How to Search for Subcontracting Opportunities
So you have decided to look for teaming opportunities within the federal government. Whether as a subcontractor looking for a prime or the other way around.
Federal Subcontracting Databases
One of the databases maintained by the federal government is called SubNet. This database is handled by the SBA and is where prime contractors can post opportunities where they are looking for a small business. This often happens because they have a small business subcontracting plan and are required to show they are looking for small business concerns to reach their goals.
The limitations of this database are that a prime contractor has to make the post, however, there is a business directory included where you can search for large businesses that have put themselves out there.
The other limitation of this is that it only lets you search by a single state or territory and not all over the United States and its territories.
The General Services Administration (GSA) also has its own Subcontracting Directory that you can use to find primes. This also allows you to search by state or territory. It contains the contractor's name and a phone number where you can reach them at.
The other subcontracting directories that have large primes that are required to have a small business subcontracting plan are with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Transporation (DOT).
SAM.gov and Award Databases
Another way to search for subcontracting opportunities is by using contract awards. SAM.gov and the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) are good tools to look at when trying to find a prime vendor that you can work with.
While they have not put their names out there directly, depending on the size of the contract, they may be looking or have been looking for small businesses that they can work with.
It may also be useful to check individual department and agency websites for award notices and subcontracting opportunities. The DOD’s lists contract award notices to facilitate subcontracting to small businesses.
Networking and Industry Events
Many prime contractors refrain offer their subcontracting opportunities to companies they have built a relationship with. With this in mind, it benefits you to try and make connections with these larger companies in your industry by networking.
Networking will help showcase your capabilities and talents, which can increase the likelihood that one of them may reach out to you or that you may find someone to team with. For similar reasons, you should attend contracting and industry-related events such as seminars and business matchmaking functions. Building relationships is a key to finding success in government contracting.