Firms that have obtained the 8(a) Certification average between $6-8MM per year in federal sales. Most of them 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 obtain their 8(a) Certification and follow the traditional 8(a) marketing plan. This involves having the SBA send out letters of introduction to federal buyers, make follow up calls, obtain a GWAC or IDIQ contract like a GSA Schedule, and monitor beta.sam.gov. This combination generally yields a fair amount of success for 8(a) companies.
Novel 8(a) Marketing Strategy
The Novel 8(a) Marketing Strategy works by taking the weakness of an 8(a) Certification and turning it into a benefit. The 8(a) Certification is only in place for a 9-year duration. After that period of time, the 8(a) firm has graduated and is no longer eligible for 8(a) Contracts.
Another useful piece of information to combine this with is that many Federal 8(a) Contracts are “perpetual 8(a).” 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 form by a certain portion of an IT budget within an agency always being sourced with an 8(a) firm. However, the result is the same whether it’s 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.
When an 8(a) firm reaches the end of their 9th year, they graduate from the program. The contracts the graduated 8(a) firm held in most cases are not renewed with the graduated 8(a) firm because the federal government needs to find a new 8(a) firm in order to meet its budgetary targets. Therefore, these contracts are then rolled over to another 8(a) firm.
A Novel 8(a) Marketing Strategy is to see which 8(a) firms are about to or have graduated from the 8(a) BD Program. See what contracts those firms hold and contact the federal contracting officer when you feel your firm could handle the contract. For larger more complicated contracts, you can contact the graduated 8(a) firm and see if they would like to joint venture with your firm.
The graduated 8(a) firm can joint venture with your 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 Novel 8(a) Marketing Strategy in combination with a Traditional 8(a) Marketing Process can enhance 8(a) sales, helping your 8(a) firm to surpass the average annual 8(a) sales results.
If you have any questions about how to maximize your 8(a) Certification, or on how you might go about getting qualified for the 8(a) Certification, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Neither charge for this initial consultation.