Tip Tuesday: How to Get Government Subcontracting Opportunities

SAM Directory Blog


This tip comes from a blog post that was originally published at https://sam.directory/blog/how-to-get-government-subcontracting-opportunities/. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact your KYPTAC Consultant. Not a client? Sign up here.


Subcontracting Can Be A Great Opportunity To Get Into Working With The Government

We have already discussed how the United States government is one of the most powerful consumers on the planet and government contracting is a lucrative billion-dollar marketplace.


However, if you are a fairly new business, it might be wiser to begin as a government subcontractor.


This means that you are working with a Prime Contractor that is working directly with the government, instead of the government itself. A good working relationship with a prime contractor can help you gain experience and knowledge that is always valuable to young companies. It helps you access how ready your business is to take on the challenge of government contracting.


Subcontracting Has Many Advantages For Less Experienced Businesses

Subcontracting with a prime contractor rather than the government means that you do not have to worry about the strict rules and regulations that are part of working directly with the government. This is because the subcontractor is actually answerable to the prime contractor, not the government. Luckily, prime contractors are always on the lookout for companies that can help them complete these important government projects.


Federal Contracting Also Makes Prime Contractors Want To Seek Out Businesses That Are Traditionally Disadvantaged

This means that prime contractors are on the lookout for talented businesses that are owned by women, minorities, and veterans. This provides opportunities for these groups in federal contracting that might not be available in other markets. Also, it is not unusual for prime contractors to be very loyal to their subcontractors and give them several avenues for repeat business. These are incredibly valuable relationships and firms should develop a strategy for how to approach these types of potential partners.


So, How Does A Small Business Successfully Start Relationships With Key Government Contractors?

The first step is to become familiar with the government marketplace. Do your research and become familiar with the terms that are commonly used in that industry. Then study the different regulations and become certified with the government, if necessary. You could also attend government trade shows to better understand the needs of particular government and state agencies. This will help you identify the needs of prime contractors and any niches that your business could fill.


Locate Key Prime Contractors

Federal prime contractors can be found at this Small Business Administration site at this site: https://www.sba.gov/document/support–directory-federal-government-prim is a great place for small businesses to find prime contractors who are looking to fill subcontracting requirements for government contracts. Companies can also go to http://web.sba.gov/subnet/ to find prime contractors who directly announce what their needs are for their current jobs for the government. This is a great tool for you to identify a prime contractor that will make a good match for your business.


Do Research On The Company That You Have Chosen

The prime contractor’s website is a great source of information. This will help you understand their company better which always makes a great impression.

After you learn about the prime determine the product or service that you can provide to fulfill their needs for the government contract. Be able to articulate what you offer and how you are the most cost-effective option for the prime contractor.


Develop A strategy

Do not be too broad about what your company can do. This will make you seem unfocused. Specifically, outline to the prime contractor how you are the best choice for the job. Make sure you clearly define your niche.


This Is Not The Time To Be Shy About Your Company’s Accomplishments

Inform them about any awards or certifications that you have received. Explain to them how you have a strong reputation and reference any contracts that you have helped successfully complete in the past. This is the time to clearly position yourself as an asset to their project and inform them about your capabilities. These are things that help build your credibility as a subcontractor.


Remember That You Are Forming A Long Term Relationship And This Is Not Just A One Time Gig

You want to develop a strong alliance with the prime contractor’s company. It is on you to suggest teaming arrangements that will benefit both your businesses. Make sure the arrangement helps promote your company to other prime contractors and also to the government agency that is funding the project.


Closing The Deal

Request a visit with the prime contractor. Make sure that you prepare a presentation that will highlight why you are the right fit for the project. This is also time to meet the administrative people that you might be closely working with in the future. Ask them for overviews of past contracts and give them an audit for how your company can help them improve their bottom line.


Make sure you keep the presentation short and simple. Prove to the prime contractors of your reliability by showing them the following:

  • Financial stability

  • How you stand out in a competitive marketplace

  • Following up and being proactive.

These are the methods that will help you land the subcontracting opportunities you need to take your business to the next level.