There is a very common misconception among most small business owners regarding the SBA 8a certification program. They believe, just getting the certification would bring them all the success. Just like those young students, who believe that money will start pouring over them as soon as they get their Degrees, most small business owners think that once they obtain an 8a certification, success will follow automatically. But, what they tend to forget is that there are millions of SBA 8a certified small business organizations across the United States that are constantly fighting to get their places in the industry. The key to success does not lie on obtaining the certification, but depends on how well you utilize the opportunities awarded to you through the 8a Certification program.
With millions of small business organizations competing in your area, the only way you can increase your chances of getting federal contacts is by reducing the odds. If you succeed in doing that, well running after the SBA 8a certification is definitely worth the effort. Obtaining the certification is not very difficult provided you follow it correctly. The application process however can seem complicated to some. For the application it is best to take professional help because if you fail to complete the process successfully, your application for the certification might not be granted.
On the internet, you will find hundreds of articles on 8a application submission and the entire process of obtaining the certification. But here are some of the proven tips that will guarantee your company’s success in getting federal contracts after being certified.
- Establishing an understanding relationship with purchasing agents and main contractors should be your primary concern. It has been observed that the companies showing the most successful federal contracting record have invested good amount of effort in building relationship with the decision makers and potential clients.
Take time to meet the purchasing agents of the federal agencies you want to compete for contracts in person or speak to them over the phone or send them an e-mail. This will help you to understand their nature of purchase and contracting tools. Try to learn whether or not they use small businesses to meet the participation goals set for agency annual small business. Try to determine the amount of interest the prime contractors have in contracting with small businesses by meeting them in person.
- Preparing marketing materials for your company is another important aspect you need to focus on. Create company resume, company flyer and a website in order to demonstrate your company products and services. Make sure you include video and audio examples as well. While attending meetings, always carry ample amount of marketing materials.
- Keeping updated on all the opportunities of federal contracts is perhaps the best way to take advantage of every opportunity. PTAC or the Procurement Technical Assistance Center lists all federal contracts. Get yourself registered under your local PTAC and receive regular updates for the contacts included in your NAICS codes.
- Attending contracting fairs and conferences would also help you to get more involved. Take full advantage of the opportunity to meet so many agencies in one day. Interact with them and if possible create an elevator speech for your company and tell them what you do and how you are different from the rest.
After reading this article you must have understood that just getting an 8a Certification is not enough to get federal contracts, you have to put in a lot of effort. If you follow these tips and work smart, getting federal contracts would not be difficult at all.
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