My law firm, Kratovil Law PLLC, consists of me, myself, and I. In other words, it’s just me.
Attorney, receptionist, accountant, and tech support all wrapped up in one person. And occasional bouncer when a kid wanders into my office.
Regardless of what names we go by-Girl Boss, Boss Lady, Mompreneur, or just plain Boss-women-owned businesses are on the rise.
According to American Express’s annual report on women-owned businesses, the number of women-owned businesses grows 2.5 times fast than the national average, with an average of 849 new businesses per day. There are 11.6 million women-owned businesses, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue.
If you are ready to grow your woman-owned business, there is one important card in your hand that you need to play–the fact that you are a woman.
No, I’m not talking about marketing your products and services to women (thought it’s not a bad idea-I personally like to patronize fellow boss ladies).
What I am talking about is getting certified as a “woman-owned business.” Most public corporations, as well as federal, state, and local government purchasing agencies, have programs for awarding a certain percentage of contracts to women-owned businesses.
For example, the federal government has a statutory mandate to award 5% of government contracts to women-owned businesses.
So what companies qualify as women-owned businesses? Generally speaking, a woman-owned business is at least 51% controlled by a woman (or women) who is (or are) a U.S. citizen(s). A woman (or women) must manage the day-to-day operations and a woman must be the highest officer in the business and work in the business full time.
Ready to get certified as a woman-owned business? You’re going to need patience and a lot of it. For one thing, there is a lot of paperwork and time involved. The process can take anywhere from 90 days to up to a year.
And that’s just for one certification. That’s right, there are multiple types of certification. Which certification you will need will depend on which certification your potential customer is looking for.
Here are three of the most popular certifications:
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) . The WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, plus federal, state, and local government entities.
- National Woman Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) . Similar to the WBENC, this certification is generally accepted by corporations and government entities.
- Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) designation from the Small Business Administration. If you are pursing federal contracts, this is a good certification to have.
Take advantage of the woman-owned business certification to grow your business.
Do you own a woman-owned business? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.