Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. 818-551-9400

SBC Consultants JPG

Most people don’t understand how becoming certified as an 8(a) firm can help propel their business to the next stage of success. Becoming approved as an 8(a) firm is like being in a fraternity or sorority. Those who have had those great experiences in college know that it is a brotherhood or sisterhood. They help each other, can understand each others needs and struggles etc. To date, there are only 10,000 approved 8(a) firms in the Unites States. You can just imagine from all the millions of Small Business in the United States what a small fraction that is. That being said, let’s get down and dirty with some hard core facts about why Minority owned businesses need to get certified.

The 8(a) program was created in order to give minority owned business a fair opportunity to bid against larger firms. The United States Government feels that Minorities in this country have not had the same opportunities that non-minorities have had. In order for Minorities to compete in a specific Industry, the Government has created programs, and if utilized correctly, can help advance a Minority Owned Business.

One of those programs, and the largest one at that, is the 8(a) Business Development Program.


  1. The 8(a) program has been dedicated 5% of all Federal procurement budgets. This means that $18.5 Billion dollars a year is reserved for 8(a) certified firms.
  2. Sole-Sourcing Contracts: This is the most attractive to me. $8.5 Billion Dollars is given to sole source awards. That is, a firm does not compete with any other firms. Even 8(a) firms. It is awarded solely to them. (More on how to get sole-source awards toward the bottom).
  3. Competitive 8(a): The remaining 10 Billion  Dollars are up for bidding between 8(certified) firms only.

More on Sole Source Awards:

In order for an 8(a) firm to be eligible for sole source awards, they need to have experience in the 8(a) program and plenty of it.  The Government wants to make sure that the sole source awards are given to firms who have been successful in the program and can handle the work load given to them.

How do you get sole source awards?

First, new firms need to gain experience by entering joint venture agreements with other firms or by entering mentor-protege agreements provided the 8(a) firm does 40% of the work and makes 40% of the profits. By working this way for some time, it helps the firm in to becoming a Federal Prime Contractor. Once you have worked as a prime contractor and proven yourself, you will then be able to get sole source contracts.

Limits for Sole Source Contracts:

1. $4 million fir products/services

2. $6 Million for manufacturing

I hope the above explained the REAL benefits in getting an 8(a) Certifications. It is not easy by all means but if there is a will, there is a way.

Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. 818-551-9400

Paul Mazbanian
SBC Consultants, Inc.


SBC Consultants JPG

Over the last few weeks we have seen an influx of calls from potential customers seeking Government Certifications. One such case was when a client called and needed to be certified with the State of California as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise or DBE. I had another appointment within close vicinity so I scheduled to meet him at his office.

Client owns a garbage disposal company and has been quite successful. He primary is a subcontractor working under a prime contractor. One of the prime contractors he works with requested he get the DBE Certification in order to give him more business. The client was told this roughly 3 months ago.

When I met with him, it was brought to my attention that he had a deadline of 3 weeks to get Certification Approved. I explained to the client, that the time frame needed for us to assist in completing the Certification would take roughly 2 weeks and that the Certifying agency, in this case LA Metro, can take up to 3-6 months in approving his application.

The client knew that hiring me would get the job done but he would miss his deadline. He decided to not go through with the certification.

This is a classic example of how thinking ahead can help you move forward faster. If the client took the initiative and called me in the beginning he would have been approved and the opportunity to increase sales and satisfy his vendor.


All businesses should have goals in regards to sales, marketing, hiring new employees, efficiency etc. The same goes for Certifications. Don’t wait until the last minute to get certified. The certification process can be lengthy and needs time to be finessed for approval. We are very good at we do, but we still need time to prepare, meet, complete the application and gather the supporting documentation to submit. . As good as the certifying agencies are, they have hundreds if not thousands of applicants at any given moment and work on a first come first serve basis.


Paul Mazbanian

Paul Mazbanian


Paul Mazbanian

SBC Consultants JPG

We receive a lot of calls weekly with clients asking us questions about the process we use and the experience we possess, so they may make the best calculated decision in hiring the best consultant possible.

What to look for when hiring a consultant.

1. Experience

2. Location

3. Price


The certification process is highly complex. A consultant must have the experience to understand each clients unique scenario. When speaking to a consultant, you should address these very important questions:

a. What process do you use to get us certified?

b. What kind of experience do you have in getting Businesses approved?

c.Where did you learn how to do certifications?

d.How successful have you been doing this?


