Oftentimes we team with subcontractors in pursuit of RFPs just to get a local presence on our team or fill a niche, but that can be dangerous if you don’t know much about who you are teaming with. The truth is, if you haven’t worked with that sub before it can help you as much as hurt you.
Selection committees prefer to hire teams that have a long history of successfully completing projects together, but we all know that this isn’t always feasible. Not having a shared portfolio to point to should not make us cower from the bid.
Here are a few tips to follow before placing a subcontractor on your team.
1. Create your own RFP. I say this with caution because you really shouldn’t ask them to jump through hoops to team with you, but you should get answers to a few key questions. Have them send you proof that they are the best to team with.
2. Ask for references. If you want to know if they are turkeys with a tarnished reputation you have to do some PI work; it won’t take but a few phone calls.
3. Ask for examples of their past experience. Find out what they have worked on before. The worst thing that you could do is wait until the time that you are putting your proposal together to see their qualifications. What if they have never worked on this project type before?
4. Talk to your own network and see if anyone knows them. Your real friends will give you the real scoop.
5. Google them. You would be surprised how many people have opinions about businesses that they feel compelled to share online. Find out what people are saying about them before you put them on your team.