The growth of small businesses has been a huge driver to the U.S. economy. To steal a line from the popular Geico ads, “Everybody knows that.” Well, did you know that in order to differentiate themselves, small businesses tend to concentrate on niche markets and provide highly specialized services or products? TeamPeople is a perfect example of this. We are a staffing company exclusively focused on media production and AV. If you want to add an accountant to your staff on a full time, part time or project basis – look elsewhere. But, if you want a talented creative person or a skilled technician in dozens of different media/AV related disciplines, we’re your company.
In the government sector, the growth in the size and complexity of procurements along with their commitment to promoting small business development, have made teaming a necessity. Companies team for a variety of reasons, chief among them; to meet all of the capabilities required in a particular procurement, or to meet a size standard or set-aside requirement. Big companies like Lockheed Martin or Booz Allen Hamilton to name only a few, often need to team with small businesses where opportunities they want have been set aside for small and/or disadvantaged vendors. The idea is that the small business gets to learn and grow with the help of the big business. It’s a great idea when it works in practice and that’s another topic for another blog. The best teaming partner is one you know and trust. It always helps when a relationship is already in place and the teammates share a common system of corporate beliefs and ethics. A good starting point is to define what each company is bringing to the table to service an agency’s procurement; the next step is usually to write a teaming agreement. The teaming agreement is a contract that spells out each company’s responsibilities in the proposal process and what will happen if a contract is awarded.
We recently teamed with a certified small disadvantaged business, an 8(a) in government parlance, on a support contract for a federal agency’s production department. Even though we were a perfect fit to bid on the contract alone, it was deemed an 8(a) set-aside. Therefore, an 8(a) company was required to be the “prime” contractor and perform over 50% of the work in any resulting award. Because the procurement contained a variety of IT related requirements, we reached out to several companies we know with solid IT qualifications and identified a teaming partner.
The government is not the only “company” where teaming makes sense to win business. Private-sector opportunities can also be complex and are often more focused on finding diverse companies to work with.
If you are interacting with other companies and see the potential for teaming synergies, please drop me a line at email@example.com. Similarly, if you hear about current or upcoming bid opportunities, we are always looking. Some of our best relationships and contracts have started with referrals from alert TeamPeople employees and freelancers.