We recommend the consultant you hire be local to your business. This is crucial in optimizing efficiency in completing the certification. We do not recommend hiring a firm that is outside of driving distance from you. Some certifications will take between 20-40 hours to complete and the one on one time you get from a consultant is very important. A firm who is not able to meet with you one on one, will not be effective in completing the application for you. We have always made it a point to work with local companies, so that we can give them the best service and be most productive as possible. This is why we are so successful.


Price does not determine the experience one possesses to effectively complete any certification. It really comes down to what the Return on Investment will be for you as a business owner. We recommend hiring a consultant that has the most experience and has the pedigree to complete the certification in a timely and effective manner. It is worth paying a little extra for someone who has the experience to finish the project in a timely manner.


As CEO and President of Small Business Community Consultants, Inc. I have always made it a point to be involved with every client from beginning to end. Due to the hands on approach I have instilled within the company, we have not had one single complaint about the services we provide. This is largely due to the the experience I have attained directly from the Small Business Administration and the one on one time every client gets.

We only work with companies who are local to us. There is no compromise when it comes to the customer service we strive to perfect for our clients. To learn more about our company please visit our website at To learn more about our certification services, please visit the certifications tab on the site.

Paul Mazbanian

Paul Mazbanian

Tel: (818) 551-9400


SBC Consultants JPG

Over the past 11 years, we have been assisting Small Businesses get Certified with either the Federal or State Government. Typical questions always comes up.

1. Why do I need to Be Certified?

2 . How will it help me?

3. How much Does it cost?

4. What We Recommend.

These are all very important questions of course, which all business owners deserve to know. In this article, we will try to answer these questions and hope that it will give you the ability to determine if indeed it ‘s worth it r not.

It is first important to understand that there are many different certifications available. There are Federal, State, County and City Certifications with different variations for different departments such as metro, airport commission etc. We will be speaking in general terms. Knowing which one would benefit you most is critical. This article will focus on the general topic of certifications.


For the more complex  Certifications such as the SBA (8a certification) or the States Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification, you will need to make a determination if you can bid and win contracts to increase revenues. These certifications are harder to get due to their complexity and more expensive if you desire to hire a professional consultant to guide you through the process. It is an investment, which if utilized correctly can prove to be very rewarding.

For the less complex Certifications, such as the Women Owned Small Business Contracting program (WOSB) there are two reasons to get the certifications.

1. contracting- To bid on Government jobs.

2.Marketing- Use it to market yourself as a Federally Certified Company.


Small Businesses like us are always looking to find new revenue streams to increase sales. We sometimes add new services, give discounts etc. to entice people to buy or choose us and not our competitors. The Government has created programs to help Small Businesses compete in a more fair environment. They realize that the backbone of this economy are Small Business and if we don’t survive, its 2008 all over gain.

In order to keep things fair, the Government requires that all Federal, State and Local agencies give a percentage of their contracts to certified companies, disallowing large corporations to take part. For example, let’s say for argument sake that there are 1000 construction companies in the United States. 500 are 8a certified and 500 are not. Only the 500 that are 8a certified are able to bid on that particular contract reducing the competition to 50%.


This is a difficult question to answer. There are plenty of consultants out there who make money assisting businesses get certified for the different certifications. Depending on the complexity of the Certification price ranges will vary. For example, the SBA 8a Certification will be significantly more expensive then say the Women Owned Small Business Certification. There is certainly more work to be done and a lot more hours put in to the 8a compared to the WOSB.


A. Work with a local firm: These Certifications require a lot of one on one time and proprietary information being shared, such as tax returns. A local firm can meet with you in person making the process easier.

B. Experience: The experience a firm hold is crucial in getting approved. It is always a benefit if the consultant has a certifications background but also educated in finance, accounting and law.

C. Return on Investment: What is the potential of increasing sales through contracts? If you are paying $1000 for a certification and the contract is for $10,000 is it worth it?

SBC Consultants, Inc is Government trained. We pride ourselves in working with only local firms giving us the ability to give the best customer service as possible. To learn more about our certifications please visit the certifications page on our website HERE.

Paul Mazbanian

Paul Mazbanian


Small Business Community Consultants, Inc.


Tel: (818) 551-9400