Always A Sub-Contractor, Never A Prime? (09/04/2018)

September 4, 2018 - We have all heard the expression, Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride - and the same holds true in federal contracting when it comes to sub-contracting. Some firms are stuck in this role in perpetuity and never find a direct route to the customer. As a Sub-Contractor, Primes will dictate your price, typically much lower than even your discounted rates, making your margins ultra thin. It's not always the best place to be. So, consider the following:

1 - Secure a contract vehicle that your customer prefers such as a GSA Schedule to enable direct purchases;

2 - Pursue opportunities in the early "Sources Sought or RFI" stages before it graduates to an RFP;

3 - Give your customer another reason (in addition to your capabilities) to purchase from you such as a set-aside (SBA 8a, HUBZone, SDVO or others);

4 - Go after the "under the radar" opps that are below the $25k threshold and won't be posted for the world on;

5 - Strategically position your firm for opportunities at or below the SAT, Simplified Acquisition Threshold;

6 - Submit a competitive and compliant proposal and ask for a debrief to understand your areas of improvement;

7 - Network and attend events where you can meet federal decision makers;

8 - Join associations and organizations where you can meet federal decision makers;

9 - Repeat the steps above. Federal contracting takes time and grit!