The inevitable reductions in the use of GSA contracts are here and they are all about you. If you are out there looking for Federal contracting opportunities, you are more likely today than ever before to hear, “I sure would like to do business with you, but only if you are 8(a) certified.”
What do these GSA contract reductions mean to you, a small business doing business with the Federal government? The answer is clear! First, it will mean less contracting opportunities for everyone.
Second, the large contractors will now be looking to survive by focusing on smaller contracts than before, essentially poaching on the market opportunities currently available to small businesses, such as yours.
What can you do about this inevitable eventuality? A key element of your defensive and offensive business strategy must be to acquire a “competitive advantage” as quickly as possible. 8(a) certification…It’s just about the “near-perfect” competitive advantage you can have in doing business, with the Federal government and its prime contractors.
How does being 8(a) certified provide you with an opportunity to differentiate you and your company, to have that “near perfect” competitive advantage? Here are a few of the ways:
* Price – Being certified can mean that your prospective customer need not buy from the lowest bidder. If you demonstrate other important values to them to contract with you at a higher price, you can negotiate this higher price.
* Quality – Being 8(a) certified can mean that your prospective customer can buy from you, if you can convince them that you are better, even though smaller and less experienced than most of your competitors.
* Ease of Use – Being 8(a) certified can mean that your prospective customer can avoid developing detailed procurement specifications and having to organize and conduct complex and lengthy competitive procurements, subject to “sore-loser” protests. In other words, the 8(a) procurement process makes it “much easier” for your prospective client to buy from you than from your competitors, i.e., the “Big Guys” using just about any other alternative.
* Speed of Service – Simpler procurements are faster procurements, and that means that your prospective customer can get your products or access to your services in a fraction of the time as that which is available through competitive bidding. 8(a) contracts can be awarded in weeks versus years. * Customer Perceived Value – Being 8(a) certified can mean that you are available quicker, easier, simpler and on more personally accommodating terms to your prospective customer than most of your competitors. Adjusting to inevitable contract scope modifications can be more easily made than with other procurement means or with the “non-flexible Big Guys”.
* Different - Being 8(a) certified can mean that you are unlike or different from the remaining 99.9% of all other small businesses in the U.S. that are not certified, just because of the fact that you have this important procurement business development assistance tool that you can share with your prospective customer.
If you are a successful commercial company seeking to build a government practice I encourage applying for the SBA 8(a) Certification and gaining the competitive advantage along with enjoying the benefits of this nine year (9) federal certification.
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