Selling to the Big Businesses
Do your homework and start small. Research and get to know the company, your industry, and the marketplace. It takes time to be attractive enough to a larger business that already have comfortable relationships with suppliers or companies like yours. Study the gaps, customers, or areas that the company may be missing to ensure your approach is sound and you are adding value to the business. Pay attention to opportunities where your business can shine and leverage these opportunities when you make these introductions.
Some organizations create opportunities to introduce businesses to large corporations that may not be buying from Black, Indigenous or other Entrepreneurs of Color. Prepare, prepare, prepare for these opportunities.
Selling to the Government
Government agencies and large corporations buy the same types of things most businesses do: professional services, supplies, landscaping services and so on. Selling to government agencies takes time but there are resources and partners available to walk you through the process. Our Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) offices have specialists in offices around the state. PTAC offices provide small businesses with assistance in submitting and understanding bidding opportunities and contracts. Often, they also support businesses in gaining certifications for women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses.
Certification programs can help you market your business to both large business and governments. Many large corporations and governmental entities set aside a percentage of their purchasing contracts for small businesses, minority and/or women owned businesses.
The U.S Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the only Federal Government agency solely dedicated to the support of minority businesses enterprise. Washington State’s MBDA Washington Business Center serves the Pacific Northwest and works regionally to help established minority business enterprises owned by the following individuals or groups: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Native Americans, Asian Indian Americans and Hasidic Jewish Americans. Their office is in Tacoma and provides technical, strategic, marketing and planning services, and business consulting to established minority-owned firms.
Becoming “certified” to purchase from the Washington state enables a company to bid on contracting local and statewide opportunities. Reach out to the Office of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (OMWBE) that certifies small businesses owned and controlled by minority, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged persons. OMWBE certifies business in order to increase contracting opportunities for certified businesses with state and local governments.
To learn more about how Washington State to working to build great equity in contracting read more about Washington’s statewide disparity study that offers important information about how the state is doing when it comes to including minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in contracts and purchasing.
Resource organizations that assist in procurement and certification can be found on the Evergreen BizLink Resource Navigator.