Small businesses are constantly trying to find ways to increase their business through various methods. One method women can take advantage of is the ability to sell their goods or services to the government through one of the federal procurement programs. The programs are available for sale of goods to the federal, state or local government. With the help of a small business development center, certain businesses, especially those that are owned by women, can qualify for federal contracts that allow the government to purchase from them.
In order for a business to be considered a Woman Owned Small Business, or WOSB, it must be more than 50 percent owned and operated by at least one woman. It also must be classified as a small business according to the SBA’s guidelines, and the women who own it should be United States citizens. Many women also qualify for other programs, including the minority eligibility, which can further their ability to sell to the government.
In order to certify for the WOSB program, businesses must be certified to determine their eligibility. This can be done two ways, either through self-certification or through the use of an approved third-party. The benefit in getting your business certified is to limit the amount of competition you have to deal with when it comes to having the government choose your product or service to purchase over another competitor’s products or services.
One of the fastest ways for women to take advantage of the procurement programs is through networking. There are many ways women can network to make their business known and to stand out from others. The more face time and brand development a company owned by women possesses, the better their chances of becoming a vendor the government chooses to use.
As a small business owner, you are likely looking for ways to grow your business. Since the federal government is required to purchase a certain percentage of their goods and services from small businesses, it makes sense to try to get your business to be one of the programs from which they purchase. Through the use of your local small business development center, you can have access to the eligibility requirements, as well as help navigating the system of the procurement programs to become one of the companies that sells to the government.