Small business is simply defined as a company, partnership, or singular sole proprietorship which has fewer employees than its corporate equivalent and less yearly sales than a corporation or standard-sized organization. The definition of “small” differs by country and industry so much that the scope of this article could easily get too broad. The fact is that there are a multitude of ways how to do this and a lot of opportunities to expand your small business when it is already well established. It just requires some creativity and some understanding of what needs to be done.
The first step in starting up small businesses is to create a business plan and consider incorporating. Incorporating your business into the United States will most definitely require you to file a form called a ‘INVOCATION’; but remember that many small businesses were founded shortly before, and have been able to successfully incorporate without filing an application. There are also companies out there who offer totally free incorporation assistance, so take advantage of these resources!
Once you have formed your small business, your next step is to make sure that you have quality management skills. A great way how to do this is through using customer service tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM is an outstanding way of automating and organizing all of your business communications, including your customer service lines. With a quality management system you can ensure that your calls are answered by trained agents and that your customers receive high levels of customer support.
If your company is rather new and doesn’t yet have a reputation established in the medium-sized market, then it might be best to start with a quality management and training software that are offered at low or no cost. Quality management software will give your company the ability to automate many aspects of your company’s communications, allowing you to focus on other more important issues. One such piece of software is called Baldrige and is used by Baldrige Legal and Docks Ltd, among others, which offers quality management and training for attorneys, paralegals, and small businesses.
One of the challenges facing many medium-sized American companies is staying within the size standards established by the United States Small Business Administration (USSSA). As a nation, we place a great deal of value on our small businesses; however, because of the size standards set forth by the US government, many small businesses are forced to go international. Because of this, many mid-size companies outsource much of their work to other countries. This practice can create many difficulties, such as having employees all over the world, communication issues, and poor morale due to workers spending most of their time away from their families. To avoid these headaches, the United States government has established size standards for all federal contracting activities, including all types of outsourcing, and has authorized the use of designated vendors to fill the need.
The US government has established size standards for all agencies of the US federal government, including agencies of statehood. In doing so, they have also authorized vendors to use their size standards to determine what type of contracts should be made with them. According to the US Small Business Administration, “In setting the standards for contracting activities, the government has not attempted to dictate the method by which small businesses should contract with vendors. Rather, the government has attempted to ensure that small businesses appropriately utilize the services of vendors who meet the criteria established by the government.” Because of these size standards, the US government allows for an effective waiver process through an agency-or vendor-established Waiver Policy.
This waiver policy establishes that if a small business’s contract with a vendor would cause it to be ineligible for a federal contract, then the vendor must negotiate with the government to change the size standards in accordance with the government’s 38.5 million applicant limit. If the vendor does not comply, then the applicant will not be eligible to bid on federal government contracts. The US Small Business Administration has identified nine Waiver Policies that applies to all federal agencies.
The United States Small Business Administration works diligently to implement quality management processes to ensure that federal agencies are compliant with their 38.5 million applicants. However, despite implementing quality management programs for small businesses, many agencies have not yet fully achieved the prioritization of their goals. In order to increase the success rate of small businesses when bidding on federal contracts, agencies need to follow through with their size standards and Waiver Policies. By implementing these policies, the US government will ensure that small businesses properly utilize their opportunities to grow.