Understanding your state procurement DBE programs

STATE GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS

State government procurement programs are designed to ensure small and disadvantaged businesses are able to successfully bid on state procurement opportunities. They should not be confused with opportunities aimed at helping you to start a business. If you’ve decided your company is a good fit for selling to your state government, getting certified in their procurement programs is a great starting place.

Which type of state government procurement program will work best for your company?

Every state has a variety of procurement programs small business people should consider when they are developing their potential client list. Its been thought, the only programs available through the state are the DBE and small business programs administered through the state Department of transportation. Many people are not even aware that the state DOT programs are even available.  Thus, a first step must be to look at your offering then do a little research to see if your state government buys whatever you’re selling.

Most states purchase a wide variety of goods and services ranging from pencils to temporary labor, to professional services and more. Annual purchases total in the  billions of dollars. Some states also make their purchasing services available to local governments, charitable non-profit hospitals, local non-profit community sheltered workshops, volunteer fire departments, and rescue squads. If you sell a product or service these organizations use you could be missing out on a lot of potential revenue if you are not registered to do business with your state.

 

news

 The Saafenet Corporation has released a new method for small business to present their image to the consuming public

In the past and currently, many small companies open for business giving potential customers little reason to patronize them. If they have a website at all it is typically a brochure website. many have a poorly developed or no social presence. And, far too many have listened to the hype about making money on the web, and, have no offline strategy for making money at all.

How can Saafenet make it better

The Saafenet Corporation corrects that for small business entrepreneurs for less than the cost of a good briefcase. For their modest fee, the entrepreneur is given a custom e-commerce website, on which he can earn money.  Since earning money online can be slow, Saafenet uses multiple methods to speed up the process.  E-commerce websites developed by Saafenet are awarded multiple back links. Additionally, they are given business pages on the major social networks.  But, they are also given tools to monitor visitor behavior and webmaster tools to monitor SEO issues.  And, the package includes more to help give the entrepreneurs every advantage online.

Many entrepreneurs are unaware that online sales should be supplemental to offline sales and have no offline strategy at all. They forget their offline image is a material of their overall company image. And, offline sales can account for as much as 93% or 94% of most companies. Certainly fortunes have been made online, but the best businesses use a combination of offline and online sales making them bricks and clicks companies. And, the few companies that have made fortunes completely online are far and few between. Thus, Saafenet shows new companies how to have a strong image both offline and online.  By advising them on efficiency and pricing issues, ensuring they understand how to get into government and private industry procurement programs. And, the best methods to market their offerings to the consuming public. In fact, we even give them business cards which no online effort can replace.

So what’s the news?

Though this is just an overview, the Saafenet offering includes more. Allowing new companies to cast an image of an established business, rather than an image of a new company that wasn’t quite ready to open. This encourages sales online and off. And,  companies using the Saafenet strategy typically beat the odds and succeed more often.  So,  you can struggle to make money with your new business or let Saafenet show you the right way.  Give your customers the look of an established  company, not someone struggling alone. And, before now there was no where else for new business to turn.

 

 

Services/strategy

Strategy

The development of a reasonable strategy is critical to the operation and growth of your company. Your business strategy can be defined in either several paragraphs or be written as a set of strategic statements. It can and should be a part of your business plan or it may be developed as a separate document. It is a summary of how the company will achieve its goals, meet the expectations of it’s customers and sustain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Three primary reasons new small businesses fail

Avoid these small business killers

It goes without saying that if you want to go into business to get rich, its a poor reason to try it. And no one can question the negative effects of having insufficient capital as a small business killer. If you’re starting alone, poor management skills won’t matter. Because you’ll have no one to manage. But, there are three primary reasons many new small businesses fail.

  • Location

Many new business people underestimate the importance of location. It is a one time strategic decision that is difficult to change.  You don’t necessarily have to start with a physical location. But, if you use the Internet as your location, with a website, you may take a while to get your first sale.  And, a bad location can cause even the best planned and financed businesses to fail. The Saafenet strategy suggest a good location to start may be where you live. If, you can perform services or sell products at your customers location. A great example of that would be the house parties Avon sales people have or accounting services offered at a client’s office by accountants.  Persons offering  landscaping and cleaning  services work at their customer’s location as well. Renting or buying commercial space in a good location is always expensive and has forced more than one business to close.

  • No website or social media presence

No matter what type of business you decide to open, you must have a website and a social media presence. Today, almost as many people have computers as have TVs. In fact the U.S. Census Bureau reports as many as 85% of all households in the United States have either a computer, tablet or a cell phone allowing them access to the Internet. And, that is where your website and social media would exist. In the past many companies used brochure websites spelling out their operating hours and basic information about the company. Now, the better companies have moved to e-commerce and allow customers to buy their offerings right at their websites. Social media is great for getting your company name out there and branding your offerings. But you can sell your products as well directly on social media. Failing to have either can cost you sales.

