8(a) Certification Must Know Information

V-8-8-A.png

Have you been thinking about applying for the 8(a) program or are you already in the 8(a) program? If either of those applies, your’e going to definitely want to stick around and listen to today’s message.

In today's video, we're talking about the 8(a) program and if it's right for you today, right now where you're at in your business. I want to share some things with you that you may not have considered prior to thinking about the 8(a) program or getting into the 8(a) program if you're already there. 

Too often here, lately I have people coming to me, they're already in the 8(a) program, but they're not taking advantage of the 8(a) program. The 8(a) program is a nine-year, one-shot, hit or miss program. If you're not positioned in your business to be able to take advantage of the 8(a) program and everything that it has to offer, then you need to STOP and educate yourself first.

  • If you don't know how the 8(a) program can benefit your business.

  • If you've been in the 8(a) program 2 years or more, and haven't won one contract.

  • If your business is not positioned to take full advantage of what the 8(a) program has to offer you. 

You have made a BIG MISTAKE in getting into the 8(a) program prior to being ready.

Here's what you need to do, If you're considering the 8(a) program or if you're already in it, you need to go back to the basics. 

  • You need to learn a little bit more about government contracting. 

  • You need to learn how to find contracts to bid. 

  • You need to learn all of the different benefits that are available to you within the 8(a) program.

Always look at your business and ask yourself... what is it I need to do in my business right now to be positioned to take advantage of this opportunity and the next opportunity. 

You hear about the 8(a) program and you want to be a part of it. Some come just starting their business and tell me they want to apply for the 8(a) certification.

The 8(a) program is a sole source vehicle. If you don't even know what that means, you're not ready for the 8(a) program. 

If you are not already winning contracts with the government, you're not ready for the 8(a) program. 

I have a client that’s in the 8(a) program. When they signed up for the 8(a) program, they were doing real estate. Once they got into the 8(a) program, they decided, "Oh, there's more money to be made in this other area," and they switched! 

What?!, What have they done? They’re now in a new type of business offering something that they’ve never done before. They don't have any past performance. They haven't won any contracts doing that particular thing. They’re starting over from scratch. 

That's why I can not stress enough, you need to be ready for the 8(a) program. 

If you take the 8(a) program and its offerings, and you match it up against your business, you may see some deficiencies. 

Meaning some things that you don't have in place, or some things that you need to add, whatever that looks like for you. You need to get your business in order so that you're ready for the 8(a) program. 

Here are some of the things I suggest you do prior to jumping into the 8(a) program. 

You need to know about government contracting:

  • The lango… government terminology

  • The FAR

  • How do you win a contract

  • Where do you find contracting opportunities

  • How to get paid

  • Bidding the contract

  • Winning the contract

  • Delivering and/or performing the contract

You need to know those things and if you don't, you have some gaps. You need to pump the brakes, figure those things out FIRST before you venture off into the 8(a) program. 

You need to know how to read the solicitations. You need to have negotiating skills, even with the sole source opportunities, you may need to negotiate the price. 

  • If you're not going to do the work yourself, you need to have the people in place that will be performing the work.

  • Have your financial house in order with good record keeping. 

  • After you've been in business for a couple of years, have a couple of government contracts under your belt, know the process, and you're used to the government contracting arena. 

  • After doing those things mentioned about then look at the 8(a) program.

The 8(a) program is a nine-year program. I have one lady that has three years left in the program. She has sat and wasted five years in the program! 

The 8(a) program was created to help you take your business to the next level.

There are resources attached to the program, but if you don't know that, how do you take advantage of those resources.

That's one of the reasons why a lot of people are coming to me nowadays. You’re in the 8(a) program, and now you want help where ideally you should have already set the groundwork, and set a solid foundation before you started, but here we are today, let's make it right. 

Definitely stop and make sure your business house is in order before you go applying for that 8(a) program. 

Here's the other thing, I have people that have been in business a year, and they're like, "Oh, I'm applying for the 8(a) program and this, this, this and that," and I'm like, "Okay," and it's a lot of work to put together an 8(a) packet… and let me just say that. Oh, and then it's going to get denied and then you can't reapply for a year anyway.

How much cooler and better would it be to get everything together, and then apply? 

You can go to the SBA website, and learn all about the 8(a) program before you go applying for the program. 

If you're already in the program and not getting the results you want, you still need to go back to the basics, learn what you don't know, because apparently, you don't know how to win contracts if you haven't had any, and you're an 8(a) company. 

There are probably contracting opportunities out there for you.

You just don’t know how to go find contracts, how to develop contracts, because as an 8(a), you should know how to develop opportunities where there may not be any. That’s something I share with my private clients.

  • If you're considering the 8(a) program, definitely educate yourself. If you need some help with getting your business positioned to be successful inside the 8(a) program, go get it.

  • If you’re already in the program and know you're not maximizing the opportunities that the 8(a) program has to offer, go get the help you need. 

If you need help, definitely come check your girl out, that would be me, Felicia. I'm over at http://feliciastreeter.com/nlc