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Aspiring 8a

Strategic Roadmap for 8(a) Success

As a firm contemplates submitting its application for the 8(a) Certification, strategic planning for post-certification success becomes crucial. It's important to recognize that not all 8(a) firms are the same, and adjustments to strategies may be necessary based on various factors. While some firms may find it easier to penetrate the federal market, others may face more challenges. On average, 8(a) firms generate over $5 Million in annual revenue, indicating favorable odds for success.


Assessing your firm's strengths before entering the program involves evaluating five key factors:

  • Industry
  • Geographic Location
  • Past Government Experience and Federal Contacts
  • Size of the Firm upon Entering the 8(a) Business Development Program
  • Luck


While some firms may lack strength in the first four factors, the fifth factor, "luck”, can sometimes be uncertain. However, with thorough federal analysis, initiative and receptiveness to feedback, even firms facing challenges can find success in federal sales.


Here are some helpful tips for marketing your 8(a) status effectively:

  1. Leverage the prestige of the 8(a) Certification, as it can significantly accelerate business growth.
  2. Utilize resources provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) while also engaging in proactive federal business development.
  3. Prioritize building relationships with federal contracting officers, even if it means venturing slightly outside your niche.
  4. Target agencies with significant spending in your industry, such as the Department of Defense for construction-related businesses.
  5. Capitalize on contracting vehicles like GWACs (Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts), which can greatly boost sales opportunities.
  6. Establish partnerships with major federal prime contractors early on to secure subcontracting opportunities.
  7. Adopt a targeted approach to federal sales, focusing on connecting with contracting officers who have recently procured your products or services.
  8. Keep an eye on expiring contracts held by older 8(a) firms, as they may present opportunities for new 8(a) entrants to pursue. Consider forming joint ventures with incumbent firms to capitalize on such opportunities.


Navigating the complexities of the 8(a) program requires careful planning and strategic foresight. Whether you're preparing to apply, or seeking to maximize the benefits of your certification, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Contact either today, neither charge for an initial consultation. They can help you achieve success in the federal marketplace, and are committed to supporting your journey with this business development accelerator.


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