For the second year, GovernmentVAR has polled VAR's doing business in
the public sector (227 this year) and come back with some upbeat (for some),
interesting, and even dissapointing results.
The upbeat results have to do with the sentiment expressed by the segment of
the VAR sector polled for this survey.
The interesting results have to do with some of the results related to how
VAR's locate small business partners.
The dissapointing aspect of it has to do with the statistics relating to
VAR's having difficulty locating small business partners. But more about that in
Here are some of the results they offered:
- 46% of Federal VAR's polled said that Woman-owned Small Businesses were the
category of subcontractor most difficult for them to locate;
- 42% said that Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Small Businesses were the most
difficult to locate;
- 29% noted 8(a) Business Development Program participants as hard to find,
- 26% claimed HUBZone companies as the most difficult to locate.
Regarding VARs' biggest challenge in meeting set-aside contract
- 39% said finding small businesses that fit the requirement.
How VARs locate small business subcontractors to fill federal
- 61% cited previous experience working with the set aside (small business)
- 59% leveraged referrals from the customer agency or another contractor
- 46% tracked responses to RFPs
- 40% did it via the federal Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
The biggest influence on VARs when awarding set-aside
- 37% count on the small business's technical expertise
- 21% rely on the small business's experience with the agency
- 20% look at the small business's vendor partner relationships
- 14% of them make their decision based on the price offered in the bid
- Only 7% of them are influenced the small business's set aside
Small businesses should take note of how VAR's currently find potential small
Now the dissapointing part. With twenty-six million small businesses in the
country, it still amazes me that medium and large companies claim not being able
to find companies to partner with.
I understand that not all or even most of the twenty-six million are doing
business in support of federal requirements.
I understand that not all companies are viable partners.
I understand that it will cost these companies money to work on identifying
I also understand that quite a few of these companies could care less about
meeting their subcontracting goals, especially since there is really no enforced
punishment for them not meeting those goals.
This would be a good time for small business subcontracting goals to be
inserted as CLIN's (deliverables) in contracts. This way these companies aren't
paid for not delivering.
There are many resources available to these companies to help them locate
partners. (Please pardon the self-promotion...) The American Small Business
Coalition provides support for these companies in order to benefit the small
business community. We do it for the government at no cost and we do it for
medium and large companies for pennies on the dollar. Membership in The ASBC and
the support these companies would receive will save them considerably when you
take into account the cost of doing business. We can talk more about that
Just as the sophistication of federal contracting has increased over the last
decade, so has the sophistication of small businesses. Small and Microbusinesses
are more than adequately qualified and capable of performing tasks that were
very much reserved for larger companies five and ten years ago.
If the 39% of the 227 companies polled want help in
identifying small businesses to potentially team with, give me a call at
410-381-7378 or email me at GovernmentVAR@theasbc.org. Seriously, we'll
get you integrated into the membership program and try to make your life
significantly easier. No kidding.