Every day, more and more Business Owners flock to the Federal Marketplace in order to take advantage of the many enticing opportunities which await them across both the U.S. Federal and Private Business Sectors.
If you’re reading this page now, you probably know about those Small Business Opportunities to some extent already.
But would it surprise you to learn that a massive portion of the organizations out there mastering the Federal Marketplace are run specifically by women? Or that female-owned businesses have access to an extended range of Federal Benefits?
Prime Opportunities for Women in the Federal Marketplace
While there are endless job options and awarding opportunities that small businesses can access in the Federal Marketplace by registering with the Small Business Administration (SBA), thanks to the United States’ WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) contracting program, the benefits of registration are significantly greater for Female Business Owners—and tons of Woman-Owned Organizations are making the most of them.
[For a closer look at the benefits available for WOSB organizations—which include an exclusive 28% share of marketplace contracts, access to government-supplied grants, bidding preferences in the private sector, and more—read on here!]
These benefits first started in the year 2000, but due to a sheer increase in volume of the country’s actively certified WOSB organizations (and the vast amount of new applications submitted over recent years) the WOSB program is about to experience a few much needed tweaks to make the Certification process easier and more efficient for everyone.
New WOSB Certification Regulations and a Better Way to Get Certified
Perhaps most notable among these changes is the ability for Business Owners to seek out the aid of only SBA-approved government entities and Registration Experts (like the professionals here at FAMR) to ensure their WOSB Certification is completed accurately.
When considering how many WOSB applications have been filed incorrectly, and how lengthy and complicated the Certification process can be, this new rule of only letting authorized Registration Specialists perform Certifications makes a lot of sense. After all, accidental errors and omissions within Certification Applications have cost ample time and money to address over the years, and have lost many WOSB organizations some of the key benefits they deserve.
But it’s also important to note: Even when hiring registration professionals that take care of all the clerical heavy lifting, there’s still some work required on the business owner’s end before their WOSB Certification can be submitted.
With that in mind, knowing what to expect during the WOSB Certification process and taking the proper steps right off-the-bat can make a world of difference in how quickly and cleanly everything goes.
What Should Business Owners do to Ensure a Good Certification Experience?
Registration services that specialize in getting businesses working alongside the Federal Government are powerful tools.
Registration Specialists carry the knowledge and experience that’s required to ensure the best presentation of your business possible. While it’s true the process of applying for the WOSB Certification does require documentation, Specialists will be able to guide owners through the documentation needed for their unique type of business structure. No two businesses are the same, which means no two applications will be either.
Because of this dynamic side to Certification close communication is key, and at the very least, Business Owners should expect Registration Specialists to ask them to:
- Schedule a Welcome Call with your Specialist (this is time well spent to explain the intricate details about your business and outline what documentation will be needed).
- Provide key information and documentation to your Specialist for review prior to submittal.
- Continue to coordinate with your Specialist until awarded your Certificate.
- Be prepared to host your site visit.
Since WOSB Certification is a highly delicate application process that takes dozens of hours and constant interactions with Certificating Parties, where a single typo could extend the entire process by weeks, that freedom of time and peace of mind is where the real value of Registration Services lie.
How Long Does Everything Take (and How to Make it Go Faster)?
There are a few factors that determine how long the process will take, but it generally depends on the volume of the Certifying Council servicing your area, but there are other things you can do to help speed things along.
A big one is having a clean and professional presentation of your business. The goal here is to have your application move through the underwriting stage quickly, and not get stuck going back and forth between clerical hurtles.
Another is how open your availability is.
That’s because professional Certification is a two-stage process; one is clearing underwriting, and the second is the site visit. Your availability for this visit will dictate your timeline, as registration experts won’t be able to actually move forward with your Certification until it takes place.
Lastly, there’s also the timing of the Council meeting itself.
Each Certification Council has a meeting scheduled once a month to vote and award Certification status to applicants. Meaning, how closely this calendar event lines up with the beginning of your registration process will play a direct part in how long Certification takes. Which leads us to a final, very important, point…
It must also be remembered: Using a Registration Service means three parties are always going to be involved; the business, the Registration Professionals, and the Certifying Parties themselves.
While both Registration Services and Business Owners might their file documentation with lightning speed, the pace at which Certification moves is partly out of their hands. But they can still help accelerate things on the Certifiers’ end through careful presentations, accurate filing, and the timely sending of documentation.
Here at FAMR, we’ve seen WOSB Certification processes happen quite quickly — though that was largely because the Business Owners involved immediately sent the information our Registration Experts needed, they already had well-organized internal documentation, and they were always responsive whenever contacted afterward.
All to say, the better Registration Specialists and Business Owners coordinate together, the smoother the process will be.
Reviewing and Getting Started
To recap, Registration Services are here to help Woman-Owned Small Businesses get Certified and meet their maximum potential in the Federal Marketplace.
For instance, here at Federal Award Management (FAMR) we are passionate about helping businesses achieve their complete Certification goals—and we have the knowledge, tools and experience to help your business move forward.
That doesn’t mean Business Owners can simply sign up and then fall asleep at the wheel while expecting top results, however. Some communication and cooperation are necessary, but don’t worry, your Registration Experts will make life as easy as possible for Business Owners throughout the entire Certification experience.
In fact, Registration Services like our own will even offer to stick around after Certification is complete to help ensure WOSBs are able to make the most of their activity in the Federal Marketplace. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If interested in reaching out and learning more about what WOSB Certification and our FAMR services can do for your business, feel free to get in touch with us here!