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Corporations were interested in giving a helping hand to minority-owned companies - not a hand-out - in the early years of supplier diversity. They were willing to help them get in the door and to reach a certain level, but they were not guaranteeing a contract for life. In order to get a contract for life, your company had to out-perform everybody else that was performing the same service. Once the helping hand had been extended and you took it, you had to quickly transition to leveraging that helping hand to get new business with new customers.
Large companies are very judicious when awarding contracts to minority-owned and/or woman-owned businesses because of what is known as a “pass through” or “front business”. Majority owned companies would find someone diverse – it could be a woman, a Hispanic, African American, an Asian, etc., or in today’s world, a gay, lesbian, or veteran and use that person as a “front” to have their company qualify as a minority-owned busine…
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Does Size Really Matter?

Does size really matter? Yep, the question is “does the size of your company really matter regarding getting contracts with the big boys”? The short answer is “yes”. The longer answer is “maybe”, if you're talking about the six, seven, eight, nine, ten figure contracts. If it's a large  manufacturing plant for example, you might be able to get that larger contract servicing one location, but more than likely for these types of contracts with the big boys, you're going to be covering multiple sites, multiple locations, multiple business units, and so you have the issue of what is reasonable for your company to handle. Ask yourself “would they give a $10 million contract to a company that only has one, two or three employees”? What if they thought you could ramp up and service the contract? Maybe, but more than likely that's going to be a push. You'd have to work really hard to convince them that you could handle the job with only a staff of three - even though the s…
Is Your Company the Fighter Big Corporations Need?

The questions you should ask yourself before seeking to form Strategic Partnerships with large corporations are: Do I have a solution that a corporation would say is valuable to them? Do I sell my products and services the way my target corporate client buys it?Do I have a solution that my customer - a corporate client - would say they value, and am I offering my product and service the way they buy it - not am I selling it the way I want to sell it? Am I offering it the way they buy it; the way they go to market to get it? To further expound on these questions, also consider the following: “Can Idemonstrate that I am the exception and I can do better than what my competition is doing?”
Is your company the fighter big corporations need? What do I mean by that you may ask? This really and truly falls under the category of if you continue to do what you've always done, then you're going to get what you've always gotten.
Big co…

Essential Factors to Consider Before Pursuing Strategic Alliances with Large Corporations

You must be committed to benchmarking and finding out what the best companies in the globe do in their supply chain before venturing into a Strategic Alliance.  You also must determine if your target organization’s supply chain or purchasing department is involved in strategic planning so that they can get the maximum benefit of understanding what they buy, how they buy it, where they buy, and that they are buying it at better than competitive levels.
Many companies as recently as 5 -10 years ago set goals of purchasing 3% of their annual goods and services budget from  minority-owned businesses, and 2.5% for women-owned businesses. We lately have seen numbers as high as 11-15% for both.  States like California USA have set goals as high as 50% for their public utilities of which large corporations such as AT&T and PG&E are included.
Women-owned business participation in corporate contracting is advancing at a much faster rate than minority participation. Women initially were i…

The Case For Business Growth Using Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances are quite common for businesses in today’s climate. This type of cooperation is a long-term partnership between two parties. It creates a win-win situation for both sides.  A key component to the relationship is the ability of each partner to reach individual strategic business goals. These goals should be achieved quicker and at lower cost through the alliance relationship than if the individual party tries to go at it alone. 
Generally, successful strategic alliances lead to growth for all parties involved. Seeing the importance of strategic alliances, large corporations have been engaging in them for years. In this business world, the partnership can apply to you as small businesses as well. WHY STRATEGIC ALLIANCES ARE THE GREATEST WEAPON FOR YOUR BUSINESSThere are various reasons a business chooses to enter into strategic alliances: resource or knowledge acquisition, the opportunity to grow, economies of scale, new target market access, and risk allocation. Con…

Getting Business in Person

Today, we're going to discuss the secret to getting business at conferences, expos, meet-and-greets, any place where you are at forums where you get a chance to interact with representatives from corporations for some of the largest companies.
          How many of you can identify with going to these events, walking up and down the hallways in these big convention centers, being excited about being able to get your product out there and let folks know about your wares? And you end up leaving and reflecting back on the day and saying, "Well, I got the website from 20 other companies, and I can fill out the supplier database, put my information in their supplier database, and when there's an opportunity, they'll reach out to me because I made such a connection with them."
          Or they took your business card and said, "We'll have somebody follow up with you." Or you got the business card of everybody at the booth saying, "Hey, I just need …

The Big Lie

The big lie is that large corporations don't want to do business with diverse companies which then leads to the second big lie, “I can't be successful selling to them. They're not looking to do business with me.” A couple of things we have to wrap our mind around in this space is that large corporations have to continue to be innovative.
They have to come up with new ideas; do things that haven't been done before. Those new ideas don't come from one monolithic group. Those ideas come from a lot of different people. Those ideas come from a number of different places.
We've come to see that companies that have the most diverse employee base and the most diverse supply base have better outcomes. This is important because companies became sensitive to women issues over time. They've become more sensitive to minority community issues. They've become more sensitive to LGBTQ issues and to veteran issues. It's changed the way they go to market and how they l…