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Advanced 8(a) Marketing Strategy

8(a) Certified Firms make on average between $4-10MM per year in federal sales, which of course varies based upon industry and geographical region. Most of these successful 8(a) firms obtain this level of sales gradually over time by following a traditional 8(a) marketing process.

Traditional 8(a) Marketing Process
Most 8(a) firms that obtain their 8(a) Certification have the SBA send out letters of introduction to federal buyers, make follow up calls, obtain a GWAC or other valuable IDIQ contracts such as GSA Schedule. Once they grow in size, they move on to 8(a) set-aside contract and spend more time monitoring beta.sam.gov  Vigilant adherence to this 8(a) marketing strategy usually yields a fair amount of success for an 8(a) certified company.

Advanced 8(a) Marketing Strategy
The Advanced 8(a) Marketing Strategy works by utilizing the 9 year period in which 8(a) firms are permitted to remain in the 8(a) BD Program. The 8(a) Certification is only permitted by the SBA to be in place for a 9-year duration for a small business. After that period of time, the 8(a) firm has graduated and is no longer eligible for 8(a) Contracts.

Many 8(a) contracts are for products/services that transition from one 8(a) to another over time when one 8(a) graduates and can no longer fulfill the contract. This is because agencies are required to have at least 5% of their spending with 8(a) firms. In order to properly budget this, many of the contracts that are in a repetitive cycle are given to 8(a) firms. This could also take the form of a certain portion of an IT budget within an agency always being sourced with an 8(a) firm. The results are the same whether with a landscaping contract that always goes to an 8(a) firm or an IT contract, these buckets of money are reserved for 8(a) certified firms.

Here is how one can find graduating 8(a) firms:

You can sort by the entrance and exit date of 8(a) firms, as well as a number of other variables, by scrolling down the left column. Simply click Add or Remove.


Therefore, you can theoretically use this strategy for capturing the lowest hanging fruit available by looking for contracts of graduated (or soon to graduate) 8(a) firms.

Joint Venture
If you find a contract you would like to bid on that was held prior by a graduated 8(a) firm, and this contract is too complex for your firm to bid individually, you can contact the prior firm and offer to joint venture. The SBA rules regarding graduated 8(a) firms is that they can joint venture with your new firm provided the active 8(a) firm is receiving at least 40% of the revenue, completing 40% of the work and receiving 40% of the profit.

Using this Advanced 8(a) Marketing Strategy in combination with a Traditional 8(a) Marketing Process can enhance 8(a) sales for your firm, helping your small business to destroy the average 8(a) sales figures for your primary line(s) of business, as well as your geographic location.

If you have any questions on maximizing the potential of your 8(a) Certification, or even how to get qualified for an 8(a) Certification, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Neither charge for an initial consultation.


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