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Cecil Whitlock: Did You Know that You Can PURCHASE an 8a Company?

 In Blog, GovCon Tips, Success Profiles

Did you know that you can purchase an 8a company? Let’s answer this question together with Cecil Whitlock!


Cecil Whitlock started his career in the federal market by working with different large companies.

He was then hired at the J2 Engineering, Inc. when the company is close to graduating in the 8a program because the company already outgrows the necessary numbers that small businesses can leverage. 

Then, at some point, he bought the company when the owner approached him about buying it because he chose to go back to law school. 

As the new owner, he still needed to make sure that the company continued working even after the program, so he went and bid on some MATOC and SATOC contracts on top of the sole source contracts that the company was already working on. 

Whitlock highly recommends these to 8a companies as these contracts last for over five years and even if you graduate from the 8a program, you can still keep these contracts and continue bidding on it. 

“I suggest that, you know, everybody, especially 8as, learn how to bid these contracts… and once you learn how to do them and get involved into them, you see that it’s a great thing.”

Apart from that, the company also leveraged the partnerships that they have with some of the largest corporations, including AECOM.

They continued bidding and winning on different million dollar worth of contracts until they had tapped out on their bonding and Whitlock decided to sell the company to a much larger firm in 2015. 


After selling the company and retiring, Whitlock decided to work again and in this instance, as the Managing Director of the 8a tribally-owned company, Miami Nations Enterprises. 

When he came in, Miami Nations wasn’t even formed yet, so there are things that they should do in order to keep the business afloat. 

In this case, Whitlock brought not just sole source work, but also IDIQ contracts because he knew that going after sole source contracts is not enough to sustain the whole company. 

“You need these IDIQ contracts. I think those are the easiest way to grow and it limits your competition.”

Currently, the company is involved in a handful of million dollar contracts with different teaming partners in order to get more past performance bonding for the company. 


1. Offer value. 

Consider that Miami Nations has a handful of teaming partners and these companies offer value in the contracts that they’re going after. 

Not because you’re an 8a or a tribally-owned company, someone will already give you a contract opportunity. This market doesn’t work that way. 

So, what are you bringing to the table? 

“I don’t give people business. I team and we work together on getting business or I’m out there getting business myself.”

2. Team with other companies.

Aside from being able to go after million dollar worth of contracts with a teaming partner, this could also help you in getting your past performance. 

Consider that when you team with someone, even if you only provided twenty thousand worth of work and the whole work is worth a million, you can still say that you did a million dollar job and you can also use that in your future projects. 

“I can’t stress how much past performance does for you. If you’re out there and you don’t have any past performance, if you team with somebody, you get that past performance for that… So, that’s pretty nice.”

3. Take advantage of the SBA. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a helpful organization, but you need to use their services to your advantage. 

You should not just wait for them to do the work because if you think that the SBA is just going to give you a sole source project, you’re going to be sitting at home with no money on hand. 

Rather, you should prepare everything needed for them to do their job. 

“I like all the SBA people that I work with. They do a very good job, but you’ve got to help direct them to do the job for you.”


If you want to learn more on how Cecil Whitlock bought an 8a company, then be sure to click the resources below.

You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

Did you know that you can PURCHASE an 8a company? with Cecil and Eric

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