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Aspiring 8a

Thinking About Entering the Federal Marketplace? Some Things to Consider

We all hope that the inverted yield curve does not mean the economy is weakening. However, if customers become harder to find, looking at the federal marketplace can help fill the void for slowing growth. The U.S. government is the largest buyers of goods and services on the planet and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Here are some things to think about as you analyze selling to the government:

1. Focus:  Will there be federal buyers for your product or service?

2. Preference:  Can your firm achieve preferential treatment via an SBA Certification or a VA Verification?

8(a) Certification – Generally for minority owned businesses, however in some instances other can apply. Average $6-8MM in federal sales.

WOSB & EDWOSB – Woman-owned small business certifications. Average $300K-400K in federal sales.

HUBZone – Historically Underutilized Business Zones. Average $1.2-1.7MM in federal sales.

SDVOSB – Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. Average $1MM in federal sales.

Veteran-Owned – Certification for all veteran owned businesses.

These certifications can magnify your existing marketing efforts. You can gain some understanding of the value of each certification based upon the average sales for the certification holders.

3. Role:  Is your firm’s focus on becoming a prime contractor or are you looking for subcontracting opportunities?  Many firms only look at prime contracting dollars as that is a $130B market for small businesses. However, large federal primes are required to include portions for small businesses. The federal small business subcontracting business represents 70% of the small business prime market. However, in many ways, this market provides easier entrance for some small businesses.

4. Vehicle:  Does it make sense for your firm to obtain a GSA Schedule as well as positions on other GWAC and IDIQ contracting vehicles. The average small business with a GSA Schedule makes around $1MM per year in federal sales. Obtaining a position on a well-matched IDIQ contract can provide an even bigger boost to sales. Obtaining a GSA Schedule helps a firm gain experience as well as knowledge in formulating federal proposals.

5. Targeting:  Most firms target three agencies that purchase their products in their geographical region. Do you know who those agencies are to target? It’s helpful to understand what agencies you are going after so you can target your message to them.

6. Monitoring:  Make sure you are monitoring SAM.gov as well as other pertinent sites such as GSA eBuy and agency sites.

7. Marketing:  At a minimum your firm should have a webpage designed for federal buyers that includes all the pertinent information to allow them to quickly assess your offerings. Additionally having this page eliminates some concerns that your firm is not serious about doing work with the federal government.

If you have any questions about these considerations, and would like to explore your firm’s eligibility and potential for a better future utilizing federal certifications, VA verifications and/or any other of the aforementioned, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a, Fedvital or Advance GSA. None of them charge for an initial consultation.


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