It can be tough for a small business to win a Federal-level bid as a Prime. That’s not to say it never happens, of course, but the Government likes to know that bidders are qualified to do work of similar size, scope, and complexity, and that can be a show-stopper for both new and under-prepared firms. So as one of these small businesses, what do you do when you can’t get hired without experience, but you need experience to get hired?

Well, the first step is figuring out where you want to go, physically and agency-wise. Requirements and locations vary wildly between opportunities, and not all types of jobs are available at any given time. Second, figure out what your specific capabilities are in relation to the bids you found you wanted to pursue. Do you have everything you need to do the job, and can you outweigh the competition in doing so? Third, start cultivating Federal performance where you can – this typically means subcontracting with a Federal-level Prime.

In other words:

  1.  Determine where your company fits into the Federal space in a general sense (i.e., what agencies are issuing solicitations within your particular discipline and capabilities).
  2.  Determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) in your target space(s).
  3.  Locate firms with whom you can sub or partner.

Easy, right? Now get out there and win! But seriously, it’s a lot of work to get to a point where you can say you know precisely who you are (as a company) and just how you’ll fit in, and with whom. Even knowing what to do doesn’t make doing it any easier.

Fortunately, we at SAS know a lot about these things, and we’ve created three helpful programs to help businesses leap over the hurdles at each of the steps above.

  1. BidFinder: The SAS BidFinder program gives you a weekly report of relevant Federal solicitations in up to five of your NAICS codes, the perfect first step for any company figuring out where to look for opportunities (and possibly frustrated with eighty thousand unsorted FBO opportunity emails). BidFinder is a free application with an easy signup, day or night – just hit the form on our website at
  2. FedStarter: The SAS FedStarter program is the third step in the process. Designed for “fully identified” firms with a clear plan of action, FedStarter automates lead generation, provides qualified target data, and sends outreach emails to the interested vendors of the Federal project(s) you choose for the purpose of potentially teaming/mentoring on a Federal-level bid. Naturally, it’s an ongoing process – not everything happens all at once – so we’ve made it affordable too, starting as low as $500.00 per month with no contracts. You simply turn it on and off as your business dictates.

The best part is that these programs will fit most any company at whatever stage it happens to be in. If your firm already has a firm grasp on its SWOT and needs only to find potential partners, great! FedStarter’s your thing. If you’re just starting out, the free BidFinder program is an excellent way to get your bearings, very hands-off and automated. You get useful information that you can use at your own pace.

No matter what your situation is, we’re here to help you improve it.