Award Context and Insight

07/11/2016 12:00 AM

The Data-Driven Approach to Succeeding as an 8a

A key way for 8a contractors to succeed in the federal market is to identify set-aside contracts performed by an incumbent that is poised to graduate from the 8a program. Firms can then position themselves for the follow-on award either by partnering with the incumbent or by making overtures directly to the agency.

To execute either strategy, it’s crucial to zero-in on the opportunities that best match your firm’s capabilities and offer the greatest probability of success.

We have analyzed the entire 8a set-aside market and identified more than 3,700 contracts worth $3.1 billion expiring in fiscal 2017 where the incumbent will graduate prior to the contract end date. Within this pool of opportunity, more than 2,600 contracts are sole-sourced awards. I see these contracts as particularly attractive targets for two main reasons.

First, the incumbents realize they are about to lose their contracts because they no longer qualify as 8a firms, so they are likely to be highly motivated to form partnerships. In a typical arrangement, the incumbent would provide assistance in securing the follow-on contract in exchange for a role as a subcontractor under the new deal. Establishing these partnerships can be a highly effective business model for 8a firms.

Second, agencies must meet annual small business contracting goals. They often keep follow-on or re-compete contracts in the 8a program even when the incumbent graduates. Whether the government decides to sole-source a follow-on or seek competition among 8a participants, you can get ahead of the curve by letting the government know that your firm is willing and able to do the work.

Our custom 8a services are designed to help firms with limited businesses development budgets maintain pipelines of the highest quality opportunities so they can make the most of their 8a status. Contact us to learn more.