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  • 25 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    According to Fundera.com – December 31, 2019, there are 17 facts to know about female entrepreneurs, but today I want to highlight my 5 favorite ones below:

    1. 62% of women entrepreneurs cite their business as their primary source of income.

    2. 64% of new women-owned businesses were started by women of color last year.

    3. Latina women-owned businesses grew more than 87%

    4. 25% of women business owners seek business financing

    5. Female entrepreneurs ask for roughly $35,000 less in business financing than men

    I chose to highlight these statistics because I know there are many individuals (especially non-entrepreneurs) who can find the challenges in these numbers. I personally see the opportunity in them. If more than 60% of women CEOs are able make their business their full-time gig, then that sounds like music to my ears. They have overcome the challenges of being employed by “the man” and can create a bit autonomy for their lives. The fact that only 25% of women business owners seek funding means that 75% of us have learned how to make a dollar stretch to meet the needs of our enterprise. That is a mastery skill that everyone should learn.

    In this climate in America, I don’t believe women get the respect and acknowledgement they deserve in running a successful business. That is why we are hosting the Women Who Win conference on March 19 th . If you see yourself in any of the five statistics above, then my friend, your presence is requested. Join us & you will find yourself among your tribe!

    What You Will Experience:

     Come picture perfect ready! All guests get a free professional headshot taken

     Learn from experienced Women CEOs who are blazing the trail with success

     Sip on mimosas during the various panel discussions & breakout sessions

     Learn about how you can become a Certified Capture Manager

     Discover if your business should be woman-owned certified

     Create new friendships that could lead to new opportunities

     Experience massages from the Good Doctor

     Shop in the Marketplace


    Visit www.womenwhowinconference.com. You won’t be disappointed. 

    Success or failure in business ownership is all about mindset. I never see what I lack in any opportunity and therefore I gauge my personal and business successes by my own desires to challenge myself to strive for more. Join.


  • 18 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Unlike most Asian men, I didn’t marry within my own race. I fell in love with a beautiful Nubian queen from Grand Rapids, Michigan. We met at church and our friendship blossomed into an unlikely romance. Seventeen years later, we have two beautiful teenagers.

    As the father of black teenagers, I often think as to how I can make their generation a little better than the one I was born into. They will face different challenges than I did. What can I do to inspire them and to empower the African American Community? 

    It is mainly with this mindset as to why I founded the Government Contractors Association (GCA). Each year, there are over $500 billion in government contracting opportunities, yet less than 5% are awarded to the Black small business community. GCA’s vision is to “create access.” We want to open doors for disadvantaged entrepreneurs to have more access to government contracting dollars. 

    I firmly believe that the greatest voting power any person or community can have is the power to vote with our money. When we spend a dollar bill, we are deploying one George Washington to work on our behest. When we spend a $100 bill, that is 100 Benjamin Franklins carrying out our mission. 

    My work with GCA, as a small business advocate, is my way of following in the footprint of a little-known giant in the African American community. So, in honor of Black History month, I have a question to everyone, who is Parren J. Mitchell?

    The power to give access to billions of federal dollars was given to the African American community largely by Congressman Parren Mitchell. But before I get into that… let’s take a quick look at who he is.

    CONGRESSMAN PARREN JAMES MITCHELL

    Parren James Mitchell was born on April 29, 1922 in Baltimore, Maryland.  His parents were of humble beginnings. His father, Clarence M. Mitchell, Sr., was a waiter, and his mother, Elsie Davis Mitchell, was a homemaker.

    As a young man, Parren Mitchell served as an officer in the 92nd Infantry Division during World War II and was wounded in Italy. He returned as a war hero and received the Purple Heart medal for jumping on a live grenade to save the lives of three other soldiers. His selfless effort should have merited a Silver Star or Medal of Honor, but Blacks could not receive such medals at that time.

    In 1950, Parren Mitchell applied to graduate school at the University of Maryland, the President of the College Park campus rebuffed him by saying it was "inadvisable for Blacks to attend the College Park campus." Mitchell and the NAACP sued for admission and prevailed becoming the first African American to receive a post graduate degree from the main campus of the University of Maryland. He was a champion of civil rights and led local activists during the civil rights era. Today, the University of Maryland graduates more African Americans per year than any other state university system in the nation. This was the start of his long productive life in fighting for the underserved communities.  

    In 1968, Mitchell decided to run for Congress and challenged nine-term Democratic incumbent Samuel Friedel in the Democratic primary and lost. He sought a rematch in 1970, and this time he narrowly defeated Friedel by only 38 votes. He won the general election in November, becoming the first African American to represent the state of Maryland in Congress. 

    Mitchell was one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), playing a significant role in crafting the identity of the new organization. As of 2019, CBC has 55 members. 

