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  • 26 Nov 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Government Contracting is a seductive and lovely lady. She is a Goddess, mysterious and sexy, intoxicating and sobering, full of richness and yet so far from reach. I first met her in late 2007 through an introduction by a retired Army Lt. Colonel.  At first glance, I was mesmerized. She had stolen my attention and I was drunk in love. My heart skipped at the sight of her. She was beautiful and gorgeous. Her perfume smelled like money, to the tune of nearly $500 billion each year. 

    The more I got to know her, the more intrigued I became. She was complex and witty with great depth, filled with layers of regulations and legalize to keep me interested. It was easy for me to give my whole heart to her.

    As our romanced developed I saw the many lovers she's had. She had captivated many before me and some found eternal bliss with her. Their love blossomed and their companies grew to multi-millions in sales. Others who were swept by her got lost along the way in the contracting maze. They under-estimated her complexities and never appreciated or became fond of how deep she really is. They were only attracted to her outer beauty and richness. They are the many that wanted a relationship with her but was left stranded, broken and destitute. I was determined not to be one of them. 

    So, I set out to learn more about this mysterious lady named ‘government contracting’ and asked everyone who knew her well, how I can win her heart. I savored over thousands of websites and read hundreds of articles about her. I studied her roots and got to know her family. I traveled to see her in DC and around the country. The more I got to know her, the more intimate we became. The work and time I invested into our relationship didn't seem hard, it was easy for me to give myself to her.

    It is in this discovery journey that led me to become the founder of the Government Contractors Association. In the course of my relationship with this Goddess of Government Contracting, I have accessed more than $900 million in contract wins for our members, clients, and my organizations.

    Now it's your turn... that is why I set up the Government Contractors Association, so others like you can come and get to know her and experience how good she can be.

    Government Contractors Association is an organization, made up of people who love to share the wonders of the contracting market. We love to tell the story of the beauty of this industry and spread the opportunities of its richness. It is full of resources, anecdotes, tips and strategies. This association is your introduction to this Goddess of Government Contracting. It is your gateway to the government contracting world. 

    My hope is that maybe you too will fall madly in love with her.


    Get to know this Goddess of Government Contracting by joining the Government Contractors Association.

     

    www.govassociation.org/join


    ABOUT THE ARTICLE 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.GovCademy.com 


  • 19 Nov 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

    We all want to plan but many of us struggle to plan for opportunities in the government sector. Some of the tools out there are really complex and hard to navigate. Other paid resources that aggregate the data for you can be expensive. So we want to share a few tools that we've found to be quite user friendly.

    One such system is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Acquisition Planning Forecast System (APFS). The DHS APFS is actually easy to navigate (imagine that). Also, a lot of the search criteria is actually written in English and not “Acronym”. The fields that are in “Acronym” allow you to keep the default value of VIEW ALL and then narrow the search once you see opportunities. The things we like most about this system are:

    1. It allows you to forecast (since we are already in Q1 of the new fiscal year) and

    2. It allows you to narrow your search by program (i.e. WOSB, SDVOSB, 8(a), etc.).


    This APFS tool is used by just one department of the federal government; so, this is by no means the only source of procurement and acquisition information available. Another extremely friendly site is Unison formerly FedBid. This site is an online marketplace that many federal departments have turned to for sourcing goods and services. There are several advantages to this marketplace:

    1. It is SUPER easy to navigate,

    2. The bid process is much simpler - and therefore less expensive - than going a traditional route of

    preparing an RFP, and

    3. You can find opportunities at many different agencies on this one resource


    Those first 2 sites are free resources, and we all love free. However, if you can make a small investment in your business, then you may want to consider a tool like GovTribe. The cost is nominal for a single user and still relatively reasonable for up to 10 users. This will not only allow you to source Federal Contract AND Grant data, but it will give you valuable information like:

    1. Likely competitors (based on prior award data)

    2. Similar projects to the ones you review

    3. The people (contracting officers, etc.) attached to projects along with contact information


    Now that you have a few resources, start mining the data to see what opportunities you can uncover to help make 2020 your best year ever!



  • 11 Nov 2019 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, November 6, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the formation of the new Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). This new unit is aimed at deterring, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting procurement-related antitrust crimes such as bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies. The unit will seek to protect taxpayer-funded projects at the federal, state, and local levels from antitrust violations and related crimes. Contracting fraud only serves to drive up government costs and limits the level of competition and participation in government procurement.

