Think You’re Too Small to Bid on a Big City Contract? Think About Teaming.
By Denise Rodriguez Lopez, American Express OPEN Advisor on Teaming
Last month, over fifty New York City area small business owners attended the 2nd NYC Teaming event, a joint initiative between NYC Business Solutions and American Express OPEN under the “Compete to Win” suite of programs.
The event focused on the different types of joint venture arrangements (i.e., teaming relationships) that enable small businesses to win large contracts with government and corporations.
Below are my top tips from the event:
1. If you see an opportunity that you would like to pursue via teaming, take the RFP and deconstruct it to its basic requirements. Examine these components and determine what kind of assistance you may need in order to respond to the RFP. Once you have determined your needs, you are ready to seek teaming partners. Remember the elevator pitch from the 1st workshop? You need it now. Pitching your business or team to a potential client is all about “this is what I/we can do for you.” Pitching to potential teaming partners is all about “this is what we can do together.”
2. When vetting potential teaming partners, consider such factors as their:
Ø Years of experience
Ø Number of full-time employees
Ø Geographic location and area of service
Ø Positive past performance in your interested market
Ø Financial stability
Ø Necessary certifications or industry licenses required by the potential projects
Ø Areas of expertise and how they mesh with your expertise
Ø Reputation in the industry
Ø Membership in industry or trade organizations
3. Properly documenting your teaming arrangement is crucial for success. Your teaming contract should be thorough and detailed. Tailor it to fit your needs, but include such basic elements as:
Ø How the team will seek and respond to opportunities
Ø Who will be the team point of contact for the client
Ø What work each member of the team will be responsible for (level of effort, percentage of work, or task-oriented)
Ø How invoicing will be handled
Ø How the team will respond to issues that may arise
Ø If the team creates an innovative procedure or product, how will ownership issues be handled
If you’re interested in learning more about how Teaming can work for your business, visit us on the web or drop us a note in the comment section below.