    During his sixteen years in Congress, he served on multiple committees, among them, he was Chairman of the House Small Business Committee. Through this committee and as chair to the Congressional Black Caucus he won a reputation as a staunch supporter of black-owned businesses. In 1978, Public Law 95-507 created a pilot program for contracts to be set-aside to socially disadvantaged businesses, which Black-owned firms would fall under. Because of this, Mitchell has been called the father of the federal set-aside program, allowing ten percent of federal business contracts to be awarded to minority owned businesses. 

    It is this landmark legislation which paved the way for today’s 8(a) Program and every other small business program. “I worked very hard in Congress to get laws on the books to benefit minority business,” Mitchell told Sonny Goldreich in the Baltimore Business Journal. “Everywhere I speak, I say, ‘This is the second phase of the civil rights movement. We cannot expect to be full-fledged citizens until we fully participate in the economy.’”

    A Brief History of the 8(a) Program

    To fully appreciate the magnitude of Parren Mitchell’s impact in society, we’ll need to better understand the 8(a) Business Development Program. The 8(a) Program allows for minority business owners with control of 51% or more of a small business to obtain admission as a certified 8(a) company. Through this certification, 8(a) companies can win set-aside contracts which other non-8(a) companies are excluded from. The greatest benefit of the 8(a) certification is Sole Source Contracts (SSC). Sole Source Contracts are direct award projects to one company. There is no bidding or a competitive procurement process. It is awarded purely on the capabilities of the company and the trust from the contracting officer. Most importantly, SSC’s have a high ceiling of $4 million. A certified 8(a) company can receive a direct award up to $4 million without having to compete with any other companies.

    Below is a brief history of the 8(a) Program.

    The creation of the current 8(a) Program evolved through multiple stages. It’s genesis rests in the cradle of World War II. In 1942, Congress first authorized a federal agency to enter into prime contracts with other agencies and subcontract with small businesses. This was to support the procurement of goods and services to support the war efforts from small businesses which often didn’t understand procurement regulations and policies. This agency was called Smaller War Plants Corporation (SWPC). The SWPC’s subcontracting authority expired along with the SWPC at the end of the World War II. 

    In 1951, at the start of the Korean War, Congress created the Small Defense Plants Administration (SDPA), given the same powers that the SWPC.  In 1953, Congress transferred the SDPA’s subcontracting authorities to the newly created SBA, with the intent that the SBA would exercise these powers in peacetime, as well as in wartime.

    When the Small Business Act of 1958 transformed the SBA into a permanent agency, the authority of subcontracting small businesses to the SBA acting as the prime was included in Section 8(a) of the act, thus the name, 8(a) Certification Program.

    In 1967, Presidents Lyndon Johnson created the President’s Test Cities Program (PTCP), which involved a small-scale use of the SBA’s authority under Section 8(a) to award contracts to firms willing to locate in urban areas and hire unemployed individuals, largely African Americans, or sponsor minority-owned businesses by providing capital or management assistance. However, under the PTCP, small businesses did not have to be minority-owned to receive subcontracts under Section 8(a).

    In 1968, the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Program was enhanced to allow for federal purchases from socially or economically disadvantaged owners of small businesses. However, the 8(a) Program was not effective and rarely utilized. The SBA mainly focused on supporting loans and not contracting. 

    On March 5th, 1969, President Richard Nixon, with advice from Robert J. Brown, established the Office of Minority Business Enterprise. Today, it has transformed to become the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). 

    In 1977, The Public Works Employment Act as amended by Congressman Parren J. Mitchell required that 10% of each Federal Construction project be awarded to minority businesses. This set the stage for the use of set-aside programs.

    In 1978, Public Law 95-507 mandated that bidders for federal contracts in excess of $500,000 for goods and services and $1,000,000 for construction must submit a small business utilization plan which includes percentage goals for minority businesses. Today, large firms have taken this cue and formed diversity programs and small business programs.

    Also, in 1978, Congress amended the Small Business Act to give the SBA express statutory authority to support subcontracting with social and economically disadvantaged firms, which specifically include Black owned businesses and other minority owned businesses.  

    The Father of the 8(a) Program.

    Many hands went into the establishment of set-asides and the 8(a) Program, but no other had a louder voice and more profound effort to see that contracting dollars were set-aside to the Black community. As a Congressman, Parren Mitchell aggressively insisted that the billions of federal contracts be made accessible to Black owned companies. 

    It is through these and many other legislations which Parren Mitchell fought for that I dubbed him with the moniker as the “Father of the 8(a) Program.” He is a GIANT through the countless regulations which he sponsored and supported. Parren Mitchell’s service in Congress paved the way for the most powerful entrepreneurial program for the Black community and other socially disadvantaged groups. Every small business program which came after owes its roots to Parren Mitchell. 

