Jim Mouyassar, president of Two Nice Guys Environmental Services, wants to start bidding on government contracts but doesn't know where to begin (Pesty Problem, No. 07910902, July 1991).
Mr. Mouyassar can subscribe to a publication for information on federal procurement possibilities: Commerce Business Daily (202-783-3238). It is fairly expensive, and he may find the same information, as well as information on state and local bids, for free at his local Small Business Development office.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Trade organizations can help Mr. Mouyassar. He should contact the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, in Falls Church, Va. (703-241-4004), and the Professional Lawn Care Association of America, in Marietta, Ga. (404-977-5222).
Adsit Landscape & Design
One answer is to contact the state economic-development department, which runs a bidding list and may have a bidder-procurement system. Mr. Mouyassar should also contact state and local procurement agencies. In some states the parks division and the housing division, for example, buy separately. The key is to get on their bid lists. Also, the legal section of the newspaper may publish bids from various agencies, with instructions on how to apply for the bids.
Business & Industry Support Center
Seminole Community College
In California there's a state contractors' guide to purchasing, available through the General Services Commission; other states have similar guides. For federal jobs, contact the General Services Administration, in Washington, D.C. (202-708-5804). Let them know what your services are and they will send you a booklet telling you what category you fall into and how to bid on projects. Be prepared to do a lot of paperwork and to wait for your money -- you generally don't get up-front costs. Gary Pietruszka
Woodworking by Degree
In her old hometown, Mary H. Koppel knew her customers and could judge their creditworthiness. Now that she's relocated, she needs credit checks on one or two new clients each month, but she can't justify the expensive subscription fee most services charge (Getting to Know You, No. 07910902, July 1991).
Ms. Koppel could find a regional credit bureau that will perform searches without charging a membership fee. Many bureaus offer the services she's looking for and charge on a per-report basis only.
Paul Jenney Jr.
Info Center Credit Bureau
Feeding Hills, Mass.
A database called NewsNet allows subscribers to access TRW credit reports for $36 a report, plus $1.40 for each minute on-line. A subscription costs $15 a month. It is located in Bryn Manor, Pa., at 800-345-1301.
Oliver C. Muoto
Louis Lorenz is looking for someone to take over the family business, someone who will respect the traditions he's built there over 80 years. Back in May he asked Network where he could find the right buyer (We Are Family, No. 05911092, May 1991).
Perhaps Mr. Lorenz is looking too far afield for prospective buyers. If he wants someone who will nurture his business, why not look within? An employee buy-out could be his answer. Banks and SBA offices can assist in structuring such a deal. Mr. Lorenz could get a good price for the business, and he could keep his knowledgeable employees and provide them with new incentives to grow the business. He could stay involved as a consultant, too. It's almost like "keeping it in the family."
Charles H. Scruggs Jr.