Partnerships Are Force Multipliers For Small Business
Developing partnerships with diverse companies, especially to gain niche capabilities, is one of the ways small business can be competitive, even on prime contracts. But when small businesses do partner with multiple subcontractors, experts recommend certain steps, not only to protect the business but also to be seen in a positive light by acquisition officials.
Sharing their recommendations, a panel of small businesses and contracting officials came together at AFCEA TechNet Augusta to provide their advice on building and maintaining successful partnerships.
The first step before marketing yourself on a contact is to know your capabilities as they relate to the requirement, said Rufus Gates, small business specialist, U.S Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Gordon. And before building your team, he added, know the areas where you need partners to complement you. “Pay attention to advance acquisition plans and then be sensitive to how they will fit your wheelhouse,” said Gates.
Before the contract award, prepare for the capabilities briefing with your team, and have a game plan “like a coach does before a football game,” Gates emphasized. Make sure your subject matter experts for each area participate. “We want to know that all your team knows what they are talking about. Your proposal should mirror what you do during the briefing,” he added. The government wants to hear from the people who are going to do the work.