Niche Markets and Contract Opportunities

The PTAC at SAP&DC works with clients to maximize their market potential and identify opportunities that create sustainability while supporting innovation and small business growth. The PTAC often matches clients with feasible niche contracting programs then provides one-on-one assistance guiding the firm through the processes assuring their responsiveness.

A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a given market. By definition then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. Ultimately, a niche market is a narrowly defined group of potential customers. Since the government buys virtually every product or service the marketplace provides opportunities for firms with innovative products or unique capabilities.

The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program are two contracting niches that provide firms a forum for introducing new technologies or demonstrating problem solving abilities. For specific program information please visit, http://www.sbir.gov/ .

The General Services Administration Center for Innovative Acquisition Development (CIAD) was established to provide a broad spectrum of professional services and product solutions to its end users within the federal government. For specific program information please visit, http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21382 .

In addition to niche programs that are specifically designed for introducing innovation, firms have the option of entering the government marketplace by performing as a subcontractor and partnering with established prime government vendors. The federal government has a legislated policy that states, “Small Businesses shall have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the performance of Federal contracts”. Federal contractors who receive contracts valued at $650,000 (or $1,500,000 for construction) are required to carry out this policy in the awarding of subcontracts to the fullest extent consistent with the efficient performance of the contract. The PTAC assists clients to navigate through the process of identifying viable subcontract opportunities and the means to effectively create partnerships or teaming arrangements. For additional information regarding the requirements and benefits for becoming a subcontractor reference the PTACs Becoming a Subcontractor Tool.