Discover How You Can Find The Right Teaming Partner
and The Right Government Contracts To Bid On
By April Wennerberg, President, Project Masters Inc.
I believe as a small company one of our biggest challenges is finding the right teaming partner to work with to win government contracts. In the 15 years of running my own company, pre screening has ruled out eighty percent of possible teaming arrangements. In this article I will share some of my advice to help you avoid costly mistakes.
Step one: you need to define your vision and mission and stick to it. Remember as a small company you cannot be everything to everyone. You need to stick to what you do best. Focusing will help you find the right teaming partner; by finding other companies that compliment what your company does; you can win the right contract. Below is a sample mission and vision statement:
(Company Name) is an international petroleum company. Our mission is to achieve superior financial results for our stockholders, (the owners of our business).
Our vision is to be better than the Best, which means:
- All employees are proud of their work
- Competitors respect us
- Customers and suppliers prefer us
- Investors are eager to invest in us
- Communities welcome us
Continuous Quality Improvement is the process we will use to achieve our vision.
You should create a values statement and strategies for your company. This will help you determine the correct government contracts to pursue, with the right teaming partners. Another helpful tool for every company is to have a one page capability statement that includes things like: company abilities; NAICS Codes; a short Client list; Contract Vehicles; contact information; and past performance.
Step Two is identifying two or three government agencies’ to target at one time. As a small company you can only do so much. When you are in the process of selecting government agencies to target make sure they are “small company” friendly, that they buy your product or service, and have the money to procure the product or service you are selling. By going to Fedbizopps.gov this will help you find the types of RFP’s the agency is sending out for bid. This will let you know if you will need a teaming partner to win future work with this agency.
Step Three: is take time to research the company you are looking to partner with. You want to make sure they have the same ethics as your company. If it is a large company you might team with as a sub, take some time to research the web to find out how they have treated other small companies in the past. When you are on the web, make sure you search for information on the company name and on the names of the owners and Vice Presidents of the company. This will give you an overall picture of the company you are looking to deal with. One place to search is the “FBI” web site to see if they are under investigation. Check LinkedIn® and Facebook® and other public sites.
Step four: is chose the government contract you want to pursue and make sure it is still in the “pre RFP” stage. This might allow you time to meet with the government customer before the contract comes out on the street. Meeting with the customer before the RFP releases will give you a higher percentage of a possible win. It is helpful for the customer to know who you are before they start reviewing the proposal and read your name for the first time.
Step five: is if this RFP needs a teaming partner for your company to win the contract, then you need to find the right company. One way you can do this is through networking, existing databases of teaming members, and searches on CCR. With each new teaming partner I find it helpful to team on a small project first, just in case you have challenges and find you are not a good match.
Step Six: is make sure you have a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) before you share any company proprietary information. Depending on your relationship with your teaming partner you will want to have a clear and well defined “Teaming Agreement” or “Subcontracting agreement” that lists in detail the work your company will be performing. Make sure you have that in place before you give them any detailed information on how you can help them win the contract. I have seen many times where a company is the sub and they do not a have a well defined agreement in place which provides no protection if the work is awarded to their prime.
In order to make better decisions take time creating your mission, vision, values, and strategies. Do your home work and select the right agency to pursue and chose the right teaming partner. Make sure you have a clear and detailed agreement between your company and the teaming company.