With the holidays upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about new solicitations in the pipeline for the next calendar year and your record of past performance. Almost every government proposal requires information on past performance, and it’s inarguably one of the most critical parts.
Why does past performance matter?
Past performance shows the government that your company is capable of performing the work it says it can. It’s also used as a discriminator in the evaluation and selection process to evaluate how well your company has delivered on similar programs.
For small companies that possess no past performance in a particular area or who are looking to break into a new government contracting area, it can be challenging to win federal contracts without relevant and quality past performance.
Build it and they will come
A smart way to build your past performance so that you can eventually become a prime contractor is through subcontracting. Subcontracting is one of the most highly used methods for obtaining past performance. With government requirements growing in size and scope, there is an enormous opportunity for businesses to perform specific needs of a larger contract as a subcontractor. Some very large contracts even require a subcontracting plan to outsource to small business subcontractors. Others require large companies to subcontract with small businesses.
One way to get your foot in the door is to team up with a reputable and experienced company that has experience working with the government in a specific area. Prior to the government issuing a solicitation, you can identify possible teaming partners, and reach out to them either by cold calling or sending emails, and then demonstrating to these companies how your business’ background and solutions can benefit their future work.
The proactive approach
Another way to land a subcontracting opportunity is to identify recent awards and reach out to the business that received the contract and find out whether there is an opportunity for a subcontracting relationship. A recent awardee of a contract may be seeking the resources that your company has to help fulfill the contract requirements.
Once you have earned past performance as a subcontractor on a federal contract, you can point to those federal projects as evidence of understanding how these type project requirements work, which will help establish your credibility as a federal prime contractor.
About the Author:
Stephanie Fine, Esq.
Stephanie Fine is a Proposal Writer for Federal Contracts and Training. She is responsible for managing the proposal processing including preparing proposal responses and acquiring new business opportunities, and the development of the pipeline used for solicitation tracking and proposal development. She is experienced in business development and proposal management and also worked as a practicing attorney in commercial litigation and insurance defense.