    Set-aside programs, sole source contracts, minority certifications, women business enterprise programs, Alaskan and Tribally owned corporations, Vet First contracting initiatives, Ability One, HUBzone certification, DBE, MBE, WBE, diversity programs and many other such small business initiatives can be traced to the work which Parren Mitchell and his peers fought for. 

    For the magnitude of impact which Parren Mitchell has accomplished, he is an unsung hero in the annals of American history and in the Black community. Very few people know who he is or the impact he has made. So are the entrepreneurs who he has helped. They are the millionaires next door. They quietly go about their business of providing value and services to government agencies. They grow their companies from a few employees to millions in revenue and in some cases, billions in revenue. 

    MORE BLACK MILLIONAIRES

    Through the groundwork which Parren Mitchell initiated and laid, Secretary of HUD Alphonso Jackson often says, 

    “There is no other program that has produced more Black millionaires in this nation than the 8(a) program.”

    As an example, one of the most successful 8(a) Program graduate is World Wide Technology, Inc. WWT was founded by Dave Steward and has grown from a few staff to over 4,000 employees. WWT made Fortune’s 2018 “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Additionally, WWT appeared on the 2018 “Best Workplace in Technology” list by Great Place to Work and Forbes’ Largest Private Companies list. WWT has an estimated revenue of $11 billion annually. Celebrity Net worth ranked Dave Steward as the 2nd richest Black man in the US, with a net worth of $4 billion, higher than:

    • Oprah Winfrey: $2.8 billion

    • Michael Jordan: $1.9 billion

    • JayZ: $1 billion

    • Tyler Perry: $600 million

    • Denzel Washington: $220 million

    In comparison, think about what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did for civil rights and social justice. Think about how Oprah Winfrey changed the landscape of media and entertainment. Think about what Jackie Robinson did for professional sports. That is what Congressman Parren Mitchell did for small businesses and economic justice. He is an unrecognized hero for the magnitude of impact which he has made.

    ECONOMIC COMPARISON

    Let’s do a quick economic impact comparison to other industries.

    This chart compares the set-aside program which Mitchell fought for with other industries.

    The 8(a) Program has 6,000 companies. These companies won approximately $25 billion in contracts annually. All companies in federal set-aside programs, such as WOSB, HUBZone or SDVOSB, won a total of $44 billion in contracts. (Source: usaspending.gov)

    National Football League (NFL):

    32 teams x 53 man roster = 1696 total players

    68% or 1153 NFL Players are African America

    Estimated Total NFL Salary: $6 billion x 68% = $4 billion going to African America Players

    Hip-hop/Rap Music:

    In 2017, Goldman Sachs reported that R&B and hip-hop lead the music industry with live music streaming, publishing and recorded songs with an estimated $26 billion in revenue. 

    THE SECOND PHASE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

    It seems that we’ve come a long way from the bus boycott and civil rights marches of the 1960’s, but upon deeper reflection, those who marched back then knew that ending segregationist laws in the South would be just the first step in the long journey for true equality.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “The first phase had been a struggle to treat the Negro with a degree of decency, not of equality.” He further explained during the last few years of his life that “I have felt my dreams falter as I have traveled through the rat-infested slums of our big city ghettos and watched our jobless and hopeless poor sweltering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society.” 

    It is with this thought that King and other activists in the black freedom struggle came together to support an economic proposal. This initiative was a unified vision from King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), and the NAACP. From this dream to bridge the nation’s racial inequality through economic equality, the Freedom Budget emerged in 1967.

    In 1968, the Poor People's Campaign, or Poor People's March on Washington was organized byMartin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Later that year, on April 4, 1968, Dr. King would be assassinated, and Ralph Abernathy led the march with 3,000 people in Washington.  The Poor People’s Campaign ended shortly after King’s death along with the economic demands of the second phase of the civil rights movement.

    However, when Parren Mitchell was elected to Congress, he took on this mantle to use legislations, instead of marches, to create economic equality. He sponsored 241 bills and co-sponsored 3,863 bills. Mitchell remarked, “If this democracy should ever fail it will come from within because of the enormous disparity between the rich and the poor.” 

    On May 28, 2007, the Honorable Parren J. Mitchell passed away.  He left behind a legacy of legislative work which empowered the “second phase of the civil rights movement.” If Martin Luther King, Jr. is akin to a Moses figure, then Parren Mitchell is akin to Joshua.  

    Today, some of us may feel that we’re living in the promised land, but we’re far from the promise of economic equality. In terms of Black wealth compared to White wealth, the median family wealth for white people is $171,000, compared with just $17,600 for Black people. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 19 percent of Black households have zero or negative net worth.

    Who will be the torch bearers of King and Mitchell? Who will fight tenaciously for Black economic empowerment? Who will move the second phase of the civil rights movement to become a dream realized?  