    The new PCSF will be an inter-agency partnership consisting of prosecutors from DOJ’s Antitrust Division and 13 U.S. attorneys’ offices, FBI investigators, and inspectors general offices of the Defense Department and the Postal Service, among others. In addition to investigating and prosecuting procurement fraud, the PCSF will also engage in training procurement officials nationwide to detect and report suspicious practices.



    Procurement officials will be taught the following MAPS analysis for detecting collusion (https://www.justice.gov/atr/red-flags-collusion):

    M = MARKET

    Who is in the market for this award?

    Find out how many vendors could compete for the award and which vendors are best positioned to perform the award. The award may be the target of collusion if:

    • There are few vendors in the market that offer the good or service. 
    • A small group of major vendors controls a large share of the market.
    • The good or service is standardized, so that the determining factor in the award is price rather than other competitive factors (such as design, quality, or service).

    A = APPLICATIONS

    Are there similarities between vendor applications or proposals?

    Closely examine the proposals or applications submitted by the competing vendors and look for similarities. The award may be the target of collusion if:

    • Two or more proposals contain similar handwriting, typos, or mathematical errors. 
    • Two or more proposals are sent from the same mailing address, e-mail address, fax number, or overnight courier account number.
    • Two or more proposals reflect that last-minute changes (such as white-outs and cross-outs) were made to alter price quotes.
    • The document properties of two or more electronic proposals show that the proposals were created or edited by one vendor.

    P = PATTERNS

    Have patterns developed among competing vendors?

    Review the outcome of prior awards for the same product or service to identify patterns over time. The award may be the target of collusion if:

    • Over a series of awards, competing vendors rotate as the award winner.
    • Over a series of awards, routine competing vendors win the same or similar amounts of work.
    • Over a series of awards, one vendor always wins, regardless of competition.
    • The vendor that wins the award subcontracts work to losing vendors or to vendors that withdrew their proposals or refused to submit proposals.
    • As compared with prior awards, a smaller number of vendors submit proposals for the current award.

    S = SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR

    Have vendors demonstrated behavior that suggests that they worked together on the award?

    Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior that indicates that vendors worked together rather than competed for the award. The award may be the target of collusion if:

    • A vendor submits a proposal for a procurement or grant award, and you know that the vendor lacks the ability to provide the goods or services requested.
    • A vendor brings multiple proposals to an in-person procurement or grant process or submits multiple proposals.
    • A vendor makes statements on the phone or by e-mail indicating advance knowledge of a competitor's prices or likelihood of winning the award.

    Incentives for Good Behavior

    The DOJ provides incentives for companies to comply with antitrust laws, so that a company may avoid prosecution for criminal antitrust violations should they occur.

    The Leniency Program provides companies and individuals that meet certain conditions an opportunity to avoid prosecution for criminal antitrust violations. To qualify for leniency, a company must self-report the conduct and fully cooperate with the Antitrust Division’s investigation. Additional conditions are outlined and more details are available here (https://www.justice.gov/atr/page/file/926521/download)

    In addition to the Leniency Program, a company may qualify for a deferred prosecution agreement. The company would be required to self-report its offense and demonstrate that it had an robust and effective antitrust compliance program in place at the time of the offense.

    What does this mean for contractors?

    There are major consequences for public procurement corruption including being barred from government contracting, paying large fines/damages, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution. The formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force will drive increased scrutiny of government procurement as well as better coordination of agencies during investigations.

    Contractors should expect an increased chance that their bids may be reviewed and should proactively implement robust and effective antitrust compliance programs.


  • 05 Nov 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    When we met GCA member, Keith Anderson, a year ago we KNEW there was something extra special about him. Keith learned of GCA’s offerings through a close relative and thought it couldn’t hurt to explore the opportunities of membership. And he was absolutely right!

    Keith Anderson is the founder and owner of KAG-1 which is a veteran owned logistics company based in Charlotte, NC. Keith understood that to get the most out of his membership, he would have to commit to traveling occasionally for some trainings and special programs offered by GCA. One event in particular was the Small Business Connection Series (SBCS) event entitled Heavy Hitters Big Spenders featuring the Capability Pitch contest back on August 22 nd of this year. “I traveled to take advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with Ms. Prudence Howard from the VA and delegates who traveled from Korea to be here for the event,” reported Keith.




