For many beginning entrepreneurs, government contracts may be the last thing they think of when developing a customer base. Realistically, municipal, state, or federal contracts should not be a businesses primary source of income. That said, serving these audiences can play a role in diversifying a customer base. Further, as women owned businesses, AWE’s members are in a special position where they may have a small leg-up on competition. Given these opportunities, we were interested to learn more about how to get certified as a women owned business and how to pursue government contracts.
AWE Welcomes PTAC’s Karen Rowe
We recently welcomed Karen Rowe of the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center or PTAC at AWE connect. Karen helped demystify the process with an explanation of the nuts and bolts of the “procurement” process, tips for finding and understanding the solicitations, and how to set your company up for success in being awarded the contract. Karen also talked about why being certified as a women owned business matters and how to get that certificate.
One of the biggest surprises for our members was learning just how much help there is to navigate the sometimes overwhelming process of submitting proposals and bids for government contracts. Thankfully, the Colorado legislature established and funds PTAC to help small businesses like ours do just this for FREE. Really? Yup! Read on.
Regardless of how you feel about government spending (big vs. small government etc.) there will always be work that the government needs done. In many cases, these needs are fleeting or sporadic so it makes more sense to contract with an outside company to do the work than to maintain employees internally for those tasks. For all these tasks, it’s still in the government’s best interest to get the best product or service for the best price. We all care about saving taxpayer dollars, so putting things out for bids or proposals makes good sense. If good businesses with good products, services, and prices are scared away by the enormity of the process, everyone loses out. PTAC helps fill the gap.
Consultants like Karen bring their expertise from working within municipal, state, or federal government and council/advise companies along the way…for no cost. From identifying necessary forms and certifications to helping you revise bids and proposals, PTAC advisors are a wealth of knowledge. Even better, because many of them have worked in government procurement before, they can help you network with the purchasers whose needs most clearly align with your skills. With all these supports, you’re in a good position for success!
There’s no way for us to distill all of Karen’s presentation into this post but we hope you’ll check out the slides from her talk. If pursuing government contracts seems right for you and your business, call and schedule an appointment. Remember, the services are free and can only help you make the most competitive proposals and bids possible. Karen’s contact information is at the end of her slides. If you’re outside of Northern Colorado, check out all of the PTAC locations on their website.