Contract Procurement: What's Next After the SBA 8(a) Program?
To assist with government contract procurement, the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program qualifies and prepares small, disadvantaged businesses to compete in the marketplace.
After the preliminary phase of the program, businesses enter a transition phase, during which the full contingent of SBA resources and benefits is available. Once the transition phase ends, however, those advantages also end, and you are on your own. Then what?
If your company is approaching the conclusion of this highly beneficial program, now’s the time to start identifying other resources that will help you continue your business growth and success.
How Does the SBA 8(a) Program Benefit Small, Disadvantaged Businesses?
The 8(a) program provides broad-scope assistance to the disadvantaged — those that are controlled and more than 50 percent owned by an individual who meets the requirements for social and economic disadvantage. The overarching goal of this program is to help qualifying businesses grow, compete and contribute to the U.S. economy.
To participate in the program, your company must also meet the SBA standards for small businesses. This long-term program helps small companies — which could not otherwise hope to qualify or compete in the open market — obtain special, sole-source contracts, as well as pursue contracts with restricted competition.
Companies can obtain counseling, specialized training and marketing assistance, and access to SBA loans and government surplus supplies and property. The program even offers mentorship opportunities that allow you to learn from successful firms.
Finding Contract Procurement Resources After the SBA 8(a) Program
The initial phase of the program spans a four-year period that gets you ready to start government contract procurement. For the five years after that, you have access to all the benefits and resources the SBA has to offer. During this transition period, it is critical that companies begin to shift into the competitive marketplace to ensure continued success following graduation from the 8(a) program. Following the guidelines of the 8(a) program, companies must pursue non-8(a) revenue to achieve targets, expressed as a percentage of total revenue. These targets increase over time throughout the transition period, with a goal of 55 percent of non-8(a) revenue by transition-year five. Compliance with these targets is closely monitored by the SBA with remedial action potentially resulting in ineligibility for future sole-source 8(a) contracts.
As a result, you will need a comprehensive strategy for business development starting in the transition phase and continuing post-graduation. It also means that you will be faced with identifying resources that can help you remain competitive.
A professional business development and proposal management firm may offer just what you need to meet 8(a) business activity targets and transition successfully from the SBA 8(a) program.
Professional Proposal Management and Contract Procurement
An experienced proposal management firm can offer many of the resources you enjoyed in the SBA 8(a) program and more.
Meridian West Consultants offers a full range of comprehensive business development and operations management services. Our scalable services are tailored to your unique needs, whatever those may be.
We can track upcoming commercial and government contracting opportunities, assist you in conducting bid/no-bid analyses, and for those opportunities you choose to pursue, handle all phases of proposal writing and content management. Our exceptional track record demonstrates the value we provide our clients.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you with contract procurement so that your business can continue grow and thrive after the SBA 8(a) program.