    Traveling to Atlanta paid off as KAG-1 was one of the guests invited to South Korea to present at the Global Healthcare Conference last week. “The experience was overwhelmingly successful! The Korean delegates embraced KAG-1 and stated that I was the type of partner they were looking to work with,” stated Keith. “I presented on supply chain and how the VA & GSA schedules have a need for medical supplies. Through education and consistent weekly communication with each of the Korean companies, I have been able to a grow a connection that will lead to opportunities.” Consistency is key as we have seen so many business owners start the relationship building but not continue to pursue the follow through.




    As we celebrate all veterans and veteran business owners in the month of November, the Government Contractors Association is especially proud of KAG-1 for representing his business, our organization, and serving our country for 20 years in the U.S. Navy. GCA will be honoring all Veterans at the November 12 th association event at 6pm. (Click to register https://www.govassociation.org/event-3592707 ). Refreshments will be served and parking is free.

    Want to connect with Keith Anderson? Contact him directly at keith@KAG1inc.com or call 844-524-5241.



  • 29 Oct 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Are we at risk of another government shutdown?

    There is always the risk of a government shutdown. Right now, the parties in Congress are at odds again and another possible government shutdown may happen as this year comes to an end.

    What is a government shutdown?

    Congress meets each year to pass a fiscal year budget.

    When they cannot agree on a budget, then they will general issue a Continuing Resolution to keep the government going until a budget agreement is reached.

    If a budget is not agreed on and the Continuing Resolution ends, then a government shutdown will occur.

    What things are NOT impacted by a government shutdown?

     Unemployment checks

     Social security

     Medicare reimbursements

     Farm subsidies

     Veterans' benefits

     Interest payments on the national debt

    Who are required to report for duty? (Essential Personnel)

    Essential personnel are required to report for duty. Although they do not know when their next paycheck will come.

     Active duty military

     Aircraft controllers

     Federal law enforcement agents/ Border patrol officers

    Who are not required to report for duty? (Non-Essential Personnel)

    Non-Essential personnel are furloughed and will not be paid.

     National parks

     National Zoo

     Smithsonian museums

     Diplomats

     IRS workers

    How are Government Contractors impacted by a government shutdown?

    Washington Post reports:

    Nearly 10,000 contracting companies impacted by the government shutdown

    According to Bloomberg, the shutdown may cost contractors $200 million each day, or almost $1.5 billion per week.

    What does this mean for you as a business trying to get into the government market?

    It does not impact you much at all, if any.

     Delay in RFP/RFQ’s being issue.

     Delay in you meeting with potential agency buyers.

     Delay in your marketing and capture plans.

    What does it mean for you if you are an active government contractor?

    If and when there is a shutdown, you may receive a STOP WORK ORDER if your agency or your project is impacted by the government shutdown.

    What is a STOP WORK ORDER?

    FAR

    52.242-15 Stop-Work Order.

    As prescribed in 42.1305(b), insert the following clause. The “90-day” period stated in the clause may be reduced to less than 90days.

    Stop-Work Order (Aug 1989)

    1. (a) The Contracting Officer may, at any time, by written order to the Contractor, require the Contractor to stop all, or any part, of the work called for by this contract for a period of 90days after the order is delivered to the Contractor, and for any further period to which the parties may agree. The order shall be specifically identified as a stop-work order issued under this clause. Upon receipt of the order, the Contractor shall immediately comply with its terms and take all reasonable steps to minimize the incurrence of costs allocable to the work covered by the order during the period of work stoppage. Within a period of 90days after a stop-work is delivered to the Contractor, or within any extension of that period to which the parties shall have agreed, the Contracting Officer shall either-

    a. (1) Cancel the stop-work order; or

    b. (2) Terminate the work covered by the order as provided in the Default, or the Termination for Convenience of the Government, clause of this contract.

    2. (b) If a stop-work order issued under this clause is canceled or the period of the order or any extension thereof expires, the Contractor shall resume work. The Contracting Officer shall make an equitable adjustment in the delivery schedule or contract price, or both, and the contract shall be modified, in writing, accordingly, if-

    a. (1) The stop-work order results in an increase in the time required for, or in the Contractor’s cost properly allocable to, the performance of any part of this contract; and

    b. (2) The Contractor asserts its right to the adjustment within 30days after the end of the period of work stoppage; provided, that, if the Contracting Officer decides the facts justify the action, the Contracting Officer may receive and act upon the claim submitted at any time before final payment under this contract.

