April is here and the weather has been improving! As I am writing this, we are enjoying gorgeous 60-degree weather with full sun. We’re feeling supercharged after a challenging winter and ready to hit the ground running.
We know that Spring brings renewal and growth, so this month we’re talking about the business certification process and the growth of your business. Let’s dive into it!
While it may not be for everyone, certifying as a woman-owned business (WOB) is an option for many suppliers or service providers and can certainly have its perks. That’s because more and more companies and municipalities are required to contract a percentage of their projects with certified businesses. If you hold any certification (woman-owned, minority-owned, etc.), you move to the top of their prospective bidder list because policy requires them to hire you and other certified businesses. Any opportunity that gives you an edge over the competition is probably worth considering!
So, certification can be beneficial for your business, particularly in certain industries. In time, you’ll likely gain increased visibility and opportunity, maybe finding yourself flush with financial and educational wins, maybe even holding long-term contracts!
But deciding on the right path to certification and going through the process takes both commitment and perseverance.
During a recent meeting of the West Town Mastermind Group, we discussed what it meant to be certified when a member mentioned it as one of the top challenges her business has had to face. What was supposed to be a brief 30-minute discussion turned into a two-hour conversation.
Personally, I’ve found that business owners believe that once they certify, abundance will flow and huge financial success immediately follows. Unfortunately, it takes time to get to that point. Success hinges on patience over anything else.
My company has been certified for more than 10 years, but for the first five years, nothing happened. Still, I continued renewing my certification because I understood that it should be a priority to maintain it. I did not give up, knowing eventually that something incredible would happen.
And finally, it did happen. I started receiving calls from larger companies that were bidding on contracts (with the city, county and/or state) and they were interested in hiring my company as a sub-contractor. All it took was signing a Letter of Intent and voila!
If you are considering becoming certified, my advice to you is to get started! Your company will be listed in the respective certifying organization directory. You’ll get invited to participate in events hosted by the organization and you just have to show up! It really is that simple.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to get started, my suggestion is to reach out to the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago. They have the knowledge and expertise to show you the ropes, and you’ll be able to get certified with them in no time!
I hope this was helpful, and I am always here to support you. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out. Thanks so much for spending part of your day with me. We truly are stronger together!