed? All right, again, almost
every agency has an OSDBU. And then I would say you
can go at and/or you find the agency
that you want to business with, type the name of the agency
and the word OSDBU afterwards. So let’s just go here
and do a quick example. And I went to FedBizOpps
and I usually start here, because FedBizOpps right here at the top, you can click on agencies and
you can get a list of agencies really easily. Scrolling down let,’s pick an agency that actually has a lot of solicitations. And on this page we find
Defense Logistics Agency or DLA. So I’m gonna go over here to
Google and I’m gonna type in defense, so this is agency OSDBU. I’ve already got a hit pulled up. You see here it says DLA Office
of Small Business Programs. I’m going to click on this link and then you can read
through their website, DLA Small Business Home, their offers. Let’s see, tools and resources, no. I’m going to look at contact information for DLA small business. Okay, that gives you the
contact for their headquarters. And then here below, Contact DLA Component Small Business Offices. Let’s click on this listing and voila, here’s a listing of all
of the particular agencies within the DLA and their office
of small business programs. All right? So aviation, land and
maritime, troop support, energy, contracting
services, document services, and then here’s the headquarters. All right, so that was the
first way that we talked about. Now let’s go to and let’s just click on the
website and just type in the word OSDBU. And you’ll see here’s a listing and it comes up with 57 results from the Department of
Commerce, Department of Justice, Labor, Education, Transportation,
so what, six pages of it. So those are two ways in
which you can find the OSDBU. And then if you’re curious
about the forecast list, let’s go to acquisition central. That’s here at I’m gonna click on business zone and here it says Agency
Recurring Procurement Forecast. I’m gonna click on the
forecast and then right here at the bottom, you’ll have a list of all the procurement forecast. Again, I do have a
specific video dedicated just to forecast lists, so
if you want to know more about the forecast list, head
over and watch that video. The last option in terms
of discovering the OSDBU is to call the Washington
headquarters and simply ask the person at the headquarters
for the contact information for the particular OSDBU office
in your territory region. Here is a sample organizational
chart that I pulled off of the CMS website. And again, it talks about
here you’ll see at the bottom left-hand side CMS. Below operations, you’ll
see all of the different organizations and entities
within that agency and the names of the
small business specialists that represent each
particular organization. Now when should you call an OSDBU? Now that you know why
you want to call them, at what point should you call them? I would say immediately after you’ve built your target market list. And at that point, you’re looking at okay, I’ve got my target market list, I know who buys my products and services. Now what do I do next? Now, what you want to do
is get the forecast list to find out what are the upcoming projects that they are looking
to do in the near future and/or services or products
that they want to buy, okay? So that’s when you would call. The second reason I call
is when you’re ready to start actually doing contracts. And that goes with wanting
to actually make connections and inroads within that particular agency and schedule a meeting with
a small business specialist so you can start talking
about some of the reasons that we discussed in the previous slide. All right, now we know
what we’re calling for, we know why we’re calling. Now what do we do? Let’s get ready for the meeting. So preparation for the meeting. The first thing I’d say is take
your capabilities statement. Number two, make sure that you bring your agency forecast list to
discuss specific opportunities. The reason for getting the forecast list is so that you can identify
opportunities in the future that you would like to pursue, okay? So bring that with you. Number three, make sure you have a list of potential prime contractors
from your target market list that you’d like for that particular small business specialist to even help make an introduction for,
or at least advise you where you can go to an
event and maybe get a chance to know that particular prime contractor. And then number four, any
documents or certifications highlight what you do. So if you have any particular specialties, you wanna make sure you carry
that with you to the meeting. All right, meeting day, what to expect? Let’s kind of qualify this. So the first thing I have to say is the quality of the OSDBU person depends on their level of experience. Obviously, like any other
particular government agency, everyone’s not made the
same, some people are new and some people have a lot of experience. So the quality of that person is related to their experience. Number two, expect the
person to give you insight as to how the agency
buys goods and services. And moreover, particularly
what you’re proposing, right, so whatever your service
is or your product that you want to sell,
they’re going to give you some insight on how to sell
that part to their agency. Also, you want to expect
to receive some direction for the next steps to take
in terms of making inroads and connecting with people,
contracting officers, officials and other