    3. (c) If a stop-work order is not canceled and the work covered by the order is terminated for the convenience of the Government, the Contracting Officer shall allow reasonable costs resulting from the stop-work order in arriving at the termination settlement.

    4. (d) If a stop-work order is not canceled and the work covered by the order is terminated for default, the Contracting Officer shall allow, by equitable adjustment or otherwise, reasonable costs resulting from the stop-work order.

    (End of clause)

    HOW ARE YOU IMPACTED AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?

    A stop work order means to stop work and stop incurring cost.

    You must stop work immediately upon receiving a stop work order

    If your company receives a stop work order from Contracting Officer…

    Get clarification and comply by it.

    Notify any effected suppliers and subcontractors

    The government makes no guarantees it will take any further deliveries whatsoever, regardless of the contract type.

    The government makes no guarantee of payment after the stop work order if you continue work.

    If you have received progress payment for work or products, complete that which you have been paid for because they have ownership rights.

    If you’re in the middle of the work, (work-in-progress) then determine a stopping point with the contracting officer.

    If the government has not paid you for items which you have ordered, they have no claims to it and you can resell it if you choose to. When things recommence, you can provide a new quote.

    Manage your risk and treat the stop work order as if you will not continue again or hear from the again.

    If and when the CO has funding to recommence work, you can submit a proposal and renegotiate the scope of work, the amount and delivery date. NOTE: FAR provisions allow for both price and delivery under the equitable adjustment within the spirit of the original contract. 


    IMPORTANT: DO NOT START WORK UNTIL YOU HAVE A SIGNED ADJUSTMENT.

    DISCLAIMER:

    GCA or its representatives are not attorneys and are not providing legal advice. Everything discussed here are for educational purposes only.


  • 30 Apr 2019 4:30 PM | Myra Cisse

    I am quite the HGTV junkie and on an old episode of House Crashers, Josh Temple said “When given a choice, always take the Magic Beans and Trade the Cow!” Six years later, I still remember it. For those of you who may not remember the show, the basic premise was that a contractor stakes out a home improvement store for unsuspecting Do-It-Yourselfers to take him home and do a renovation of a room in 3 days. All for FREE!!!!!

    Those of us who watch, and even you reading this who may never have heard of the show, are thinking, well that’s a total no brainer. But I challenge you to take a moment and do some self-reflection to see if you really have the faith, trust, wonder and belief required to take such an offer. To, in essence, take the magic beans and trade the cow.

    You see, most of us are cynical. I mean if you are past the age of 25, you’ve likely gotten burned in life a few times, and each of those experiences of being hurt, lied to or cheated on become the filter through which we see all other experiences. It takes an incredible amount of faith and courage to see each person for who they are and to see each situation for what it is. It is impossible not to carry your prior experiences into each new interaction, but it is possible for you to choose not to let prior experiences taint the purity of the present.

    I believe we all have been given instincts, intuition, and judgment but we don’t always use it. When we are young and naïve we, oftentimes, don’t trust our instincts and as a result suffer the consequences. Therefore as adults we taint the present because of mistakes made in the past when we may not have been mature enough to follow our intuition. That can be a vicious cycle.

    Rarely in life will you be confronted with a scenario like they depict on House Crashers; but there will be many times in your life when you have to give up what you know to brave the unknown. These are all Magic Bean vs. Cow moments. The “Cow” is the status quo, what you’ve always done the “safe” bet. But the “Magic Beans” are the possibilities, the what-if’s. The Magic Beans will take you places that the Cow never will. Why? Because the Cow represents doing the same thing you’ve always done and the Magic beans represent taking a risk.

    So in business, as in life, you have to make these Magic Beans vs. Cow decisions; but in business you not only have your personal filter through which you are viewing situations, but also the business filter that you’ve acquired  with every business encounter. It’s OK to be a little hesitant about choosing the Magic Beans; since you can’t be sure that the beanstalks will sprout and grow, nor what’s at the top. But you can be certain that if you choose the Cow, you’ll never find out.

    The next time you are presented with a Magic Beans vs. Cow decision take the following steps and you won’t go wrong:

    1. Take a moment to check in with your intuition. Your gut is rarely wrong
    2. Remove the filters you’ve acquired and view the experience with untainted eyes
    3. Choose the Magic Beans, Plant them and Hold on for the ride!


