If you're serious about scaling your business and growing your revenue through federal contracting, then you CANNOT overlook subcontracting.
Sub-Contracting Leads to Prime Contracting
Sometimes the path to contracting success is more circuitous than we'd like it to be.
When preparing your business for subcontracting you must take the time to develop your brand and make sure you have some form of Past Performance. Even if you haven't decided to step into the Federal Marketplace as a government contractor yet it is still smart to prepare a subcontracting plan for prime contractors. Subcontracting is a great way to build your experience and make an easy transition into becoming a government contractor. For example, if you are a new construction company it would be smart to work for other existing government contractors to build your Past Performance.
According to the the Small Business Administration (SBA), the SUB-Net database is a listing of subcontracting solicitations and opportunities posted by large prime contractors and other non-federal agencies. SUB-Net has been used by state and local governments, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, and even foreign governments to post solicitations and identify small businesses.
For small businesses not quite ready or capable of performing as a prime contractor, subcontracts can be an excellent way to break into the Federal contracting market. While searching for subcontracting opportunities is in some ways similar to searching for prime contracts, business owners will need to adopt a few different strategies and visit a couple specialized databases in order to stay on top of subcontracting leads.
Government contracting can prove to be an excellent vehicle for growth for many struggling businesses. However, for some small businesses or inexperienced vendors, prime contracting may be a difficult goal to reach. Either due to the scope of the contracts or the business’s inability to meet the demands of the contract up front, entering the Federal market as a prime contractor may simply not be an option available, especially if the business is trying to recover from economic hardships. This does not mean such firms must be excluded from the wealth of opportunities Federal contracts present; these businesses may still find success by pursuing subcontracting opportunities instead.