    Congressman Parren J. Mitchell opened the door to make our generation a little better. We must carry on the struggle more diligently so that the next generation may realize what our current generation does not have. 

    "If you believe in fighting racism, you make a commitment for the rest of your life.  There's no getting off that train.  You can't say I've put five years in fighting racism and now I'm finished.  No, you are not finished.  Our job is to fight it every day, to continue to shove it down and when it rises up to shove it down even harder."    

    - Parren J. Mitchell, 1922 - 2007


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Abraham Xiong is President of Government Contractors Association, Inc., a professional association dedicated to supporting businesses in the contracting market.  He is a social entrepreneur, a business coach, and an avid advocate for small and disadvantaged businesses. 


    Mr. Xiong is the Co-Founder of the software program called www.GovGenie.com which is a full-life cycle government contracting tool. 


    Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved GCA and GovGenie.com


    BELOW…. ARE NOTES

    Mitchell remarked. “If this democracy should ever fail it will come from within because of the enormous disparity between the rich and the poor.”25

    H.R.4200 — 98th Congress (1983-1984) A bill to amend Section 8(a) of the ... of Asian Pacific Americans to participate in programs under section 8(a) of the

    Minorities represent 34 of the population of the United States, but minority

    businesses represent only 21 of total businesses, 7 of gross receipts —

    and 3 of total corporate purchases.

    Minority businesses are one of the fastest-growing business segments. They

    are well-positioned to contribute both to job growth and to the overall

    economic health of minority communities and the country as a whole.

    According to the Bureau of the Census, by the year 2050, the minority

    population will represent 54 of the total U.S. population.


    https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/18367

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44844.pdf

    www.sba.gov/8a

    https://www.govassociation.org/resources/Documents/How%20to%20Use%20the%20FAR%20and%20Other%20Regulations%20to%20Help%20you%20Win%20More%20Contracts.pdf

    https://www.nmsdc.org/wp-content/uploads/How-To-2015edited.pdf

    https://www.mbda.gov/about/history


    https://www.mbda.gov/page/executive-order-11458

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parren_Mitchell

    https://www.nmsdc.org/wp-content/uploads/How-To-2015edited.pdf


    https://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/research-topics/running-your-business/government-contracting/government-contracting-rules-you-need-to-know


    https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/us-history-biographies/parren-j-mitchell


    https://www.prrac.org/pdf/FreedomBudget.pdf

    https://inequality.org/research/faltered-dreams/






  • 11 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    In the retail business, it is said that it’s about 3 words… “Location, Location, Location.” Well, in the government market, the same is true. It also about 3 words, but a slightly different word. Government contracting is about… “Relationship, Relationship, Relationship.”

    So, why is a relationship so important in the government market? How do you go about finding those relationships and how do you nurture them?

    For small businesses, relationship is king in the government market for two main reasons, Set-Asides and Sole Source Contracts. To receive these types of contracts depends on how strong your relationship is with a contracting officer or a program manager.

    It is said that building a relationship in the government market is about "KLT".

    K = Know

    L = Like

    T = Trust

    Old Standard:

    "It’s not what you know but who you know."

    New Standard:

    "It's not what you know or who you know, but who knows you back."

    You can know people, but until they know, like and trust you, there will be very little business opportunities.

    Keep in mind that the government is risk averse. They don’t like taking risks. They want to entrust a project to a company that they believe will do the work correctly and in a timely manner. This is called being responsible and responsive or R&R. When you foster a relationship where there is KLT and can demonstrate R&R, the contracting officer will be open to sole sourcing a contract to your business.

    There are six types of relationships which you must build to maximize your chances of success in the government market.

    As a vendor or contractor in the government market, you must fully understand these types of relationships and how they work together:

    1) END USER: The agency is the end user. They’re often called the client. This could be the department director, the program manager, a supervisor, or someone who has a need in the agency. When an end user needs something, they have very little contracting authority. They have a need and the budget to purchase a product or service, but they don’t have the ability to bind the government into a contractual relationship with a contractor. This is where the next type of relationship comes in.

    2) CONTRACTING OFFICE: The contracting office acts as the buyer for the agency or the end user. They are made up of contracting officers or KOs. They must understand procurement rules and regulations. Often, these professionals must attend Defense Acquisition University to learn how to buy on behalf of agencies. This can be years of training before they can have contracting authority to handle millions or billions in contracts. KOs understand the F.A.R. or federal acquisition regulation. This is the contracting Bible. GSA is a great example of a contracting office which buys on behalf of agencies. Below are different roles and titles:

    a. CO = Contracting Officer

    b. KO = Contracting Officer

    c. PCO = Procurement C.O.

    d. TCO = Termination C.O.

    e. ACO = Administrative C.O.

    f. C.S. = Contracting Specialist

    g. COR = Contracting Officer Representative

    h. COTR = C.O. Technical Representative

    i. FPO = Federal Project Officer

    j. GSA = General Service Administration

    k. DLA = Defense Logistics Agency

    3) SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATES: The Small Business Advocate or Specialist (SBS) is the arm of the government which engages with small businesses to help them work with their agency. They often do outreach events, matchmaking events, industry days or small business connection events. There are multiple names which they go by:

    a. OSDBU = Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

    b. OSBP = Office of Small Business Programs

    c. SBA B.O.S. = Business Opportunity Specialist

    d. SADBUS = Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist

    e. Others….

