"Government Contracting is NOT a Secret... It's Just a Process." Neil McDonnell

Do Your GovCon Homework

Learn the needs of your buyer, their mission and their priorities. 

Air Force

US Air Force

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US Army

US Army

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Vendor Databases
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DSBS Boot Camp

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US Coast Guard

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SBST podcast

Small Business Success Tips Podcast Series

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Research and training videos

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NAVY Related Podcast Episodes

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 28)

Summary: NAVSEA Deputy for Small Business Dan Duckwitz explains the importance of research and small business solutions that address the pain points of specific program offices, the complexity of the NAVSEA structure and the need for small business feedback.

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 24)

Summary: NSWC Crane Deputy for Small Business Matt Burkett presents the scope of contracts available in support of the mission of NSWC Crane, offers tips and techniques to research opportunities and reviews the primary acquisition procedures and vehicles used. 

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 21)

Summary: Emily Harman discusses developments in the Navy's Office of Small Business programs, how to develop strategic relationships with the 10 buying commands, developments in acquisition, subcontracting and how companies must demonstrate how they will further the Navy's mission.

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 23)

Summary: Before retiring, Emily Harman met with Neil McDonnell to discuss DOD’s annual Small Business Training Week 

Register in the Navy's Directory of HUBZone Businesses

HUBZone members are encouraged to review and register on the Navy's Directory of HUBZone Businesses. This fledgling HUBZone Directory from the Navy's Office of Small Business Programs is available to NAVFAC Contracting Officers to find HUBZone firms that want to work with the Navy.  The directory lists businesses by category, NAICS codes, bonding levels (if relevant), contact details and cross-categorized listings according to special status.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds R&D by small businesses and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program funds cooperative R&D between small businesses and non-profits, such as universities

Army Commands (ACOM)

  1. FORSCOM | U.S. Army Forces Command
  2. TRADOC | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
  3. AMC | U.S. Army Material Command
  4. AFC | Army Futures Command

Army Service Component Commands (ASCC)

  • U.S. Army Africa (USARAF)
  • U.S. Army Central (USARCENT)
  • U.S. Army North (USARNORTH)
  • U.S. Army South (USARSO)
  • U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)
  • U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC)
  • U.S. Special Operations Command (USASOC)
  • Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)
  • U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT)
  • U.S. Army Cyber Command (USARCYBER)

Meet the Experts | Army Panel (2018)

*video recorded Aug 13, 2018

Neil McDonnell invited three leading Army procurement experts together to discuss small business contracting with US Army Billions of dollars are expended annually in support of the Army’s mission. Most of the Army’s buying activities are in support of individual base requirements and considered local buys. Small Business Specialists are assigned to individual geographic areas.

Featured guests

  1. Tommy Marks | Director, Army Office of Small Business Programs
  2. Melea Crouse | Assistant Director, Office of Small Business Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, SWD
  3. Karla Babb | Small Business Professional, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District

Army 2028 | 3 Minute Overview

• watch video

• Read | US Army Vision Statement


Army Acquisition Forecasts  

Watch video 'How to Research Tobyhanna Army Depot'

 In these 'raw' videos, Neil shows how to dig to find basic facts, people to follow up with, track and learn from, links to other information that could be helpful to his client –all designed to prepare and refine the call plan sheet so they can be knowledgeable and ask the right questions and get real value from every meeting. 

U.S. Army CECOM – NETCOMResearch training with Neil 

Neil walks step by step to research and prepare your meeting with small business specialists.  In this example for CECOM – NETCOM, he shows how to uncover numerous sources for valuable award information and strategic goals even if when agency websites are outdated. 

U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command | Research training with Neil 

Neil walks step by step to research and prepare your meeting with small business specialists. 

CECOM – USAISEC  | CECOM’s Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Department of Defense’s premier sustainment center for C5ISR systems, ranging from night-vision devices to satellite terminals. The depot designs, manufactures, repairs, and overhauls critical C5ISR systems for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.

OSBP-Aberdeen Proving Ground

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HHS | Department of Health & Human Services

HHS Agencies & Offices

1. Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

2. Administration for Community Living

3. Agency for Healthcare, Research, and Quality

4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 

7. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

8. Health Resources and Services Administration 

9. Indian Health Service 

10. National Institutes of Health

11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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"Meet the Experts" Air Force

• video 

Featured guests:

  • Della Simmons, Small Business Professional, Elmendorf-Richardson AFB at Jber, Alaska
  • Mark Snyder, Director of Business Operations, 82d Contracting Squadron, Sheppard AFB
  • Tracy Nicholson, Director, AFSC Small Business Office, Tinker AFB

Air Force related podcast episodes

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 25) Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) | Sam Riehn

Summary: Sam Riehn explains how to identify Air Force program managers who buy what you sell, how acquisition is changing, and how small businesses with cybersecurity capabilities can take advantage of exciting new opportunities.

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 16) Brent Owens | SBA, PCR Area V (Hill Air Force Base, Utah)

Summary: Brent Owens discusses current trends in purchasing on Air Force bases, regional training for small business and contracting officers, the role of DSBS in market research and the SBA's All Small Business Mentor-Protégé program.

