Newsroom HomeBlogsStoriesSoundtrack ProjectNewsroom ArchivesChamber Home Page

Doing Business with the Government: Tips from the U.S. Navy


Last month, I had the pleasure of conducting a small business workshop titled, “Doing Business with the Government” on behalf of the Department of the Navy (DON) during Memphis Navy Week.  I, along with help from Eric Terrell, the senior area manager in Memphis for the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Russell Toone from the University of Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) helped educate small businesses on how the DON's acquisition process works and what resources are available to assist them at the federal and local levels.

Although we could not reach out to everyone; the workshop was a success. To build on the success of the workshop, I wanted to present this blog for those of you that were not able to attend the workshop. The below information and resources will guide you in doing business with the government.  

In fiscal year 2016, the Department of the Navy, which includes the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, awarded more than $65 million in contracts to small businesses in the state of Tennessee. More than $24 million of those contracts went to small businesses located in the City of Memphis. Overall, the Navy awarded about $137 million in contracts to Tennessee, both large and small businesses in 2016.

While the above numbers are impressive, we are confident that small business can play an even bigger role in the DON’s acquisition process going forward. DON needs to expand additive manufacturing, adapt force packaging, grant rapid prototyping, and allow experimentation which creates opportunity for small businesses. We know that small businesses help support the warfighter by providing the products and services to support our Navy and Marine Corps sailors and marines.

The DON OSBP website contains information to help small businesses compete for opportunities to support our Sailors and Marines. It also provides links to the DON's 10 major buying activities, information on the long range acquisition forecast (LRAF) of those activities, DON OSBP’s strategic framework, and other resources that will help you understand the Navy and Marine acquisition process. You can also follow DON OSBP on Facebook and Twitter to get updated information on DON OSBP’s upcoming outreach.

In addition to our 10 buying activities, the DON Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, also provides opportunities for small businesses to solve tough naval capability and performance challenges by providing the DON with innovative solutions, cost savings, and schedule efficiencies.

As you can see, the (DON) is committed to building a robust industrial base by creating a small business friendly culture through policy, training, and advocacy. To create this culture, our office has been raising small business awareness amongst our small business and acquisition professionals and advocating for small business inclusion throughout the acquisition lifecycle.
However, we need your help.  In order to compete and win contracts with the DON you must do your homework. The below list are things that will help prepare you to do business with the government:

  • View each buying activities LRAF to find out which activities are buying the products and services your organization provides.
  • Attend an industry day, matchmaking session, workshop or conference to understand how Navy and Marine Corps acquisition process works. (A list of DON OSBP outreach events can be found here)
  • Contact your local Small Business Professional, SBA Representative and PTAC Representative to help you find out what local resources are available to you.

Small Business Professional at NSA Millington
Jeannie W. Johnson, NAVFAC Southeast/PWD Mid-South

Small Business Administration Area Manager
Eric Terrell
(901) 526-9300

Local PTAC
W. Russell Toone
PTAC Counselor, The University of Tennessee
(731) 425-4777

Last but not least, when you get a contract…. Deliver! I can’t emphasize this enough, your ability to deliver is critical to providing our Sailors, Marines, and their families the support, services and equipment needed to win the fight.

We believe that small business inclusion is, and will continue to be, an integral part of the acquisition process. It’s through the efforts of you, small business professionals in the field and other small business advocates that will help spread that message throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.

All the Best,


Emily Harman
Department of the Navy
Office of Small Business Programs  

Posted: 6/21/2017 3:17:38 PM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Navy, SmallBusiness

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment Subscribe

= six - eight

Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.