(April 22, 2015)  As a small business, you will have many opportunities to bid as the Prime contractor with a large business as your subcontractor. Often, you will be bidding on their incumbent contract that has been moved to a small business set aside. If you are a HUBZone or an 8a business, you should be doing this a lot! The challenge is to be a confident Prime while still building good relationships with the 800 lb gorilla. It will be trial and error, but remember these few things as you navigate the relationship and the proposal:

1.   YOU are the prime so it is YOUR proposal.
2.   Always have the last edit of the proposal - its your neck.
3.   Provide the subcontractor w/ ceiling rates for pricing inputs.
4   Try to bid about 25% below what the incumbent contract - even if the incumbent is on your team.
5.   Take the lead at the beginning of the process, and stay in the lead while still allowing the large company to kick-in a majority of the resources and offer expertise where you       don't have it.

Written by Shaanon Lindauer — April 22, 2015

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