    4) LARGE/PRIMES: Large companies are often prime contract holders. Generally, large primes are required to subcontract 35% of projects over $750,000 to small businesses. This requirement is part of their small business program which indicates how they intend to utilize small businesses. When a large prime submits a proposal, it must include a small business plan. This plan is managed by the Small Business Liaison Officer or SBLO. This person may go by other titles, such as diversity manager or subcontracting manager. A great approach is to subcontract, enter into a teaming, joint venture, or mentor protégé relationship.

    5) SMALL BUSINESSES: Approximately 70% of government projects require two or more companies to perform on the project. An effective strategy is to team up with other certified small businesses. Finding and building a close relationship with certified companies that have certifications such as WOSB, SDVOSB, 8a, HUBZone, Section 3, VOSB, WBE, DBE, MBE, or other types of certifications will be useful. Certain agencies have a preference of which contracting vehicles or certifications they like to utilize. Search for companies in parallel industries with similar goals, ethics, vision, or mission. Cooperating with your competitors is a good approach to adding capabilities to your company without adding the overhead.

    6) GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT: The ultimate goal is to build a strong government contracting team or a department. This team includes in-house roles and outsourced support. In the early stages, one person may wear many hats, but as your team matures, you’ll need to fill all these positions:

    a. Proposal writer

    b. Capture Manager/Relationship manager

    c. Contracting Specialist

    d. Research team/Opportunity sourcing

    e. Cost estimator/CPA, Admin.

    Often, you may consider hiring a former KO, consulting firm, or ex-military officer to help you build your government team.


    The above are the 6 key relationships which you want to know. The more intimately you get familiar with each type, the greater your chance of success.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Abraham Xiong is President of Government Contractors Association, Inc., a professional association dedicated to supporting businesses in the contracting market. He is a social entrepreneur, a business coach, and an avid advocate for small and disadvantaged businesses.

    Mr. Xiong is the Co-Founder of the software program called www.GovGenie.com which is a full-life cycle government contracting tool.

  • 04 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Not familiar with CMMC? Well, if you are a federal contractor, you will need to be. CMMC stands for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification and it is coming… FAST. On January 31, CMMC version 1.0 was announced and soon it will be expected of every DOD contractor. Three Key takeaways are these:

    1. Cybersecurity risks threaten the Defense industry and the National Security of the US and its allies,

    2. The CMMC model is a collaboration between industry, academia, military, Capitol Hill and the public,

    3. This is just the first milestone.

    The goal of the CMMC is to achieve a Cyber Safe, Cyber Secure and Cyber Resilient Defense Industrial base.

    The most vulnerable link in the Defense supply chain is usually six, seven or eight levels down. This usually lies with us, the small business subcontractor. Because we may not have strong cybersecurity defense systems in place, it is relatively easy for a cyber attacker to breach our systems. We then inadvertently transmit the malware, trojan horse or a myriad of other crippling cyber threats up the supply chain as we communicate with the sub or prime contractor above us.

    Historically, $600 Billion – approximately 1% of GDP – is lost via cyberthreats. With the introduction of CMMC, the Defense industry is taking seriously the task of eliminating these threats to every extent possible.

    What is the timeline for CMMC?

     The late spring and early summer will bring in the new Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) requirements.

     Beginning June 2020, CMMC requirement will show up in selective RFI’s

     Beginning September 2020, CMMC standards will be required at the time of contract award for all DOD RFP’s

    The CMMC accreditation body was created in January. It is comprised of 13 unbiased parties overseeing the training, quality, and administration of the CMMC Third Party Assessment Organizations called C3PAO’s.

    Please review the video via the attached link learn more about this new requirement that will become the standard in all Defense contracts beginning in September 2020.

    https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/22831


  • 28 Jan 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Growing Cross-Country-Introducing GCA Northwest

    The one consistent reason businesses join the Government Contractors Association is to grow their businesses. To date, GCA has helped its members win more than $900M in government contracts and those are just the wins we know about. GCA has created an ecosystem with service providers and business professionals to help contractors win government contracts.