  • 28 Feb 2019 2:54 PM | Myra Cisse

    Call me one of those naïve entrepreneurs who believe that together everyone achieves more, but that is the way I see the world. One of the reasons I struggled toward the end of my corporate career was because of the “Leader Board” System. Let me assure you that I am not one of those parents who believe that there should be no losers in the soccer game and that everybody should win. But it was hard for me to be in that type of competitive environment at work. Maybe it was because for those on top of the leader board, management believed they could do no wrong and for those who weren’t… Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I also saw firsthand how some people would cheat their way to the top of the leader board; and experienced how painful it was to be stabbed in the back when I wasn’t willing to do the same the get to the top.

    Despite the hurt and betrayal I experienced in Corporate America, I still believe that in business one’s gain is NOT another’s loss. You don’t have to step on everyone and anyone who’s in the way to get your slice of the pie because the pie expands! I believe that the more you give, the more you get; and the quickest way to get what you want, is to help as many people as you can to get what it is they want.

    Give, and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38). As an entrepreneur, I oftentimes collaborate with other entrepreneurs and small business owners. The purpose of collaborating isn’t to get any immediate benefit; the purpose is to exchange ideas or to share knowledge. What I have discovered is that every time I give of myself and my time with no expectations, I always get some unexpected benefit. ALWAYS! It’s a spiritual principal.

    This happens to me so much in business that I’ve learned to just expect it. When I get down or discouraged – and believe me, that happens to ALL of us – I just remember some of the past blessing and then do these 3 things:

    1.      Ask for what you want – Oftentimes we struggle because we fail to ask for what we need. (Matthew 7:7)

    2.      Act on opportunities – Act on the opportunities that are given to you. When we ask, it is always given… ALWAYS. But many times, it is in the form of an opportunity that we need to take action on. You will never get an unsolicited check in the mail when you ask for money folks; but the opportunity that landed in your lap will often provide exactly what you asked for

    3.      Stand in AweSome folks would call those opportunities and circumstances that align luck or coincidence, but I know a blessing when I experience one. Stand in awe of the awesome power of God and the Universe and continue to be willing to give.

    My challenge to you this week is find ways within your business that you can give - and I don’t mean give away the farm, we still gotta eat right. It doesn’t matter if it’s done by way of a seminar, a webinar, an educational video on your website, a white paper or an e-book. Choose your method and then find opportunities to give that information to the people searching for it. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results.


  • 14 Feb 2019 11:37 AM | Myra Cisse

    For the past several weeks in our Wednesday Workshops, I have been presenting information about the various certifications available for you to conduct business with corporate or government agencies. During those sessions, I always use the term “Small Business”. Well, what makes a business “Small”? Who decides if your business is small? And why is it important?

    Let’s address those questions. The term “Small Business” is determined by what your business does. Every business either Does, Makes, or Sells something. That “something” defines your business; and the SBA uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code to classify it. Depending on what that code is, there are income limits or employee size limits that will define businesses within those sectors as “small”.

    Let’s look at an example. If you are a Heavy and Civil Engineering construction company that does highway, street and bridge construction, then your NAICS code is 237310.  The annual revenue for your company would have to be less than $33.5 Million in order to be considered small.  If however, your industry was in food manufacturing and you processed fresh and frozen seafood, your NAICS code would be 311712 (1) and your company would be considered small if it had 500 employees or less.

    The tricky part is that most businesses have multiple codes that define what they do. One of my clients is an environmental remediation firm and their services fall under several codes including Environmental Consulting Services, Building Inspection Services, Remediation Services and Testing Laboratories.  Well those 4 codes have 3 different amounts to be considered small ranging from $7MM to $19MM (2).

    So what is a business to do? You know as well as I that business fluctuates. Very few small companies have the annual revenues in 2018 they had in 2013 as they were just recovering from one of the worst recessions in recent history. That may be true for your business as well. So what if your revenues are up one year and down another how does that factor in? Well, the SBA has tried to adjust for this by looking at a 3 year average. There are very specific things that the SBA considers as total annual receipts so review the guidelines (3).

    The dilemma still exists, however, when your business can be categorized in several ways and each has a different definition for small. You can’t just use the biggest one since that could land you in an SBA protest and cause all kinds of problems. Generally all SBA certifications and even the System for Award Management (SAM) will ask for your “primary” NAICS code. This code most closely defines what the majority of your business entails. Let’s look back at the environmental firm example above. Yes, building inspection is a part of what they do as is testing of the environmental hazards they find, but the bulk of their business is in remediation and environmental consulting. So by using one of those codes as primary, they can defer to those parameters for the small business requirements.

