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As a business owner, you’re always searching for new ways to develop your business. A new lead, a new client, a change in marketing strategy can all mean the difference between a period of growth and security or one of struggle and uncertainty. In our competitive business world, you must remain aware of all factors that can give your business a leg up on the competition.
Business classifications and certifications are powerful tools through which to enhance your business’s performance and bottom-line profits. By certifying, you can give your business an advantage in the contract bidding process, maximize your appeal to companies with a strong corporate social responsibility, cement your presence in the diversity and inclusion (D&I) space and much more.
The entities looking to do business with diverse firms are wide-ranging, from public utility companies and school districts to Local, State and Federal agencies. Your business’s expertise and service can get you through the door, but diversity certification will bring you there.
With the establishment of the Office(s) of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, federal agencies are responsible for practicing D&I in their employment activities and increasing supplier diversity by raising the utilization of diverse businesses in the procurement process.
This means business and contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, small businesses and more.
These business avenues are great news for women-owned small businesses, which are prone to financial strain and disparity resulting from imbalanced contracting and funding options.
- The Census Bureau estimates that 88 percent of women-owned businesses fall short of generating $100,000 in revenue
- A 2014 Senate Committee report confirms that women are awarded only 16 percent of conventional small business loans, equivalent to a mere 4.4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans
- The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) reports that 91 percent of women-owned businesses employ no one other than the owner
Although the process of implementing true diversity and inclusion in the American workplace has not been easy, progress is taking place.
- In March 2016, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that:
- For the first time ever, the federal government exceeded its five percent women’s contracting goal, presently awarding 5.05 percent or $17.8 billion of federal small business contracts to women-owned small businesses
- It achieved its 23 percent small business procurement goal for the third year in a row, awarding 25.75 percent ($90.7 billion) of federal contracts to small businesses and supporting 537,000 jobs in the process
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) received 3.93 percent ($13.8 billion) of federal small business eligible contracts
- Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) were awarded 10.06 percent ($35.4 billion) of small business eligible contracts.
- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) paid contractors $507.2 million in 2015, including $83.2 million paid to women-owned businesses (WOB) and $142.5 million paid to minority women-owned businesses (MWOB)
- The FDIC awarded $858.4 million in contracts in 2015, of which $104.2 million went to women-owned businesses (WOB) and $211.6 to minority women-owned businesses (MWOB)
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded over $360 million to women-owned small businesses
Here’s the most important part: agencies and entities cannot utilize you based on your diversity if they do not know you exist. The importance and value of certifying your business cannot be overstated.
As the data above elucidates, a variety of leading agencies, with enormous responsibilities and projects, beckon the assistance of diverse independent contractors from several industries.
These entities possess contracts and set-asides for women-owned, women-owned small businesses and small businesses within several designations. With the ever-growing diversity and inclusion (D&I) movement, a rising number of agencies are dedicating themselves to increasing the utilization of small businesses in the contracting arena.
As a real estate professional, you have to think outside the box in order to thrive in the competitive housing ecosystem. You may not think you are suited or qualified to work with the government, but you may be.
From selling Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homes to becoming an approved corporate vendor, the opportunities for real estate professionals are wide ranging. Property management alone, an area in which most real estate agents are experienced, makes you a valuable candidate for these government agencies that often require help from businesses to take care of their wealth of properties from acquisition, disposition, buildout and facility maintenance.
How can you seize these business avenues? Preparation, knowledge, experience, superior service and with the help of the government itself.
These opportunities for your diverse businesses, potentially worth millions of dollars, are pivotal. If you prepare yourself, you could be the next recipient of a million-dollar concrete. Certify your business today!