WBE Certification = Added Value

By Erin Smith
Spotlight Strategies
June 2013

Every great business owner looks for a way to differentiate, carve out a niche market and/or reinvent their business to stay ahead of the curve. There are endless possibilities, yet great business owners don’t get hung up in weighing these possibilities for too long. They research, listen to their intuition and then plunge head first into the abyss of the next strategic business opportunity. What are you doing to stand out? Is your business still relevant in your market? Is your current network stagnant or is it the catalyst to push your business to new heights?

I have owned and operated my business for over 12 years. Six years ago I found my business at a crossroads. I needed to differentiate – standout and quite frankly, I needed to be hanging out with a new crowd that was going to “up” my business game. I pondered the questions above and decided to seek WBE (Women Business Enterprise) certification through the State of Indiana and City of Indianapolis. There were two compelling reasons that I went through this arduous process. First, I believed it was a great business development tool and secondly, I kept meeting really sharp women business owners through an organization, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and many of them were WBE certified. So, I told myself, “If you want to be a better business owner then hang around those that are smarter, more experienced and making more money than you!” After a nine month process I was delighted to receive my certification as a WBE!

The road to certification brought new relationships to my business, allowed my company to participate in the Super Bowl Emerging Business Program and is a benefit to my current customers that need to meet WBE spend requirements for City and State contracts. All that being said, not once have I ever suggested that a prospective customer invest in a relationship with my company because of its WBE certification. NO – My customers know that I strive to deliver quality product with an exceptional customer experience regardless of any certification. That is just an added value!

If you are a Minority owned, Veteran owned or Women owned business and would like more information about certification please visit the following websites for more information:
State of Indiana Certification: http://www.in.gov/idoa/2489.htm
City of Indianapolis Certification: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DMWBD/MBE-WBE-VBE/Pages/Certification.aspx

If you are a Woman Business owner and would like more information on NAWBO, please visit: www.nawboindy.org