When you are an 8(a) certified small business your options for generating business consists of securing a prime vendor contract, and/or partnering with other organizations as a sub-contractor. So, how do you show up on the radar of government decision makers? How do you get the attention of other contractors? Most importantly, when the moment of opportunity strikes, how do you make the most of it? Through some branding, marketing and public relations efforts, you can be sure to attract new opportunities and capitalize on every advantage you have. Below are a few tips to maximize your 8(a) business today! Be Seen as an Expert.
When you are seen as an authority or expert in your field your credibility sores. More than just a specific set of services, your organization is perceived as having a comprehensive understanding of the issue, while offering relevant solutions. Write and distribute articles, press releases and commentary, establishing a voice for your organization. Don’t try to sell, just inform and be the expert who puts everything into context to be understood. Good public relations and visibility can be an equalizer in helping you secure prime or sub-contractor contracts. Remember, anyone can start a business, but experts are a special class that rise to the top.
Build Your Brand. In a sound-bite world, your brand must say it all in an instant. To create consistency and consumer confidence, develop talking points for everyone in the company to follow. This will allow you to quickly and effectively convey essential information on the services, capabilities and benefits of your organization. Visuals are also important, be sure your colors, graphics, images and style accurately capture the personality of your company, while reflecting the needs of your government or private sector client.
Use Case Studies. Showing past performance success is essential to gaining new business and growing your organization. Using testimonials and case studies as a backbone for your business is highly effective in gaining the trust of government and private sector clients. Use simple, short and comprehensive case studies on your website, in your presentations and proposals. As you continue to show that you are a proven entity that has made an impact, your business will also advance. Federal Processing Registry SAM has some nice tips on this.
Have a Strategic Plan. Above all else, you must have a plan for the future. Where are you currently? Where do you want to go? Your plan must provide a detailed look at the barriers that exist, the opportunities that are available and the un-tapped potential that is waiting to be seized upon. Based on those results, a plan of action is required to ensure the organization is moving forward with a comprehensive message, organization and system for success.
Every moment you wait to implement these tips, or wait to have the budget to begin re-examining your efforts is one more day the competition has a jump on you. There is no time to waste, time is of the essence and you must always be planting seeds of opportunity. Remember to ask yourself daily; “What opportunity am I missing right now?” Your 8(a) business is just waiting to advance, it is possible, and your time to strike is now.