You have accomplished a lot the last few months. You have submitted your SBA 8(a) application and now have received your 8(a) certification. The next step is for you to complete and submit your 8(a) business plan. Before you get started let’s find out more information.
Why Does SBA Need You To Complete a Business Plan?
Your business plan is used by your Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS) to assist you in developing your business while in the 8(a) program. That business plan is your road map to success. The more detailed the plan the better. Your BOS will review the business plan to understand where your business started, where your business is now and where your want to go in the future. What are your targets, objectives and goals while in the 8(a) program and beyond.
When Do I Submit My Business Plan?
You will be required to submit your business plan no later than 30 days after your SBA orientation. Your business will not be eligible for 8(a) contracts until SBA approves this plan. Therefore, it is best to get this plan written as soon as possible. However the plan needs to provide a detailed description of your products and services you provide to your clients. Also, you need to include any future plans to enter into new markets. This is especially important because SBA will use this plan to determine if you should be early graduation. Don’t worry they don’t just look at the business plan but other items too.
Remember to include your primary NAICS code (the one that you came into the program with) and any future NAICS codes that you plan on expanding into. In addition you need to provide an analysis of your market potential, the competitive environment and your prospects for profitable operations during and after the program.
Will I need to perform a SWOT Analysis?
In addition to the above you will also need to perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat analysis. Please pay attention to any financial, managerial, technical or work force conditions which could hinder you from receiving and performing on any 8(a) contracts. And make sure to specify your targets, objectives, and goals for your business for the next two years.
SBA will be looking for you to provide estimates of both 8(a) and non-8(a) contract awards that will be needed to meet your targets, objectives and goals. These estimates need to be realistic based on your past performance. Remember your limitations when setting this goals. For example, if you don’t have bonding of $10 Million then you cannot say that you are going to target $10 Million in 8(a) sole source awards. Remember that SBA may request additional information to support your plan.
In conclusion it is best to take your time developing your business plan. It is going to be used partly as an education tool for your BOS so that they understand your business and know where you want to go in the future.