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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…
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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…

Total Cost of Ownership

Did you know most corporations don’t just buy on price?

They typically buy on the total cost of a business; from cradle to grave.
Let’s say the US government is looking for a copier and the market value $100. Your copier costs $91. Your competitor chooses to sell for $80. In the end the business selling at $80 is going to win the contract bid. This is a "competing on price" situation.
Using the same numbers above, you hear that the US government instead chooses a business selling copiers at $105. You’re thinking to yourself, “what the heck, my copiers are $14 cheaper per unit,” which is true.
But that’s not how a corporation sees it. They look at all related expenses: What is the annual cost of supplies, toner, paper?What is the annual cost of maintenance?The repair cost if a unit is damaged?The number of hours that they're onsite? The cost of having the copier not operate?What is the cost of employees having to travel back and forth to the copier?Will the lifetime usage of…

Now is the Time for Diverse Busines Owners

What is a relevant event going on today that relates to what we do? Did you notice where there was an article that said 175 of the United States' top CEOs are committed to a pledge promoting more diversity and inclusion in their organizations? Did you see where congress is now considering trying to bring in two, three, four billion dollars of money, part off-shore, back into the United States? 
Did you pay attention to the current hiring that's going on in the United States? Are you noticing just the amount of pressure that is going on about how corporate spending is not current or related to the community that they serve? Or that the amount of money, their customer base, the communities that they operate in - meaning that 90% of the dollars that they spend with their suppliers is with companies that don't look like the markets that the companies serve or the customers that buy from them? 
There are several different processes going on that just make it clearer and clearer e…

Diversity vs minority owned; what's the difference?

A question that comes up frequently is, “What's the difference between diversity versus minority owned business?”
In the United States, minorities are African-American or Blacks, Mexican-Americans, Indian-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans. In other countries, such as South Africa, it means something slightly different. In Australia, New Zealand, it means something different. In Canada, it means something different. 

In general, minorities, as a group, are country-specific and are considered to be underserved when compared to the majority.
Originally women were lumped in with this group, which confused many people. They were eventually classified as a specific group so people understood women were a minority group. To avoid confusion, we identified women as Women Business Enterprises to distinguish this group from Minority Business Enterprises. You've probably heard of acronyms such as MBE/WBE or M/WBE to indicate these two distinct groups.
As we've evolved, we'v…