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Let’s Talk About Subcontracting

 In GovCon Tips

There are a handful of ways to get into the federal marketplace and one of these is being a subcontractor so let’s talk about subcontracting in this article. 


Subcontracting is probably one of the strongest ways to learn the industry and how to navigate your business in the marketplace. 

This experience provides contractors a critical viewpoint on how to handle certain contracts because when you are a subcontractor, you get to experience the necessary tasks to complete the assignments in the contracts.

These include understanding how to present the necessary specifications and how to submit these as well as building relationships with other contractors and decision-makers. 

“So, you’re being paid to learn and then you’re gonna be accumulating a wealth of documentation. You’re gonna be making relationships with people who can eventually be partners.”

However, the benefit of being a subcontractor will only be fully achieved if you’re out there on the job. These can’t be retained by just getting certifications and sitting behind a computer. You have to go out there in the field, do the work, and be willing to learn and get a grasp of things. 

“All this is going to be great for your arsenal of tools and your toolbox so that when you’re ready to step out and become a prime, you already have all the documentation. You know all of the ins and outs.”


There are a handful of sites that you can look for prime contractors and these include FPDS and USA Spending. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you will surely find prime contractors buying the services that you offer if you go into these websites.

The GSA also has a free tool which is the public category management dashboard that helps your search for prime contractors. In using this tool, you can easily look up the companies that have GSA schedules and pull out their information and reports depending on your criteria.

“Let’s take advantage of some of the tools that are already out here… That’s why we talk about subcontracting where all you have to do is find out who’s winning the contracts and reach out to them to become a vendor.”


If you are new in the marketplace, one way to increase your understanding of the federal arena is to find other contractors as well. It is key for each small business contractor to find each other and build a connection that might lead to various projects and more opportunities. 

Then, when you are given a project, even as a subcontractor or for other smaller projects, you must always deliver your tasks the way you are told to do so. Consider that by doing your task accordingly, you and the prime contractor together with the government agency are benefiting from each other. Other than that, this will also help you increase the length of your contract or be given more contract opportunities. 

“When people get a hold of someone like that, they don’t let them go. There’s been numerous cases where with my podcast guests we talked about them winning their first contract that was supposed to be six months that turned into 10 years.”

Also, you must view the problems in your business as a learning experience. When you are starting in your business, you are growing and because of this, you will also experience a lot of ups and downs. 

With this in mind, one of the major problems of new businesses is having a fund but this is not a hindrance for you to stop your business. Consider that as a new contractor, you are a huge risk to the bank. So, you need to pull yourself together and search for other ways to fund your business so that you can start working with the government. 

“A lot of people out here are tippy-toeing inside of contracting, right? They want to tippy toe in business like, ‘I’m gonna put my foot in and see.’ You can’t do that. It’s really hard to be successful by tippy-toeing.” 


If you want to watch the full video where we talk about subcontracting and other content related to it, then be sure to click the links below:

Let’s talk about Subcontracting

Explaining the rules for subcontracting small business contracts

Contact center SaviLinx experiences rapid growth in federal market as a subcontractor

028: Angela Terry – Small Business Administration Subcontracting Program Manager | Eric Coffie

Similarly Situated Entity helps Limitations on SUBCONTRACTING for small firms – Eric Coffie

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