Background on WBE Certifications
A WBE certification is a certification you obtain that certifies that your business is 51% or more owned, controlled, and operated by one or more women. The acronym WBE stands for woman business enterprise, and can be used to refer to a woman owned business, whether or not that business has a formal certification.
With those definitions out of the way, lets explore some of the ways that you can use multiple levels of WBE certifications to grow your woman-owned business. You can obtain a WBE certification at a local government level, state government level, federal government level, and at a national level (for selling to Corporate America). You should obtain one or more certifications depending on who you would like to have as clients.
For example, if you want to sell to Corporate America, a national certification would be worth considering. If you are interested in selling to a state government agency, then you should consider obtaining a state WBE certification.
You are not necessarily required to have a certification to do business with a government agency or Corporate America, but as a practical matter, some of them will require or encourage you to have a certification so you can increase your chances of getting business from them. That is the primary reason these certifications can be beneficial ” to increase your chances of landing the government and/or Corporate America as a client.
Why do WBE certifications increase your odds of obtaining business from the government and Corporate America? The government and corporations that receive government funding are required to award a certain percentage of their business to WBE’s. By obtaining a WBE certification, you can increase your chances of getting work from the government and Corporate America to help them meet their quotas.
Multiple Certifications to Grow Your Business
If you think that state government agencies may be interested in the products or services that you sell, then you should definitely consider obtaining a WBE certification in your state, if your state offers a WBE certification program.
One way to skyrocket your business sales opportunities can be to obtain WBE certifications in several states. Many often believe that they can only obtain a WBE state certification in the state in which their business is located. However, you can actually obtain WBE certifications in multiple states, and by doing so, can increase your chances of getting work from state government agencies in each state in which you are certified.
There is definitely some extra effort involved in obtaining a WBE certification in multiple states. Each state has a separate WBE certification process. If you don’t plan to sell to state government agencies in a certain state, then it would not be worth the effort to obtain a certification there unless there is some other reason you need to.
Another strategy that is often used by many successful women owned businesses is to obtain one or more state WBE certifications to aid in selling to state government(s), to use a federal WBE self-certification to aid in selling to the federal government, and to use a national WBE certification to aid in selling to Corporate America. In other words, businesses that sell a product or service that any or all of these entities would buy can benefit from obtaining these multiple levels of certification.
It is important that you carefully analyze which of these entity types you would like to have as clients, and then determine what level of WBE certification that will best increase your chances of obtaining that entity as a client. If your business isn’t interested in selling to the government or Corporate America, then it would not be worth the effort to pursue one of these certifications.
WBE certifications can really help you have a higher chance of getting projects from those cash cow clients. So, if you want to have those entities as clients, you would be crazy not to consider a certification that may give you a serious competitive advantage due to mandates they have to meet.