By Brett Housholder
Going through any government contracting certification process – 8(a), HUBZone, Veteran-Owned Small Business, Woman-Owned Small Business, etc. – can be an intimidating task if you don’t know what to expect. Where do I start? What documents do I need? Where is the actual application and how do I submit it?
To explain each individual certification would take a much longer article, but check HERE for posts on the various types. For this post, we’re going to focus on some general tips that will save you a lot of time and stress when applying for any of the certification programs.
- Call Your PTAC First – Our program is available to help with the application process and can explain it to you in a way that is clearer than most of the information you’ll find searching websites on your own.
- Be Organized – This applies to running any efficient business and is more of a general tip that you should have hopefully implemented from the first day of running your business. But for certification purposes, it pays to have a well-maintained and organized recordkeeping system. Having access to organizational documents (articles of incorporation, operating agreements, by-laws, etc.) and accurate, current financial statements are vital for most certifications.
- Find a Checklist to Track Progress – One of the more complicated parts of most certifications, believe it or not, is finding a complete checklist of all the required documents that will be reviewed. They’re certainly available, but finding them can be a challenge.
- Take it One Step at a Time – No matter which certification you’re going after, it will take longer than you expect. It’s best to tackle one piece at a time and not get overwhelmed by the various tasks you’ll be required to complete before you submit an application.
- Be Patient – The application process alone may take a matter of weeks even if you’re well organized and prepared. The review process will take even longer as the offices that review applications and make determinations are constantly inundated with new applications.
Finally, just to reiterate, the PTAC is available to assist and make this sometimes confusing process more manageable. Contact us so we can help you prepare a complete application package and increase your odds of success.
When he’s not running marathons and 10Ks across the Western United States, Brett is the Program Manager for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, which helps Wyoming businesses sell their products and services to the government. Brett is located in our Casper office alongside SBDC teammate Cindy Unger. For any questions about this article or how Brett can help your business learn more about government contracting, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.