Love paperwork? Get Certified and Start Selling to the Government.
So after you read my blog post, Want to sell to the government? Cra, cra
, you went ahead down the darkened staircase and gave registering with the government a try. Going through the treacherous process, where there were moments where even hardened warriors were brought to tears, the finish line was crossed and you collapsed exhausted but so happy when you finally, finally got; “Congratulations! Your business is officially registered!”
Now boys and girls, it’s time to get your business certified!
So this is how it went down but not really since I’m still in the application process phase. No matter what government agency you decided to bid on, there will be a large pool of companies vying, like you, to be the chosen ones. Small companies competing with the large corporations, bidding for the same contracts. So the government entities felt that to even the playing field they would give some of the contracts to companies that might be certified as an alphabet soup.
You got your DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and the DVBE: Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, and LGBTBE: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Business Enterprises and WOSB: Women Owned Small Business and lastly, but not really, SBE: Small Business Enterprise.
The advantage is two-fold. One, there’s a quota that has to be met where government departments have to give a portion of their upcoming projects to businesses that are disadvantaged in some way.The other fold, depending what certification route you go, when it’s bidding time, they make yours look enticing by lowering your bid by a certain percentage. For instance, you might bid $10,000 and if you’re certified for, say DVBE, they will lower your bid by 1.5%. Showing $8,500 will probably attract more clients and you get to keep the difference if you win the bid.
And that, my friend is how I ended up in this spider web.
Owning a small business, there are certain hoops I’m willing to jump through to get that precious certification and compete with the big players. But the hoops! There are many and getting through them all is a test of wits.
I understand they want undisputed proof of what kind of business is being vetted to protect against fraud. But the laundry list of documents that has to be submitted, from years of tax filing, to work history to getting notarized of gender. Yup, you read right, Prove Your Gender. My recommendation to all of you who own a young company, do it now. Don’t wait. The paper work is long and tedious but from what I’m hearing from the older companies, they have a much harder time since they have many more years of paperwork to submit.
If any of you live in the Golden State and have a question or an experience you want to share just type it below and I will sprinkle it with Helpful Dust.
Now where did I put my notarized gender letter?
Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean, a guiding light to all things Microsoft Access and Excel. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.