What is the Women of Small Business Program?
If you are a woman who owns a small business, then you should immediately apply to become a certified member of the Women of Small Business Program! If you did not already know, the Women of Small Business Program, or WOSB, is a program created by the federal government to help women gain government contracts. These government contracts can help fund your business, and most importantly, help expand it to its full potential! If you are not a certified member of the WOSB, do not be ashamed, as it is quite easy to apply. You must however, meet ALL of the requirements in order to become a certified member. Below are the requirements needed to be considered eligible by the Small Business Administration:
- Meet the small business size standard for the primary NAICS code and contract
- For more information about the size standards of the SBA, visit: http://bit.ly/sbasizestandard
- Be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens
- Women must manage the day-to-day operations
- Women must make the long-term decisions for the business
- A woman must hold the highest officer position in the business
- This woman must work at the business full-time during normal working hours.
- No minimum amount of time for the business to be operational
If you meet all of these requirements, then you are qualified for the WOSB Program! If you do qualify, PLEASE apply if you have not already done so, as it is a great opportunity for you and your business. The link to apply is http://bit.ly/wosbcertification
Taking Advantage of the Opportunity:
Applying to the Woman of Small Business program is easy, and is amazing if you become a certified member. Many women who are certified members however, have a hard time obtaining government contracts, even though that is the purpose of joining the WOSB program.
The U.S government contributes close to $100 Billion Dollars to small businesses every year hoping to generate greater economic output within our economy. Even though women who are a part of the WOSB are qualified for the same government contributions, they only receive 5% of all government contracts geared towards small businesses. As a result, it makes it more difficult to obtain a government contract as women, being that the funds awarded to these businesses are so limited. Without these contracts, business owners often have a hard time expanding their business, which often restricts them from reaching their potential. Thankfully, there are ways you can gain an edge over those also seeking government contracts.
Focus on your Specialty:
One of the common errors people make when applying for government contracts under the SBA is making their business seem like it does everything. There is no need to try to prove to the government that your business offers a variety of services, or things that do not particularly pertain to what your business actually does. It is best to focus on your businesses specialty, instead of making it seem too broad. As your business expands, and you become more acquainted with government contracts, then you can focus on a broader spectrum. For now, focus on what you and your business do best, and you will see positive results.
Do Your Research:
There are a number of government contracts available for you to apply. Wherever you are looking, pay attention to ALL contracts, whether they are new, existing, or expiring, as there could still be a possibility that there is an opportunity presented in some, in which I will later discuss.
The System for Award Management (SAM) is a great site to use if you are looking for government contracts. It is a reliable, government maintained database, which helps businesses look for contracts. Although it is a lengthy process, signing up for SAM will increase your chances in obtaining a government contract, and will make it a bit easier searching for them. If interested, the link to register is, http://bit.ly/samregistration
One of the most undermined aspects of trying to obtain government contracts is that you must be persistent. Reach out to your SBA representative, go to networking events and conferences that you know contracting officers and specialists will attend, and most importantly, follow up every so often to gain an advantage amongst others. Do not become discouraged if your attempts fail at times, as consistency and persistence is key to obtaining a government contract.