Here’s a rundown of common aspects of the partnership that will help to prepare you for the future – and put your mind at ease.
Working with the Air Force – and the public sector, in general – may seem like an unfamiliar (or even intimidating) task. This article will give you a quick rundown of common aspects of this relationship that will help to prepare you for the future.
Rules/regulations are different – not more strict
An aspect of working with government entities that throws many people off before they’ve even started is that they must contend with infamous ‘red tape.’ While it’s true that federal departments like the U.S. Air Force possess their own distinct rules, policies, and regulations from the private sector, that simply means they’re different, not necessarily stricter. Contractors sometimes find the transition difficult because of the need to learn another way of conducting business, research, manufacture, etc. – maybe that reputation has caused a bit of trepidation in you, as well. Part of Vertx’s forte is educating newcomers on the unique rules of working with the Air Force, which is just part of what makes us an invaluable tool in your business toolbox.
There’s more flexibility with newcomers
With the idea that the rules are different in mind, the Air Force is sure to make allowances for newcomers to public sector contracting. Supporting small businesses is essential to the Air Force, so scaring those businesses away by immediately cracking down with penalties for minor mistakes in the process isn’t their MO.
When contracting with the Air Force, you can generally expect a quick turnaround for communication. You’ll probably have a few questions somewhere along in the process and gleaning the answers from the Air Force itself can be crucial to securing the correct information.
It can take longer than the commercial world
Every experience will differ slightly but working with entities like the Air Force often tends to take longer than private-sector contracting. There are many reasons for this disparity, but much of it boils down to the sheer size of the Air Force and the general inexperience of first-time contractors. When you become part of the Vertx network (which is completely free, by the way), we guide you in checking off all the right boxes ahead of time, so you experience as few delays as possible.
“They enjoy working with small businesses.”
–That’s straight from the mouth of Vertx President Sean Frisbee, whose years of experience managing the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor project put him in contact with plenty of small contractors. The Air Force is eager to work with small American businesses and delights in seeing some manner of interconnectivity between contractors, research institutes, and the government itself. The Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants make this clear by making allowances – and sometimes even requiring – for multiple levels of connection on a project.
So, there’s a quick rundown of what you might expect when contracting with the Air Force. Most contractors are pleasantly surprised to find the process running more smoothly than they anticipated, especially once they’ve gotten the hang of things through joining a network of businesses/researchers with similar pursuits, which is exactly where Vertx comes in.
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