It’s hard to say how long a business must invest before there is a return. In the federal government sector, the SBA usually quotes 20-24 months. In private sector it is usually much shorter. For EMI, the investment in Greater Women’s Business Council membership has been a win from day one!
Evolution Management, Inc. (EMI) has been a certified GWBC member for almost 10 years. I was first drawn to the organization as a result of experiencing the energy, commitment, and exposure Roz Lewis and her team demonstrate in their work for the collective “us” – woman-owned, small businesses!! Not only does EMI participate in as many networking and educational events as we can, but I also have volunteered on GWBC committees to “give back”, as well as continue networking and relationship- building.
EMI has seen many wins come from our GWBC engagements. First and foremost, are the relationships we’ve been able to make as we explore partnerships and get to know colleagues with whom we can brainstorm and discuss challenges. Second, we’ve had doors opened for us as a result of being certified by such a credible organization. For example, over the years, EMI attended several GWBC events hosted by the Delta, Georgia Power and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Through those events, which also offered an opportunity to build a relationship with Supplier Diversity Program Managers, we positioned our firm to qualify for a procurement and recently were awarded a multi-year contract to support training needs for a large Atlanta-based organization. You know it’s a sweet feeling when all your efforts are finally noticed, and you’re given a chance to show what you can do.
EMI has also participated in several of the annual WBENC conferences. These events are HUGE — totally focused on companies and federal agencies serious about working with woman-owned, small businesses. Several years ago, at the Austin, TX conference, EMI had the chance to meet a Small Business Advocate from a federal agency. Through that brief conversation, assisted by the credibility of our WBENC certification, we had the opportunity to make an impression about how we could take on and support an upcoming need. Fast forward two+ years and many follow- up calls later –EMI recently won an award to assist with a large Human Resource consulting project.
EMI is grateful for GWBC opening the doors to make these connections and opportunities possible. We’re also excited and look forward to seeing what other seeds will sprout through other relationships we are cultivating. Finally, we’re grateful that we were prepared and ready with internal systems, resources and financial capabilities to successfully respond to these opportunities. I thank Roz and her team for creating professional and extremely fun events where business, learning, and networking can occur.
My advice to my colleagues – yes, there are those occasions when you meet someone and walk away with a contract – but those situations are rare. Instead of that approach, I suggest you declare yourself SUPER:
- Seen – Actively participating in GWBC, industry and networking events;
- Upbeat – Projecting a positive “Can-do” Image;
- Persistent – It takes time and effort to be successful;
- Educated – Knowledgeable about your industry and your target clients; and
- Ready – With people, finance and business system processes.
With over two decades of experience, Evolution Management, Inc. is a trusted partner to federal, private and academic clients focused on developing more efficient and effective organizations. We assist organizations to address and leverage changes associated with business needs, societal expectations, and technology advancements. We focus our consulting engagements in the areas of Organizational Effectiveness, Human Resources Management, Leadership and Staff Development, and Training (including eLearning). Visit our website at www.evolutionmgt.com.