    GCA’s mission is to educate, facilitate and to advocate for SMBs in government contracting. Towards that end, GCA is pleased to announce the launch of its new GCA Northwest Chapter to be located in Washington State. Contractors in and around Tacoma WA are invited to come and meet the GCA NW chapter leaders Kenn Rivers and Dan xxxxxon February 22, 2020, at xxxxxxxxxxxx. The GCA NW Chapter will extend GCA’s mission to the Pacific Northwest providing education and services to help businesses grow in the government space.

    GCA is looking forward to welcoming new GCA NW Chapter members to the family. Come and take advantage of all of GCA’s tools, education and resources. Kenn and Dan are very experienced in the government space and are GCA trained Certified Capture Managers. GCA is confident that they will serve contractors in the Pacific Northwest well.


  • 21 Jan 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Earlier this week, a colleague of mine ordered inspirational branded shirts with a variety of messages. The lady who made the shirts intentionally designed it where only the male shirts had the words CEO, Boss, Investor, Tech Savvy, I.T., A.I., etc. When my colleague asked the designer why she didn’t design those shirts for women, too, she couldn’t give her an answer. It never crossed her mind to think of a woman as a leader in business.

    Hearing this really shocked me. I didn’t grow up with women in my family running businesses, but I always knew that pride and ownership in developing your own was essential. After being mentally drained in corporate America for a decade, I decided it was time to become one of the 11.6 million woman-owned firms in America. According to www.census.gov, women-owned firms account for 39% of all privately held firms in the United States. Woman-owned firms employ over 9 million employees in the U.S. which resulted in $1.7 trillion added to the economy. These numbers may sound great, but the reality is most woman-owned firms make less than $100,000 annually. In addition to low annual revenue, lady bosses have to overcome many other challenges. For instance, a male counterpart is more likely to raise over $100,000 in capital for his venture. StartupNation.com reports that women also lack a strong support system and women mentors who can advise them in their endeavors.


    One thing I know we do well is connect and create. We just need a place to make that magic happen…a safe zone to discuss these matters and learn how to grow. A place to show all women and men that we can be bosses too. That is why the Government Contractors Association in partnership with my company, A Signature Flair Events (www.asignatureflair.com) will host the WOMEN WHO WIN conference on March 19, 2020 from 9am – 1pm. Join us as we empower and educate through stories of success and lessons from failure. We will highlight successful women CEOs who will share their stories of triumphs & trials in creating their enterprises. These women will share information on certifications, programs they joined, collaborations they formed, lessons they have learned, and so much more.

    Women work hard and play even harder. Plan to join us in the Ladies Lounge where women can network, sip on mimosas while enjoying a massage, and shop in the Marketplace. For more details, visit www.WomenWhoWinConference.com.


    Author: Pamela Harris

  • 14 Jan 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The goal of every government contractor is to win contracts. However, we all have varying degrees of success when it comes to contract awards. Often times what separates BIG companies from small businesses is the access BIG companies have to tools and resources that allow them to better navigate the complexities of the government market. These tools and resources can be very expensive and for companies on a tight budget, it’s just not feasible. Take DCAA compliance, to implement DCAA compliant accounting software, an investment of over $50,000 may be required. In today’s market, a robust bid tracking and CRM tool can cost around $24,000 per year. How many small businesses do you know that can afford this?

    You as a small business owner may want and need access to these tools but with the high costs they may be out of reach. You then end up settling for a cheaper entry level software that does not do much at all. There is no integration of your bid management, capture management, proposal management or your compliance management processes. There is no AI built-in to make recommendations on potential teaming partners and contract opportunities that may fit your company’s profile and no machine learning to automate your searches. If only you were a genie, you could build out a platform to make it easier for you.


    A NEW PATH FORWARD

    If you could build your own software to help win more government contracts…

    - What would it look like?

    - What tools would be nice to have?

    - Do you need a Bid Tracking tool?

    - Do you want a CRM that integrates with the Bid Tracking tool?

    - Would you like a Teaming Portal to connect with potential teaming partners?

    - Would you like to manage your capture management process on one portal?

    - Would you like a tool to manage your proposal templates and proposal process

    - Would you like an integrated accounting system that is DCAA compliant?

    - What features do you need for contract management?

    - How much do you think is a reasonable cost on a monthly basis?

    GovGenie™ is in the early stages of building an affordable solution to make it easier for government contractors to succeed in the government market. It will be a full life-cycle government contracting platform. First, we are developing a bid matching and SmartCRM platform to make it easier for you to source contracting opportunities. After that, we’ll build out a social community to help you find teaming partners. We’ve got a road map to integrate many more solutions… Let us know what you want us to build next.

    BUILT FOR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS

    The founding team members of GovGenie™ are all government contractors. We have been in the trenches and we are also frustrated with the expensive software and the lack of integration between all the tools currently on the market. As government contractors we decided to build GovGenie™ just for us to use but then we thought…we are not the only contractors that have these challenges so why not reach out to other government contractors to see what you have on your wish list.

