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MWBEs, Let’s Work Closer Together to Achieve Success!

MWBEs, Let’s Work Closer Together to Achieve Success! by Jean Kristensen{3:10 minutes to read} I was recently at a meeting where there was a lot of pushback from MWBE firms that preferred to self-perform and take credit for MWBE goals; they wished to do this instead of subcontracting the work to other MWBEs. I was a little taken aback by this, and thought I’d share my thoughts on the importance of MWBEs 1. working with, 2. outsourcing to, and 3. sharing resources among other MWBEs.

As an MWBE firm, I have been a subcontractor on several projects, and I must admit that subcontracting positioned my firm for success by allowing us to experience all the things that one would not know unless they worked in such an environment.

What are the Benefits?

With the right prime relationship, I also gained access to vendors, suppliers, best practices, and technology—things that it would have taken me years to learn on my own. For me, subcontracting has been an invaluable experience. I have had some bumps in the road with getting paid, navigating relationships, and quality assurance, but ultimately, those things made us better too.

As a prime contractor, I actively seek out other MWBE firms to partner/team and subcontract to. I believe strongly in the power of developing a network of trusted alliances, and I also believe in paying it forward. Empowering someone else empowers all of us. We need to lift each other up and support one another.   

One of the things that has worked well for us in creating strong alliances is to be clear on what we outsource and what we don’t. I tend not to work with direct competitors. I conduct a thorough and detailed background check on all vendors. I also insist on clearly-documented agreements with defined outcomes, due dates, and timelines. And, I have a system for maintaining quality assurance that allows me to provide my teammates with feedback on their performance.

Subcontracting has allowed me to grow as a student and as a teacher.  

In my opinion subcontracting is an important part of small business development and I would like to encourage you to consider it to expand your capabilities and increase opportunities.

As a reminder, NYC Small Business Services has a program on NYC Teaming that provides training, workshops, and information about teaming partnerships. Click here for further details.

If you have questions or need assistance with subcontracting or how to find these opportunities, please contact me today!

Jean Kristensen
Jean Kristensen
President & CEO
Jean Kristensen Associates, LLC
275 Madison Avenue
14th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 917-397-7242

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