(August 26, 2014) We have heard from more than a few Federal Contracting Officers that small businesses should always respond to Requests for Information (RFIs) and Market Surveys that are in their area of core competency. Federal procurement professionals have consistently stated that Contracting offices are working with their agencies to allocate as much of the tight budgets toward small business as is possible and practicable. Contracting offices are working with (and sometimes against) program folks that are pushing for full and open. This might be large business bias or maybe they just don't know that there are small businesses that have the capability and resources to deliver the required support. We, as small businesses, have to respond to these RFIs and Market Surveys in respectable numbers if we are to help the Contracting Officers justify set asides. The follow-up is just as important, though. Make sure you are not throwing away valuable bid resources hours on activities that have no money attached. Any pre-solicitation opportunities that you respond to should end up in your pipeline and be aggressively tracked. There is no value in responding to an RFI and then not tracking the opportunity all the way through the procurement lifecycle. Once you submit an RFI response, maintain regular contact with the Contracting Specialist or Officer to stay in the forefront of their minds as a small business interested and capable of performing the work.