While pursuing prime contract awards is a lucrative means of spending your time, winning subcontracting opportunities can oftentimes be just as valuable. It’s also a fantastic way of getting your foot in the door with experience that could open up more prime contracting opportunities in the future. We talk a lot about the importance of past experience; whether you’re putting together your capability statement or responding to a sources sought notice, establishing prior work done is critical to success in the government contracting marketplace. If you’re unsure of where to even begin with becoming a subcontractor, read on below to find out the basics.
Determining Prime Contractors
Take a look into who the major prime contractors that do significant work for the federal government and see if any have obvious opportunities where your company may be able to offer services. For example, if you’re a company that builds construction equipment, identifying larger construction companies that are already taking on federal contracts is a good first step to take. This can be difficult, however, as you must be looking at companies not just in your local area. One resource to take a look at FBO.gov under the “awarded contracts” search.
Doing Your Research
It’s important to get a good understanding of the company you’ve identified. This includes a general understanding of what contracts they have been awarded in the past as well as what their goals are.All large companies in the federal marketplace must have small business and diversity initiatives; this is now enforced by the federal government measuring the effectiveness of large primes working with small businesses who may even have online tools or resources for small businesses to get into contact with them. Be on the lookout for any third-party certifications that they may require.
Finding the Right Contacts
Determine if there’s a small business liaison officer or diversity officer that works within the company. If not, you may be able to ask for a small business subcontracting plan administrator. This person or department is typically responsible for working with any subcontractors and engages with small businesses.
Working as a subcontractor isn’t too dissimilar from working as a prime contractor. When you reach out, remember that it may take some effort to engage with a company and that you ought to use the same marketing tactics you otherwise would, including using a targeted capabilities statement, noting what areas you believe you can be useful in. This is also the time to ask specific questions about bidding opportunitiesand what the process may look like. After some time, you will want to follow up—just like when you work with the government, you may be one of hundreds subcontractors out there, so it’s important to distinguish yourself in this competitive market.
Utilizing Social Media
Make sure all of your major social networks are up-to-date with the correct information. The same should be true of your website. Take the time to connect with the company on LinkedIn by following their company as well as connecting with any employees you may have been in direct contact with. This is an easy way to show that you are serious about this subcontracting opportunity.
If you do end up working as a subcontractor, be sure to ask if there are any other expectations you may need to know about. There are times when you begin a project where you will realize your expectations don’t match up with reality and you may be asked for more than you initially thought. Another thing to inquire about is payment; will payment happen a number of days after you submit your invoice or will payment occur when the client pays the prime contractor? Clearing up these details from the get-go is important when you begin winning subcontracts.
Government Contract Proposal Assistance With TargetGov
If you want to increase your revenue, fine tune proposals and bids, see results from your business development contact TargetGov today. Our clients have won over $4 billion in contracts—just in the last 6 years alone. If you need expert consulting services and business development products to put your business on the map, look no further than TargetGov, a trusted expert capable of helping you increase your revenues and profits In the government marketplace.