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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!! (Why is this still the case?)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, August 01, 2010
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!
(Why is this still the case?)

In the past few weeks I've experienced several prideful moments related to our members. At the same time, these moments are a point of aggravation related to how small businesses are still perceived by many.

During a recent ASBC-hosted event attended by government officials, after introductions by the company representatives (most members of The ASBC), there was a simultaneous and vocal acknowledgment regarding the level of talent in the room. There was also a favorable comment made about the apparent relevant mission experience many of the companies were able discuss. Later that day, The ASBC received additional positive feedback from the officials later that same day.

The ASBC was recently engaged by a mid-tier integrator seeking support for a GWAC-related opportunity. This company is a very sharp and accomplished firm apparently still on the upswing. with decent growth momentum. To help them identify viable partners from our member ranks, we conducted a preliminary pre-vetting and hosted a conference call with the capture team and our Members. The result? Six NDA's were issued that Friday morning with a technical review meeting set for the following Monday morning.

After the call, the Prime’s capture manager called stating they were pretty much 'blown away' at the domain knowledge and relevant past performance our Members brought to the table.
In this case, our Members brought so much situational awareness about the opportunity that a no-bid decision was made based on the intelligence they were able to provide.

In both cases, what did not occur were small businesses reciting their socioeconomic designations as the leading aspect of their introduction. Rather, these companies got to the point and spoke in a near-technical, on-point fashion about their capabilities as they specifically related to the opportunity at-hand. Bravo!

Now the aggravation.

Why is it we are still so surprised at the capability, capacity and competency of the small business community?

In The ASBC, we have Members supporting the mission of civilian, defense, law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the Nation and around the world to include a number of personnel operating in harm's way.

Given the right strategic partnering approach, our Nation's small businesses can do anything the largest federal contractor entity can do and quite likely more efficiently. These would be teams consisting of primarily small businesses and some mid-tier companies, but not the giants. This is not a call to arms, but how many times will we hear about large SI's and others usurping the qual's and IP of small businesses for their own benefit and as soon as the award come's in, they promptly develop amnesia about those who helped them. This is not the case with every large company, or even every business unit in every large company. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see some head-to-head competitions between the large companies on their own against a few choice small business consortium's.

So maybe it is a call to arms, of sorts.

Granted, not every small business "brings the goods" but there are many more out there that can and do. It  still seems many large contractors tend to believe they are (and should be) the only game in town.

For all of the middle tier companies out there in that proverbial "no man's land" doing business as "other than small businesses" and subject to Small Business Subcontracting Goals, stop by and take a look at our PrimeConnection membership program and see how we can help connect you with some of those very talented small business partners. 

It's not without precedent. For the past six years we've been helping our Members (small, medium, large and government) make high-value and very productive "B2G love connections" to support the business and mission operations of the U.S. Government.

Maybe next time the surprise will be the announcement of an award to another one of our teams, instead of the usual suspects.

Surprise, surprise, surprise...


Guy Timberlake
Chief Visionary and CEO

"The person who says it cannot be done
should not interrupt the person doing it."

Identify, Qualify, Pursue and Capture B2G Business Opportunities.

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