We recently received a call from a client requesting details on the SBA 8(a) certification. Clients nature of business was providing Environmental Testing such as Phase 1 reports. Client was intrigued that we had assisted other Environmental Firms in receiving their 8(a) certification. After a very productive conversation, I left the client with plenty of information to digest.
A few days later, the client, who was extremely experienced in his field of work, emailed me and told me that he spoke to someone and they told him that all first time applicants get rejected, and this is how the SBA controls their capacity issues. He then proceeded to write, “we may attempt the first application ourselves, save the money, get rejected and proceed with you with the 2nd attempt”.
There are plenty of concerns I have with the above statement:
- The application process can take up to 40 hours to complete, thus, the time and energy spent on submitting a package you ultimately know will be declined is counter productive.
- The reason why our clients hire us, is because of the experience we bring to the table and the clients we have helped get certified.
- Our clients also hire us because not only do they not understand the details of the program, but also because they do not have the time to spend on completing the application, gathering supporting documents, analyzing it for it’s completeness, writing letters to explain inconsistencies etc.
Ultimately, what will happen with this client is, they will begin the process and after spending 20 or so hours getting everything together, they will come to road blocks and wish they hired someone who knows the ins and outs of the program. 20 hours of lost work and man hours later, they will realize that hiring a professional to do the work would have saved them time and money.
Unfortunately, all I can do is explain to him what the process entails by being honest and upfront. Ultimately, the research he has done will allow him to make the best decision for himself and his business.
We encourage all of our clients to due their due diligence in understanding the program, but you must leave it to professionals to get it done.