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How to Bid on Opportunities in New York State

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

New York

With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1,210 billion, New York City is currently the world’s 2nd wealthiest city after Tokyo, Japan, whose GDP is about $1,520 billion. Thus, for prospective bidders in “the City that Never Sleeps,” this represents a uniquely lucrative opportunity to do business with the local New York government through the Invitation for Bids (IFB) process.

Now that Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Reopening plan is in force, over 70% of New Yorkers have returned to work, and bidders have many contracting opportunities to grab. From healthcare contracts to financial, technology, educational, and construction contracts, the Empire State boasts a host of competitive bidding opportunities that run into billions of dollars in revenue.

Here’s everything there is to know about how to bid on opportunities in New York State:

  • Complete Your SAM Service Profile

Much like in other U.S. states, a complex web of public procurement regulations guides the bidding on opportunities in New York State. In that case, the best way to put your foot forward as a bidder is to ensure that your business complies with all the state’s bid requirements.

Notably, agencies usually cannot approve businesses that have not completed their System for Award Management (SAM) Registration. Registration on the website is free and allows your business to become searchable.

To sign up for your account and complete your profile, you may need to enter details like your EIN, physical address, D-U-N-S number, NAICS code, and CAGE code. Usually, it’s best to enlist the services of bid experts who know what’s needed and what steps to take to avoid getting disqualified.

  • Explore NY Bids That Match Your Business

There are many online resources to monitor for contract opportunities your company could bid in New York State. First, you can find the contracts yourself by visiting your state’s bidding portals, municipal administration websites, and county procuring departments.

However, keep in mind that finding a list of bidding opportunities by yourself is much more time-consuming. With thousands of Invitations for Bid (IFB), Requests for Proposal (RFP), and even Requests for Quote) being published across the state every day, it’s not easy to keep up with them all.

Therefore, consider using a reputable bid service to help you identify perfect contracting opportunities aligned with your business. For example, if you’re looking to provide healthcare services in New York State, a bidding service will send you relevant contracts currently available for bid in your region.

  • Research and Plan Your Responses

The research and planning phase is critical when bidding for a high-valued NY bid. Take time to establish your company’s qualifications, experience, and resources to ensure it meets the needs of the contract at hand.

Gather relevant details from your own business plan and merge them with the contract bid-request information to tailor your response to the unique needs of the request. Also, pay attention to the mission and vision of the requesting company and its New York environment.

All this information will help you create an exceptional bid proposal that demonstrates your responsiveness to the IFB at hand. But, lest you forget—bid reviewers want to see that real thought and effort was applied to your bid proposal. As such, you should aim to set your response apart from the rest.


  • Craft a Killer Bid

Now is time to actually create your customized bid response. The “one-size-fits-all” rule is not applicable when bidding on opportunities in New York State –and any other U.S. state, for that matter. Instead, every requirement in the bid must be tied to its unique response.

Writing a compelling bid calls for meticulous planning, drafting, and refining to fulfill the bid request. You must be clear about your bid propositions. For that reason, go through the costs of materials, labor, and time frame in detail to submit a competitive bid. Also, make sure the costs are accurate and justifiable depending on the project at hand.

You can research past bids to get some idea of how winning bids should look like. Better yet, you can engage a professional bid writing service to do the job on your behalf. Remember, bids that do not provide all information requested will be rejected without further consideration.

  • Format Your Bid with a Compelling Design

Sometimes, writing a compelling bid is not enough to win you a New York State government contract. You may need to go a notch higher and ensure your bid’s design is a cut above the rest. For example, some bids need strict formats with predefined styles that must be followed to the letter.

As a result, make sure that your bid adheres to the required word/page limits. There is no need to change fonts, font sizes, and numbering unless specifically stated in the IFB. We find that many New York bid reviewers also value creativity above all else.

In that case, it’s best to design your bid with eye-catching visuals like charts, imagery, and infographics, so it stands out from the pack. By using these striking visuals, you not only give your bid a polished look, but you also demonstrate a high level of competence and confidence that bid reviewers hold in high regard.

  • Double-Check and Submit Your Bid

When all is said and done, double-check your bid carefully before submitting it. Make sure that you’ve responded to every question presented in the IFB. And also, follow all the rules to establish your professionalism.

In most cases, bids will include a checklist that you can use to meet all the requirements. So check that against your responses before submitting your bid to the relevant agencies. In addition, most New York government agencies seeking an IFB, RFP, or RFQ utilize online portals to deliver bids.

It’s in your best interest to learn how those portals work before submitting your bid. You can learn how to navigate government systems through the local Small Business Administration (SBA). While most organizations accept digital formats because they’re easily distributable to stakeholders, some prefer printed bids. Don’t forget to accompany your bid with relevant bid documents that satisfy the New York government purchasing departments.

  • Get the Contract Award or Request a Debriefing

Make sure you know when the New York State’s contract awarding agencies will issue the contract award. Set your calendars and give yourself ample time to prepare to fulfill the contract.

Of course, it’s doubtful that the project will begin immediately after the contract is awarded. However, making the necessary preparations in advance will help you set start dates and deliver on time, thus increasing your chances of winning future bids.

If your bid is unsuccessful, you can request a debriefing on the bid without getting offensive or challenging the decision. Ask the evaluation committee to go over your bid to determine what you did wrong. Feedback from New York State’s contract awarding agencies can be critical in preparation for your future bid opportunities.

If you're looking for an international well-experienced team, Tendi is here to assist you in each step of the bidding process. So book your free consultation with us today, and let's boost your business opportunities.

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