contractors within an agency. Now what I would not expect
is I would not expect to get a contract, I would
not expect to get a referral, I would not expect the person
to remember me once I left, and I wouldn’t expect the
person to be impressed with my capabilities statements. Now that doesn’t say that you
don’t particularly go there or you don’t attend the
meeting and you don’t carry all of your information. Just remember that people are people, they’re human beings first. You’re not going to resonate
with every individual that you meet. However, the point is to make a connection and start taking steps
towards that direction. So post meeting. You want to take into consideration all of the recommendations of
the small business specialist. You want to follow with
the person after taking actual steps recommended by them. Also, you want to stay on top
of any specific forecast list, projects coming out in the near future. And then if they’ve recommended for you to participate any
particular industry event, make sure that you attend any and all of those industry events. And that brings me to an
experience share story about I would say maybe
six or seven years ago. We were working at a
homestead air force base and we were doing the lawn
maintenance contract there at homestead air force base, and then we actually went to
meet with the OSDBU person over at Patrick Air Force Base. And when we met with the OSDBU person at Patrick Air Force Base, by the way let me just go
ahead and qualify that, if you don’t know these
particular installations, they’re both in Florida
and they’re probably about a four-hour drive apart, right? So we’re in the same state. So we went and met with the
small business specialist over Patrick Air Force Base
and we let the person know that our services and what we were doing, and then we also let them know
that we were actually doing the landscape maintenance
over at homestead. And so that person gave
us a lot of literature, told us about joining SAME and participating in the monthly luncheons at the SAME events. And so when we left the meeting,
we left with the feeling that they didn’t really give us anything that made us happy or give
us warm and fuzzy, right? So essentially we left thinking okay, they just gave us a bunch of paperwork and told us to get out of there. Well, a few months later,
we get a phone call from that same small business specialist and they let us know that the
government particular agency who had awarded the contract for all of the landscape maintenance over Patrick Air Force Base was not happy with the contractor
who was doing the work. And so they asked us to
come up, meet with them and find a way in which we could step in and take over their existing contract. Well, to make a long story short, within probably a three
to four-month window, we had a negotiated contract
and we ended up getting the entire landscape maintenance contract over at Patrick Air Force Base. And that contract was valued
at more than six figures and then we maintained that contract until the contract ran
out and expired, okay? So that’s the story of how connecting with a small business specialist and OSDBU could yield some really
significant results. And the last thing I
want to leave you with is a quote by Zig Ziglar and it says, “It was character that got us out of bed, “commitment that moved us into action, “and then discipline that
enabled us to follow through.” So what I want to say to you
is trust in the process, right? So go out, get the target market list, go out, get the forecast list, and then schedule meetings with the OSDBU and start making yourself known within a government agency. As always, thanks for watching. Thanks for watching, welcome back. I hope you enjoyed that video on OSDBU. And now, you know what an OSDBU is. Again, as always, if
you have any questions or if there’s any other
videos you’d like to see, please send me an email,
leave me some information in the shownotes. [email protected] Subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on any of the
social media platforms. Again, as always, I hope you enjoyed, we’ll see you next time. Thanks for watching. (funky music)


  1. This was so helpful! The OSDBU is new to me. Here's what I'm going to do:
    1: Follow your steps with fidelity
    2.Get the target market list
    3.Get the forecast list
    4.Start making myself known within the government agencies
    5.Subscribe to your channel.
    Thanks a million ~Dr. Johnson

  2. If you have a contract to supply a client with a product (for example to the ministry of defence) do you need to buy the product from the manufacturer and then resell the product to your client or can you sell the product to the client on the manufacturer's behalf (and make a deal of some sort between you and the manufacturer)? Eithier way could you please tell me how to go about doing this please. Thank you in advance.

  3. Thank you, you make it very clear and concise.                                                            Sincerely,   bg

  4. Great video. I too offer similar content and it is nice to see the industry represented by quality businesses!

  5. Hello can a person get a government contract without a business? I really need help to participate in business acquisitions. Thank you

  6. Very helpful to the uninitiated. I’m at an agency in DC and had time to review this video before my OSDBU meeting. Thank you for this production.

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