  • A lack of planning

When you arrange to attend an event, you plan what you will wear. when you interview for a job you plan what you’ll say. If you plan to take a trip you plan what you’ll take with you. Most people plan every major thing they do, yet those that decide to open a business, fail to plan. A business plan is critical to your success, and, can give you four (4) to five (5) times greater possibility of succeeding than a person without one. As long as your business is realistic, periodically updated, and is based on sufficient research.  Without such a business plan, it will be difficult to know the order of the implementation of critical start-up issues. It will be difficult to know at what points you may need to borrow money and how it should be used. You may not understand which bench marks need to be met prior to adding employees. Or when you might logically seek to expand your operation.

Understand the solution

Going into business for the wrong reasons, with insufficient funding, or poor management skills are issues that can be overcome. But, failing to address the primary small business killers as cited above,  can’t be overcome.  The Saafenet Corporation shows you to how to have a location, supported by a website and social media, so you can perform services at your client’s location. Then when you’re ready, and if it becomes necessary, how to plan and save to move to commercial space. We provide you with guidance on developing a realistic business plan designed by you, for you. We show you how to avoid the three primary small business killers. And, when you get one of our foundation building packages, you don’t pay another dime to learn the right way to avoid small business killers.

 

 

In the early stages of your business go after more work than you can handle

The early stages of your business can be lonely and produce few sales

Unfortunately, many of your pre-opening  and post opening promotions won’t get a crowd of consumers ringing your phone or breaking their necks to get your offering. Even when you have a better mouse trap.  Therefore, you must use the first few months of the existence of your company to make something happen or run the risk of losing hope of succeeding.

You won’t get most of the work you’re after, so going after everything you can think of typically won’t hurt. If you are the exception, rather than the rule and get most of what you pursue, accept it. Especially if you operate a service business you can use subcontractors, freelancers and consultants to takeup the slack. If you are using the Saafenet method of building your company you already know how to do this. Don’t hesitate to try it because it works.

Big companies use subcontractors all the time. If you think small companies can’t do the same you’re wrong. In fact, entire businesses have been built through the use of subcontractors. To learn more about how to use subcontractors to build your business, get a copy of “Starting a Successful Business from Scratch” at this website, Amazon, Pay Hip or Kobo. Or, contact one of the small business specialists using the contact form at this website.

Additional Services

Owners of new businesses spend all day operating their companies,  and then must take care of their accounting, planning, tax, and audit functions. We take care of all that for you,  so you can spend your time increasing your revenue.

  • No business can survive without fairly stated accounting reports
  • With your taxes prepared by Saafenet you keep more of what you earn
  • Saafenet save you audit fees with pre audit services
  • Turn to Saafenet for strategy development and business planning

ALL ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES ARE PERFORMED BY CPAs

Finance and
Organizing

Restructuring your company could restore its viability and improve its liquidity position.

  • Cash management
  • Complete applications to get into private industry or government procurement programs
  • Monthly, quarterly or annual accounting

(let us know what you’re spending to get your business taxes done and, we’ll do it better for 20% less)

(accounting costs for our members are are always lower than traditional accounting, and includes preparation of your annual tax return)

Strategy
and Planning

A business strategy is the documented  means by which a company sets out to achieve its desired goals.

Audit and
Evaluation

Saafenet can help you If you are required to get an annual financial audit.

  • Pre audit services to prevent unnecessary audit fees
  • Mock audit services, can make you aware of what may be found by your financial auditors, and reduce the fees you must pay them.
  • The CPAs employed by us, will prepare forms and schedules likely to be required by outside auditors
  • We can perform reviews of your internal accounting controls

Tax Compliance and planning

You must have corporate tax returns  done on forms 1120 or 1120s, .

  • Preparation of corporate tax returns
  • Preparation of schedule K1s for Sub chapter S corporations and LLCs for pass through income

 

Every Consultant that works for Saafenet is a former or current business owner, and a specialist in accounting, planning, small business consulting and taxes. they all understand it takes time to get a business on solid footing. but, they stand ready to help you grow your business.

Let us help you!

Start getting found online now for free, compliments of Saafenet

Most of what you can offer your customers online can be offered offline

Customers still like to see what they’re buying

Everyone seems to think the world is moving toward buying everything online. Well that may happen some day, but not today. Customers still enjoy touching and testing a product before they buy it. Many will price shop online for something they have seen at a brick and mortar store. When there is a substantial difference in price they may return and use the convenience of e-commerce. But, many people want the instant gratification only offline sales can give them.

The flood of information available about making a fortune online, has caused many to try to start online businesses. It is absolutely true, you can start a business for less money online than you can start a brick and mortar business. However, It takes a long time before anyone even knows you are online and online sales require traffic. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are completely unaware of this requirement. Many of them are targets for online companies claiming they have the secrets they need to increase their traffic.

Knowledge of this fact, improperly applied to a start-up, can in some cases contribute to new business failure. But, when an offline operation is combined with an online operation it’s highly possible to have a winning combination. And an understanding that your offline operation does not have to immediately include a brick and mortar location.

