We see that there are 3 main subcontracting opportunities for tree service business owners:
i) Network with Larger Tree Service Companies – Using the resources already outlined, find out which large tree company is winning the lion’s share of government tree work in your area. Then explore whether you can team up as a registered subcontractor on future bids. Their bid can be strengthened by having an SBC on board. Also, mark your registration in the System for Award Management as being open for subcontract work where possible.
ii). Network with Landscaping Bidders - Check out the bottom row in the Appendix below. See how much government work there is for ALL Landscaping Work? Yes, US$ 2.46bn spread over 10,500 contracts. That’s 10 times the value of government contracts for specific tree services only. So if you’re interested in picking up subcontract work for the tree element of many of the landscape bids, use the government database and notifications available here (https://beta.sam.gov/search) to find out the landscapers in your service area who are winning local, state and federal landscaping bids.
We know that the landscaping profession covers a multitude of sins from lawn-care to cemetery maintenance to indoor landscaping and land clearance etc. Some landscaping activities will have tree care elements to them for which the landscaping bidder is not equipped as well as your firm. Remember too that sometimes bids lazily use the one-word ‘landscaping’ descriptor to cover a range of services that include tree work once you delve into the bid invitation wording. This has the effect of understating the tree services element of government work and concealing it from immediate view.
iii). Network with Construction Bidders – This is huge. There were 51,722 US government contract awards specifically for "construction of structures and facilities" in the past year according to beta.sam.gov/search site. This is 36 times the number of government contacts specifically for tree services in the same period.
To state the obvious, there is often a tree work requirement to many construction projects. Mature trees may need removing, protecting, moving or replacing depending on city codes, the construction site and the project itself. Construction companies themselves will not have a full-time tree crew at their disposal so will often subcontract this work out to local tree experts. IBISWorld state that the year-on-year growth in the tree service industry over the last decade is partly due to strong economic activity in the construction industry. So the mutual dependency between builders and tree service firms is clear.
Find local construction bidders by accessing and searching the https://beta.sam.gov/search database. Discover which local construction firms in or near your service area are winning some of the 51,722 US Government building and renovation projects every year. Use this data intelligence to list specific building firms. If the government trusts them to build their buildings, then you should trust them to pay you, right? Well OK but before reaching out to them, suggest you run your credit management checks to be sure. Then when you’re comfortable doing business with them, introduce your firm and declare your willingness to accept subcontract work for your tree services when they are next awarded a project.