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Optimized for Success: Maximizing Your SBA Profile

By Shawn Rogers, KY APEX Accelerator Procurement Consultant


This article was originally published in our monthly KY APEX Accelerator Newsletter. If you have any questions about this topic, your KY APEX Accelerator consultant is here to help! Not a client? Sign up here.

When marketing to the federal government, maximizing opportunities to stand out is vitally important. The Dynamic Small Business Search, or DSBS, is a database that houses small business profiles used by federal contracting officers to conduct market research. Prime contractors also use it to locate small businesses for subcontract opportunities. This article identifies optimization opportunities within the DSBS profile to maximize your company’s federal marketplace exposure. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains the DSBS database. When a business registers in the System for Award Management (SAM) and meets the SBA size standards to be considered a small business, a profile in DSBS is created using the information from the SAM registration. Having a comprehensive business profile is an advantage.

Optimization Opportunity #1 – Complete Your Capabilities Narrative

There are 350 characters available to maximize within this section of the DSBS profile. Create a concise narrative, leading with relevant experience and highlighting why your business has the expertise, knowledge, and equipment to succeed. Include product or service information and conclude with a listing of certifications, if applicable. Save generalized company information for the company website.

Optimization Opportunity #2 – It’s All About Keywords!  

Select keywords that accurately describe your company’s industry and the products or services offered. There should be a connection between NAICS codes and the keywords used to describe the business activity. Use specific terms and be descriptive. Be cautious with the use of acronyms.

Optimization Opportunity #3 – References (Past Performance)

The term “reference” in this context does not mean character reference. Instead, use company references. Per the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 12.206, contracting officers should consider past performance data from a wide variety of sources both inside and outside the federal government. If a business has performed work in the government sector, lead with that experience. If not, include commercial experience.

Optimization Opportunity #4 – Links Are Vital!

If you have a website, include the complete URL to the website in your DSBS profile. When populating this profile section, include the characters “https://" that appear before The best practice is to copy the URL from the website and paste it directly into the DSBS field. Also, take advantage of the option to include a link to your capability statement.

Do not let missing information within your DSBS profile cost you an opportunity. Along with resources available online through SBA Connect, you can tap into the free resources at the KY APEX Accelerator. Our team stands ready to assist you with maximizing your opportunities in the government marketplace. To be connected with your assigned procurement consultant, contact us at or register as a new client on the Kentucky APEX Accelerator Client Portal.


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