How this can be done without a brick and mortar location

When you’re selling physical products they can be sold in house parties, which may lead to the creation of a multi-level marketing operation. Services may be sold through cold calls, meetings with potential clients at their offices, and other means. None of these methods require you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on commercial office space and furnishings. You can remain at home, and build up savings while you await the time when you start to earn money online. Revenue from both components of your operation can then be saved for the eventual renting or purchase of commercial real store front or office space.

Operating a brick and mortar business with an e-commerce compliment is commonly called a bricks and clicks business model. This business model is the wave of the future, more than a philosophy anyone can earn money online or offline without combining the two. The time to decide if your business would be better served using one or the other, is during your initial planning.

Building a bricks and clicks operation increases the probability of your success

The best way to make money is to find as many ways to get whatever you’re selling into the hands of your customers

Opening a business offline

Opening a business offline, has worked for many people in the past. There are several things you must consider if that is your choice for starting a business. First, if that business will be reliant on foot traffic, your location, may be the most important decision you make, and the most difficult to change. A store front or office space can be expensive. And, you must have some certainty you will be able to earn a profit after covering the cost of that space. If you will be selling physical products, you may have to tie up a lot of money in inventory. If you will be selling services, you have to be certain you have enough clients to make the money you’ll need.

Opening a business online

Should you decide to sell products or services online, you need traffic. That can involve a lot of expensive steps. First, you need a website or blog that encourages sales.  But, even such a website, is worthless without traffic. You must have an SEO strategy and a Pay per click strategy, and even then, if those services aren’t used wisely, you could waste a lot of money and time trying to get your first sale.

The most sensible way to make money is with a combination of on and offline sales

When you’re starting with very little capital, selling on both may seem impossible. However, starting any business requires you make the right decisions as to what you’re going to sell and who you’re going sell it to. Then once you open for business, having the virtues of dedication and patience . Unless you’re selling something everyone needs, you won’t make a profit overnight. And, if you try to sell to everyone, you may never make a sale at all. Being in business requires you find a single niche, hungry for whatever you’re selling. After building sales with that niche you may be able to begin selling to a related niche.

If you have an offering that lends itself to the creation of a multi-level marketing system, house parties or other means of direct marketing and sales, you may be able to postpone renting space for a while. If you are industrious, you may be able to develop your own website on Word Press for free. And, before investing time and money in SEO services or Pay Per Click strategies, if you can take care of your foundational issues yourself,  you’ll get the traffic you need sooner than someone that fails to take care of his foundation. You would have created a bricks and clicks business model which gives you more ways to let your customers spend money with you.

Except in rare circumstances, few businesses make a profit quickly. You have to get some customers just to break even.  And only then can you discuss earning a profit. All this takes a while to put into place yourself. Thus, you should locate a company that can get your foundation established properly and quickly. You could save months if not years in reaching profitability. Then you can spend your time growing the business you’ve always dreamed of.

Get it in writing

Get it in writing whenever you are involved in any business transaction that is not an arms length exchange with a customer

Many people complain it would be too much work. But depending on the size of your business, you must develop a dollar amount at which paperwork should be required. If you’re in the first few months of your operation, your work will not have become so great that you can’t take the time document most things. And, get the signature of any person you are making an agreement with.

When you pay minor operating costs you will usually get a receipt.  But, if you felt you could not recover from a loss on a $500 purchase, get the terms in writing. You’d be laughed out of a court of law, should you seek damages but could not prove harm. Settlement does not have to be financial, it just has to be what will pacify you. If a vendor promised substantial after market service he failed to deliver, you would have been harmed. A settlement could be the delivery of the after market service as promised. But if you don’t have it in writing, you have no claim.

Larger, and financially secure businesses should choose different thresholds for when a transaction cannot be consummated, unless it is reduced to writing.  Keep in mind many small transactions can become something big. That’s why you have overcharge auditors. But without proof you have no case for reimbursement.

It would be embarrassing if anyone else knew about your misfortune, but it’s rare you can bring a cause of action, without proof.

Avoid scams that are in violation of IRS rulings

Don’t let a tax preparer impress you that he can get more of your money back when he does so with illegal methods.

Every year the IRS publishes a list of tax scams that can create unbelievable problems for both individual and business taxpayers.  Though most tax preparers are honest people with good intentions, you have to be on the lookout for crooks.

Many times you’ll receive a call or a letter that includes a claim that you will save more money through the use of the caller, over what you’ve gotten before. Others may have even more elaborate sales pitches.

The IRS prepares a list of improper claims for business. It’s called the dirty dozen.  Excessive claims for credits has made the dirty dozen list of the IRS. Visit their website at www.IRS.gov, to see what they have to say about abusing credits and be certain to watch their video.

The last thing you need as the owner of a small business is an increase in your liability, the denial of a refund, or any kind of problem with the IRS. You don’t want to be watched, or have them looking over your shoulder. Operating a new small business is enough pressure by itself.