Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Join Now
The Chief Visionary's Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (375) posts »

Making noise for small business

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, August 25, 2008
Updated: Monday, August 25, 2008
Did you read the article published by Matthew Weigelt in FCW on August 25th entitled Making noise for small business? You should as it was a good article highlighting some of the activities underway by many folks serving as OSDBU's and OSBPO's who are genuinely committed to creating parity for small business while keeping the best interests of their agency in the forefront.

More coverage like this is needed for obvious reasons and more education of practices and policies related to set-aside programs needs to occur within government.  The OSDBU/OSBPO community needs to be further empowered by their respective agencies so their efforts can be more fruitful. The comment made by the Treasury OSDBU about the "certain way of working" by agency program managers is a valid statement, but at the same time, it's not necessarily "the fault" or "a fault" of these Program Managers. Their job is mission-oriented and it's up to them to find an efficient and compliant means of accomplishing whatever piece of the overall agency mission they are responsible for managing.

This is where a significant mindshift is needed among stakeholders of the small business community. Too many companies, small, medium and large, do not undertake the necessary steps to prepare themselves for business in the government sector. Business here is often seen as a bailout when the economy slides in traditional commercial markets and a place where companies can "pop in" and try and grab a few pieces of business, as-needed. Companies like this typically fail to have insights as to the level of relationships constantly being established in our community, and assume that their reputation in their native market, possibly coupled with a GSA Schedule and various socioeconomic designations, will carry them where they want to go. Today, there are many small businesses supporting the government who operate from a mission mindset. That is, they understand their customer and their customer's needs, gained their trust, and have oriented themselves to understand the program objectives associated with the task assigned to them by an agency, or by a contractor organization issued an agency contract.

It does not matter whether it is related to understanding the "rules of engagement" for our marketplace or simply determining which agency buys a particular product or service.  In my opinion, the very visible level of unpreparedness on the part of some companies is a stick in the eye to  Government and Industry small business advocates trying to advance small business participation. The effects of which are presented as broad resistance to engaging small businesses, a general lack of confidence in small businesses and tactics to avoid leveraging small businesses. These behaviors can be viewed on some fronts as risk mitigation, while viewed as socioeconomic prejudice, unfair treatment and a general disregard for the small business community on opposing fronts. Not to say that unfair activities do not occur, but often disingenuous companies with little to no regard for the impact of an unsuccessful engagement with the government, create lasting obstacles for other small businesses who follow them.

There is no question that sweeping attitude and policy change is needed in the government sector if the segment of our Country's business community that generates the most new jobs is to survive. There is no one answer that will alleviate the many challenges facing Government and Industry in this area. The chasm between where Government states it wants small business, and where small business actually exists grows wider everyday. The "noise" for small business should not only include internal efforts to change the minds of those in Government (and Prime Contractors) about small businesses, the fragmented small business community needs to collectively demonstrate justification for the change.

- The CVO

Tags:  fcw  osbpo  osdbu 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
Association Management Software Powered by®  ::  Legal