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As hard as it may to believe, many businesses still underestimate the power of a well designed, informative website. On the other hand, savvy businesses understand the importance of having a web presence, including having a visually appealing website with relevant content, relative to their ability to establish a solid reputation and market their business. For example, how many times have you made instant judgments about a business based solely on its website, or lack thereof? The reality is that we live in a digital era and federal contractors, although not always subject to traditional sales/marketing processes, are not exempt from the need to have a web presence. With that being said, there are certain things/features that we would recommend federal contractor websites in particular should include.
As many of you know, a DUNS Number is a unique, 9-digit identification number issued by Dun & Bradstreet for each physical location of your business. The DUNS Number is also used to establish a business credit file for the business. Currently, a DUNS Number is required in order to bid on and/or receive any federal contracts or grants. A CAGE Code is a unique identifier assigned to suppliers to various government agencies, and is also a prerequisite to doing business with the federal government. To that end, Contracting Officers and other teaming partners may find it useful to know right off the bat that you have both a DUNS Number and a CAGE Code. Actually providing those numbers somewhere on your website just adds an extra layer of convenience in the event that a prospective customer/partner wants to look up your company's record(s).
2) Special Certifications or Licenses
To the extent that your company and/or key personnel employed by your company hold special licenses or certifications, that is something that should be publicized somewhere on your website. For example, you should highlight whether your business has: a general contractor, electrical contractor or other construction-related license; is ISO certified; or holds any certifications specific to your industry. In addition, if your business is an 8(a) BD program participant, is a WOSB, is a SDVOSB or is HUBZone certified, those are things that should be clearly identified somewhere on your website, preferably on the home page. Certifications are important and provide companies with a competitive advantage and should therefore be highlighted on both your website as well as any marketing materials your company utilizes.
3) GSA Schedules or Other Contract Vehicles
As federal contracting gets more and more competitive and as different contract vehicles become the government's preferred method of contracting, whether you have access to a contract vehicle will certainly provide your business with a competitive advantage. Thus, to the extent your business is on the GSA Schedule or other vehicles such as SeaPort-e, OASIS, 8(a) STARS II, Alliant, Alliant Small Business or VETS, those are all things that you should display prominently somewhere on your website.
4) Past Performance
You would be surprised at how many websites we visit and leave having absolutely no idea what it is that the business does. Teaming partners and Contracting officers don't want to spend a lot of time trying to investigate what your company does. Rather, they want to be able to quickly determine what it is your company does and what past performance your company has in different areas. In fact, we recommend you create a separate page where you briefly highlight specific past performance experiences on a variety of different projects. This section of your website can be used in conjunction with your capability statement but should be used as an opportunity to provide more narrative/details than is usually contained in the capability statement.
5) Capability Statement
If you are a federal contractor or are thinking about getting into federal contracting, you should already have a capability statement (or even multiple capability statements depending on how many business lines you have). We have seen some contractors make their capability statement(s) available on their website either as a jpg or pdf file and we find this to be a particularly effective method of easily enabling website visitors to learn more about your company and its core capabilities.
6) Points of Contact
While it may seem self-explanatory, we have been to numerous websites that don't provide contact information and/or the information is outdated. It goes without saying that unless you actually provide your website visitors with updated contact information, you are probably missing out on business opportunities, so please make sure that you are: (1) constantly updating points of contact; and (2) designating the appropriate individuals as points of contact (i.e., individuals that are responsive and qualified to respond to corporate inquiries).
While there are other tips and techniques that we would recommend when it comes to your company website, these are just some of the ones that come to mind first. If you have any questions about these tips or additional things that you could do to make your website more appealing, please contact us at: (808) 369-9710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.