    WE NEED YOUR HELP

    To ensure that we build the best software for this industry, we need your help. We are looking for beta-users. As a beta user, you will have the opportunity to provide input on the challenges you face with winning government contracts and share with the GovGenie™ team what you need to overcome these challenges.

    If you had your wish, what functions and features would you want GovGenie™ to have to make it easier for you to win government contracts? The best part of being a beta user is…the GovGenie™ software development team is here to grant your wish.

    Here are some of the benefits you get for being an early beta user?

    - Access to potentially the most powerful AI bid sourcing software

    - Early access to the social teaming portal

    - Early access to the SmartCRM

    - Sneak peek into unreleased features

    - Full access to the GovGenie™ Secret Facebook Group

    - Tell us what you want, we’ll do our best to include it in the buildout

    - Founding Member status of the platform

    - Free usage of the GovGenie™ platform until launch

    - Special Founding Member discounted price to GovGenie™ after launch

    - Plus more…


    BECOME A BETA USER (Limited Slots Available)

    There is a limited number of open slots for GovGenie™ beta users. If you want access as a beta user we invite you to join the conversation in our Secret GovGenie™ Facebook Group. Let us know what you need and what we should consider building out. As soon as we’re ready for more beta users, we’ll let you know in the Secret Group. Once you're in, we will notify you when the next group of beta users are being accepted. 

    Join the Secret Facebook Group to get beta user invitations. 

    (NOTE: you'll need to sign into Facebook)

    Join here:   

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1084206461927916/ 


  • 07 Jan 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    If you are like me, then sometimes, you need a swift kick in the butt to get moving again. In times like that, it always helps to have a “straight, no chaser” type of friend around that is ready with the boot. Last week I was having a bit of a pity party and had let fear get the best of me. When I let myself get to that point, I can stagnate in my business and begin to create what I fear most… LACK.

    Lack of new clients, lack of revenue, lack of momentum. I’ve written before about how fear can trap you in your comfort zone; but it can also be quicksand that will suck you further in the more you writhe around in it. The thing about fear is that when you spend any length of time dwelling in its presence, you literally, bring to bear what you fear the most. So how does one conquer fear? With Faith!

    Faith is the only way to beat fear because it is the only thing that allows you to press through the uncertainty. And isn’t that the basis of fear. Uncertainty. If you are afraid of the dark isn’t it because you don’t know what’s hiding in it? If you are afraid to make a big move (in business, or life) isn’t it because you are unsure of the result? The uncertainty is what causes the fear and panic. If you KNEW everything would be perfect, you’d have no fear or angst. Well if you have faith, then you have that knowing.

    I have to remind myself of this lesson more often than I care to admit. When I get fearful and panic stricken, I have to remember all of the times I’ve let go of the fear, walked right to the edge of the cliff…and kept walking. Miraculously I was carried to the other side (this is figuratively of course; please don’t try literally walking off of cliffs, lol). My business has been the biggest faith walk of my life, and the faith that I have built during this journey is what helps me deal with a plethora of personal challenges.

    How does all of this apply to you? Well, what have you been putting off because of fear? Be honest with yourself. You may use the typical excuses like you don’t have the time, or the resources; but deep down, it has been the uncertainty that has kept you from doing what you need to do. I challenge you to pick one big thing that you have been putting off and do the following:

    1. Face the fear. By naming the uncertainty surrounding what you fear, you can come to terms with it.

    2. Find your faith. By understanding that you have no control of the outcomes - only of your actions - you can find confidence to do your best. Have faith that your best will be good enough.

    3. Walk through it. Just do whatever it is you know to do next. By doing the next right thing, you continue progressing toward the goal. Your continued action is what guarantees success.


    About The Author

    Myra Cisse is the owner of Certified Federal Contractors.  She worked as a banker for 20+ years and spent the last 6 years of her banking career assisting business owners and closing millions of dollars of SBA loans.  She spent 5 years with GCA providing much needed government contracting education to business owners and is now applying that knowledge to grow her government contracting business. 

  • 31 Dec 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    That GCA’s 50% off Membership Special for 2019 is quickly coming to an end. This special is open to EVERYONE (existing members can extend their membership) at this rate & new ones can reap the benefits.

    What does a GCA membership entail?

     Access to weekly training classes that teaches you steps to get to contracts

     Access to daily bids sent to your inbox

     Discounted tickets to Small Business Connection Series events

     Access to Gov Vault which contains 100s of hours of training

     Access to coworking space at Origin (PLUS discounted rates to use event space)

     And so much more

    The Government Contractors Association was created to educate business owners like you on how to win contracts. Companies who have seen the most success from GCA’s teachings have followed the Success Formula which is P+P+P+P = P. That formula has equated to over $900,000,000 in contracts. Are you winning your fair share in contracts?