    Now you know how to quantify “Small” in SBA terms. So call me when you’re ready to benefit from the BIG advantages of being Small.

    (1) Census Bureau NAICS code lookup - http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/

    (2) Size Standards by NAICS code - http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=79f55e945db7db3fa154a4c606a52f19&rgn=div8&view=text&node=13:1.0.1.1.17.1.268.9&idno=13

    (3) Calculating Annual Receipts - http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=79f55e945db7db3fa154a4c606a52f19&rgn=div8&view=text&node=13:1.0.1.1.17.1.267.4&idno=13 

  • 31 Jan 2019 11:10 AM | Myra Cisse

    As I go about my business - meeting people, networking, speaking - I run into several common misconceptions and myths about certifications that’d I’d like to bust wide open.  Some of these can really get me on a soapbox so I apologize in advance if I get a little passionate.

    The first of these myths is that certifications are an entitlement program.  Nothing can be further from the truth! I say to people ALL THE TIME that certifications provide Opportunities and NOT Guarantees. What’s the difference, you ask? The difference is you get NO benefit by just “being certified”.  Having a certification does NOT mean that manna will rain down from heaven. You have to research the agencies who buy what you sell, you have to find who the contracting officers are in those agencies, you have to learn how to market your business to those individuals and you have to be pleasantly persistent about letting them know how your business solves their problems. Long story short, you still have to do the work.

    Another misconception I hear often from prospects is that certifications are a selling point. This is partially correct but only in the right context. Ten years of experience in your field is a selling point; a track record of on time/on budget delivery is a selling point; past performance with clients/projects of similar size and scope are a selling point; certifications, however, are not a selling point. Certifications are the icing on the cake or the cherry on top; it’s what folks from Louisiana call a “Lagniappe” or a little something extra.  

    One of the other really common misconceptions out there is that you should get every possible certification you can. Although I’ve helped clients with multiple certifications, that isn’t the right choice for every business. It’s back to the old, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I always talk with my prospective clients about their goals with the certifications. I get to the root of who they are trying to serve and let that determine the certifications that can offer a competitive advantage for that prospective client.

    As an example, if you are a minority owned bottling equipment company your goal is to sell your bottling equipment to Coca Cola, then an MBE certification would be better than an 8(a) certification. If you are both a minority and woman owned large animal veterinarian and you want to sell your services to the Department of Interior, then WOSB certification would be a better option than MBE certification. In both scenarios above, the businesses would qualify for each of the certification, but having both may not provide additional benefits.

    These are not all of the myths and misconceptions that are circulating about certifications, but they are the ones I hear most often.  Let’s recap the realities:

    • 1.      Certifications provide opportunities, NOT guarantees.
    • 2.      Certifications are just a piece of paper until you put them to work.
    • 3.      Certifications are not the selling point; but they are the icing on the cake.
    • 4.      Just because you can get a certification doesn’t mean you should get it.
  • 24 Jan 2019 11:59 AM | Myra Cisse

    Do what you do best and outsource the rest. This concept totally resonates with me. There are things, important, fundamental things that should be done in your business. But if those things are not in your wheelhouse, then YOU should not be doing them. I got that message from two different meetings recently and wanted to pass it along in case you are still struggling with control issues in your business.

    There are several reasons to hire those tasks that are not your core competency so let’s discuss those.

    1.       Outsourcing allows you to spend your time generating revenue. The time you spend performing non-revenue generating tasks is doing exactly that, not generating revenue.

    2.       Hiring a professional will cost less in the long run. Whether you realize it or not, there is a dollar value attached to your time. The time you spend muddling your way through something you are unfamiliar with is time not spent working on your business. Also, it will likely take you more time to do the project than it would a professional. Worst case scenario, if you can’t complete what you start (you get in over your head) it will likely cost more to have someone fix the mess than had you outsourced it to begin with.

    3.       You don’t know what you don’t know. An expert knows all the ins and outs of their subject matter, you don’t. In many situations there are DIY checklists but those tools don’t allow you to read between the lines.

    Find yourself a team of folks to help you. If you are just starting out, or don’t have a big budget, then do your research. There are plenty of opportunities to find subject matter experts for low to no cost. As an example, at Government Contractors Association, we offer FREE government contracting training to our members.

    Remember, no successful business has ever been built entirely from one person’s effort. So, aside from your pride, there is no reason for you to go it alone either. Your business is your baby and it takes a village to raise a child.


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