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How to Increase Your Bottom Line with Micro/Small Purchases

Over the last few years, opportunities have exploded for minority- and women-owned business in the city of New York. From Requests for Proposals to increased spending for Micro/Small Purchases, there are massive opportunities for growth, you just need to know where to find them.

In December of 2017, New York City decided to increase the discretionary purchasing authority for micro/small purchases from $20,000 to $150,000. This is, to be frank, huge! This change has been a long time coming. With the increase in available funds will come increased opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBE) and, with this access to opportunities of greater value, M/WBEs could potentially increase their capacity.

This has certainly been my experience when it comes to micro/small purchases. Acquiring several discretionary purchases has enabled my company to experience controlled and sustainable growth over the years. Trust me, the difference that winning micro/small purchases can make to your business is considerable.

But the question is, how do you win them? Just because the money is out there doesn’t mean it’s going to fall into your lap. As a small business, you need to do the work to dig and find these opportunities. If you’re successful, the rewards will be considerable!

Generally, firms that have won more than one micro/small purchase have a few things in common:

  • They Realize the Opportunity

New York City buyers are serious about making opportunities available to minority- and women-owned businesses. Just a few months ago, Mayor de Blasio announced an increase in the goal of awarding M/WBEs $16 Billion by 2021 to $20 billion by 2025.

This record spending is largely because NYC has made significant process in awarding contracts to MWBEs over the past year. These investments in M/WBEs have started to pay off for NYC, spurring massive economic growth that shows no signs of slowing down. However, the success of this program means that more companies will be going after these micro/small purchases. This means that you’re going to need an edge!

  • They Understand How Buyers Make Decisions about Discretionary Purchases

Many M/WBEs aren’t entirely aware of how buyers make decisions about discretionary purchases. Those that do have a distinct advantage in winning these micro/small purchases. And, as is often the case, it’s all about networking.

If you haven’t already noticed, there has been a significant increase in the number of M/WBE events in all five boroughs over the last few years. If you want to gain access to micro/small purchases, you’re going to have to get out of the office to attend these events. The best kind of communication with a buyer is a direct face-to-face contact. These events are the perfect occasion to get out there and show them that you and your business are in this to win.

  • Their M/WBE Profile is Up-to-Date

When buyers are looking for potential vendors, they tend to use the M/WBE directory. Makes sense, right? So why are so many profiles of M/WBEs across the city incomplete? They’re missing a tremendous opportunity!

When you are looking to win micro/small purchases, it’s critical that your profile is accurate and up-to-date. This takes a relatively short amount of time but pays off huge dividends.

  • They Have a Key Person Actively Engaging In Marketing, Networking, and Relationship Building

Although networking events are an essential part of winning micro/small purchases, it’s going to take more than a few afternoons out of the office to win these micro/small purchases.

Networking is an “all-day, everyday” kind of thing. If you want to win micro/small purchases, you’re going to have to put in the time. If you can’t spare the time because of your other responsibilities, it can be an excellent idea to have a key person in your organization actively engaged in the networking process. Those M/WBEs that are best known to buyers are likely to get the majority of the wins, and you definitely want to be one of them.

  • They’ve Participated in SBS-PTAC or Technical Assistance Sessions

Knowledge is power, especially for small businesses. Those businesses that have a real familiarity with the procurement process, the ones that know the ins and outs of micro/small purchases, will have a distinct advantage over those that don’t.

There is no need to worry, however, as NYC offers several free workshops and training designed to help you increase your knowledge base and opportunities. You may also be interested in my upcoming workshop, How to Be Successful with Micro and Small Purchases. In it, we’ll cover everything from the basic definition of micro/small purchases to advanced strategies for marketing and networking with government buyers.

As micro/small purchases are such a hot topic with M/WBEs right now, we expect this workshop to fill up quickly. To make sure that you will have the knowledge you need to be successful in winning micro/small purchases, be sure to sign up to reserve your spot today!

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