    If it were easy to get a contract, then every entrepreneur would have one. Don’t waste another year wondering what action you should take to increase revenue. Click now to sign up for the membership special rate at $249.00. This special ends at midnight on December 31, 2019.

    See you in 2020!


  • 25 Dec 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    I love it when chill is in the air and frost starts to form on the windshield. I love it when the leaves turn bright yellow and red. I especially love it when snowflakes start for fall. All these things signal my favorite time of the year, Christmas. There’s something special about this holiday. Maybe, it’s the family getting together. Maybe, it’s the festive parties or the great food. Maybe, we enjoy having a little time of R&R or time for spiritual reflection. For me, it’s all of that but I really cherish the gift wrapping and opening up presents. I love watching the kids tear the wrapping to reveal the surprise inside. I can see the one thought running through their minds; will I get what I want for Christmas.

    I’m not sure what your favorite thing is during this time of the year, but as an entrepreneur and a government contractor, wouldn’t it be nice to open up an email with an AWARD notice from that agency that you’ve submitted your proposal to last month.


    So, for this holiday season, I’m declaring that all I want for Christmas is a government contract and I wish that to all of you as well. I’m not sure what you want for Christmas, but a government contract will solve a lot of other needs. You’re ONE contract away from having an amazing 2020. You’re one contract away from paying off some bills. You’re one contract away from affording a new hire. You’re one contract away from being able to finally go on that vacation. One contract can go a long way.

    GCA started the 2019 season with a goal to start pursuing some government contracts. It was so amazing to open up an email saying that we’ve won a contract. That is such a refreshing feeling. Some of you have experienced that… a few of you are still waiting to get your first contract.

    Now that 2020 is here, what kind of emails do you want to open up this year. Will it be more spam or an award notice? Will it be millions in government contracts? If you want it to be contracts, what will you do differently to prepare yourself for it.

    There are a few things which GCA can help you with. Firstly, we announced recently that Myra will be leaving her full-time role at GCA to build a government contracting company. We decided to do this so GCA can continue to be a training organization to help all our members and let her company be the contracting partner to GCA. Her company is called Certification Consultants, DBA: Certified Federal Contractors. She will be pursuing contracts and will be seeking teaming partners who bring solid capabilities to the collaboration. Her company will be able to do many of the heavy lifting which have often held back small companies. She will handle the opportunity sourcing, capture planning, pricing strategy, proposal writing and contract management. If you team with her company, your main task is to bring your capabilities to the table and deliver the product or service upon contract award. Myra will still be volunteering at GCA, but her focus will be working with companies to team on projects.

    Secondly, GCA will be starting our Capture Management Training. These classes are held every Tuesday night, live at our office and online for those who wish to join us virtually. We will go through 12 lessons which will prepare you to become a serious rain-maker for your company. You will learn what it means to be a capture manager and how you can set yourself apart as an industry professional. Ultimately, you will learn the 5-P’s Methodology that has helped our members and clients win over $900 million on contracts.

    We cover a new topic each session. We will guide you through our 12 Steps to Winning Government Contracts.

    1) ASSESSMENT: Do you have resources? finances, credit, hr/strong staff, talents, mobilization capital

    2) STRATEGY: Do you have a strategic plan? short/long term, jv, teaming, mentor protégé, sub, prime

    3) EDUCATION: Do you speak governese? Understand contracting language, regulations, policies, standards, etc

    4) REGISTRATION: How to get registered for opportunities. What certifications will you need, etc.

    5) IMAGE: How's your brand? strong, recognizable, broad, reputation, past performance

    6) MARKETING: Capability statement, biz card, website, marketing collateral, brand that speaks to gov't buyers?

    7) RELATIONSHIP: Do you have the proper types of relationships in the gov't market. Triangle of relationships

    8) OPPORTUNITY: Do you know where to find opptys, fbo, bid match, id opps, prospecting, etc?

    9) PROPOSAL: Can you write proposals? Can you learn or hire one? technical experts, estimators

    10) PERFORMANCE: Can you deliver and perform or do you need subs?

    11) COMPLIANCE: Are you DCAA compliant? acctng system, trained personnel, QA program, insurance, bonding?

    12) CLOSURE: Successful completion of project? Proper close out? Paid yet? ACO happy?

    To register for the capture management classes, use this link:

    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8066905010268469517

    So, on this final week of 2019, I want to say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2020 bring you lots of award notices.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Abraham Xiong is the Founder of the Government Contractors Association. He has an insatiable love for

    the B2G market. Over the last decade, he has taught thousands of entrepreneurs to implement the best

    practices learned from years of practical application and countless hours of research. For his work with

    the small business community, Mr. Xiong received President Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the

    Global Humanitarian Award and the State of Georgia afforded him as a Goodwill Ambassador.

    Click Here to Learn More About His Methodologies: www.GovUniversity.org


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