Find the Most Promising Partners

Getting on a team

  1. Your first contract will often be a sub-contract: We can’t find good data on this, but after talking to hundred of government contracting companies we estimate that:
    1. For 75% their first contract was a subcontract to another small business
    1. For 90% sub-contracting accounted for the majority of their revenue in their first four years
  2. To be a sub you have to find a prime: We recommend identifying at least three promising small businesses who might sub-contract work to you
  3. How to choose the most promising primes:
    1. Size: We recommend choosing small businesses. Subbing to large businesses is challenging
    2. Existing relationships: Prioritize small businesses where you have existing relationships
    3. Doing similar work: Choose companies that are doing work in your industry. If you do cyber security, and they do construction you probably can’t work together
    4. Customer traction: Choose businesses that are already working for your target sub-agencies

Finding promising partners

  • Filter the data: This exercise is very similar to the customer identification exercise you just did, except that we are going to add the sub-agencies you are interested in. So select a saved search or dial in your filters:
    • Your keywords
    • Codes
    • Location
    • Promising sub-agencies
  • Identify promising partners: Under sub-agency we will show you:
    1. The small businesses that have won work in your industry at that sub-agency
    2. Under each business we will show you information on their recent contracts
  • See if you have any existing relationships: Using the LinkedIn analysis we also try to map your connections to the most promising partners
  1. Selecting the most promising: Look at the companies and select based on:
    1. Value: The volume of awards they have won (NOTE: the data only includes awards that you could potentially sub on)
    2. Similarity: Click on prospective partners and look at the contracts they have won to make sure their work is close enough to what you want to do to create opportunities for collaboration
    3. Connections: Prioritize companies where you have existing connections

NOTE: Identify connections at contractors

  • Figuring out which of your LinkedIn connections work at promising primes is really challenging (mostly because people don’t write their employer’s names consistently). SO:
    • If we are in doubt about whether someone works at a potential prime we say they do, so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of your connections listed at the wrong company
    • If this happens just ignore those connections

Saving the promising ones:

Add promising connections to your FedScout Relationship Pipeline

As you find promising partners, and people at those partners add them to your pipeline

Rants and Reflections

My unscripted thoughts after coaching hundreds of small government contractors over the last 10 years

Video Transcript(s):

Odds are that your first contract will be as a sub to another small business, so you need to find small businesses you could work with, and start building relationships with them.

And, FedScout makes this easy. Click on the partner button below and FedScout will show you all the small businesses in your industry that have won work at one of your selected sub-agencies.

And if you’ve uploaded your linkedin connections we'll do our best to identify people you know at each small business.

And like with customers, select the companies and the people that you want to target and we’ll add them to your relationship manager.