✔️ In many instances, subcontractors — small business, especially — are strategically sourced by larger federal contracting bidders to provide speciality gaps or meet certain SBA 8a requirements.
✔️ Networking and visibility to federal contracting officers is key in navigating the fed bidding labyrinth — but there’s a fine line between that and ‘favoritism’; which in panelist Bob Wells made explicitly clear: “You can’t even buy contracting officers a cup of coffee.”
✔️ Money alignment, or ‘aligning to the money’, as panelist Michael Echols pointed out, is key to defining best-fit strategy to winning large contracts. Know your tech firm’s strengths and seek ‘subs’ or ‘primes’ to align gaps for winning bids.
✔️ GSA schedule is often referred to as the Amazon (dot)(com) of the federal government’s purchasing matrix. Once you’re ‘in the club’, Mr. Echols said, it’s easier to navigate the system.
✔️ Don’t get so easily discouraged, but be sure to attain Small Business Administration credentials as they’re necessary for most contracting considerations.
✔️ Don’t be afraid to file a protest in the event a firm feels something was awry in the bidding and decision-making process.
✔️ Small business is the engine powering the United States’ economy. There are billions of dollars earmarked just for small business bidders — find them, get your ‘hunting license’, and deliver on commitment. “It’s well worth it,” Mr. Echols said.
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