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 20) Valerie L. Muck | US Air Force Small Business Programs Director

Summary: Valerie Muck discusses the US Air Force Office of Small Business programs, how to develop strategic relationships with small business specialists, new developments in acquisition, subcontracting strategies and how companies must proactively convey how they can further the Air Force's mission.  

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 13) Sally Walton | PCR, SBA Area 5 (Albuquerque)

Summary: Sally Walton offers powerful small business contracting strategies, clarifies the scope of agencies, and demystifies important regulations and limitations of sub-contracting for small business set asides.

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 11) Colleen Burns |  PCR, SBA Area V (El Paso, TX)

Summary: Colleen Burns discusses the different contracting roles at agencies, how small businesses must be proactively building relationships, promoting their qualifications and researching opportunities, working with PCRs and specialists to open more doors within federal agencies and the importance of continuing education.


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USACE | US Army Corps of Engineers

Visit District websites to learn about their missions, types of services/supplies each procures, upcoming projects, solicitations and contract awards

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DHS | Department of Homeland Security

DHS OSDBU | Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard is the only military organization within DHS

The Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate manages a multibillion-dollar recapitalization investment portfolio of acquisition programs across 3 major product lines: Surface; Aviation; and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) systems. These programs are supported by 6 Procurement Centers:

  • Office of Contract Operations at Coast Guard Headquarters
  • Aviation Logistics Center
  • Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology Service Center
  • Surface Forces Logistics Center
  • Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center – Base Support and Services
  • Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center – Construction 

Learn More | US Coast Guard Acquisition (CG-9)  Washington DC

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Download USCG Forecast Spreadsheet 6Sep2020

NASA | National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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FREE GovCon Chamber Training

Neil McDonnell walks you step by step to find key facts and contracts to follow up with, track and learn from (see videos below) 


  • Flight Center NASA Small Business Offices
  • Glenn Research Center Strategic Action Plan
  • Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Points of Contact
  • NASA Shared Services Center‎ (NSSC)
  • How to Understand Docs Shared at Industry Days
  • How to Register Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Small Business Directory


Learn to Work with GSA

Video Series | Doing Business with GSA 

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Agency-Specific Vendor Databases

In addition to DSBS, some federal agencies maintain In-house vendor databases, usually maintained by small business specialists or contracting officers. 

EPA | OSBP Small Business Vendor Profile System 

  • The intended purpose of this database is to aid large prime contractors to find small and disadvantaged companies to team with the conduction of their business endeavors. This office does not validate the data within database and can not insure that the information contained in the database is current or correct.

Federal Reserve System Supplier Diversity Program 

NASA Vendor Database (NVDB)

  • Vendors can post capability statements and sign up for e-mail messages on Source Sought Notices, the NASA OSBP Newsletter, RFIs, or RFPs

Navy | Navy Electronic Business Opportunities (NECO)

  • Register with NECO to Submit Bids and receive daily procurement opportunities  Refer to NECO Guide

NCUA | National Credit Union Administration

NCUA is not required to advertise its solicitations in FedBizOpps.  Interested vendors should complete the Vendor Registration Form

NOAA | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

SEC Diverse Vendor Database

  • OMWI (Office of Minority and Women Inclusion) maintains a repository of information on diverse vendors that are interested in doing business with the SEC.
  • The SEC uses the database to conduct market research, and to disseminate information on the agency’s supplier diversity initiatives. For more information, please see the Supplier Diversity Business Management System.

SBA | Small Business Administration Subcontracting Network(SubNet)

  • The SBA Subcontracting Network System is designed to bridge the gap between businesses seeking small businesses and small business seeking contracting opportunities.

USACE Omaha District, Small Business Office maintains a list of vendors 'for market research purposes only'

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Strategic Plans and Meeting Prep


Neil provides free training to help small businesses become more visible to federal buyers when they 'google' for sellers in DSBS | Dynamic Small Business Search using live examples. In Cold Calls in Government Contracting | Learn to Cvercome Fear and Hesitation, he makes cold calls in real time.

In these 'raw' videos, Neil shows you a variety of research strategies to find important facts, opportunities and people to follow up with, track and learn from. Learn to prepare and refine your call plan sheet to be knowledgeable, ask the right questions and get real value from every meeting. 

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The Tide Has Turned

GovCon Chamber of Commerce *
 the 10 YEAR DECLINE of the
 SBA HUBZone Program 

After a dismal 10 year decline and never once hitting its 3% goal, the SBA HUBZone Program finally has a reason to celebrate. 

HUBZone-certified companies are  now responding to Sources Sought & RFIs in record numbers and winning more  contracts!

Thanks to the GovCon Chamber of Commerce everything has changed!

Neil McDonnell explains what triggered FY18's 24% growth of contracts over FY17 and how the Chamber is working toward exceeding those results in FY19.

* Note: HUBZone Chamber  of Commerce was renamed 
the 'GovCon Chamber of the Commerce' in 2019

**UPDATE | HUBZone-awarded contracts increased
to 2.05% in FY2018